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Discussion Starter #1
Found a test kit at a shop out of town. Kind of glad I did.

Tested my nitrates and it's way up there. chart is kind of hard but it looks like it's between 20 -40 ppm. Out of the tap it's reading close to that. Nitrites read 0. Ammonia is 0

Means surface water got into my well. Temporary spring problem but I did notice the fish tails looking ratty. How do I get that out of there? One of those nitrozorb pillows?

It poured buckets last night so there was a lot of run off on still frozen ground. Hate to do it but I have to chlorinate the well. At least it doesn't last long with the amount of water running through this property. Problem is it makes the iron precipitate out and stains everything bad.
 

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Sue said:
Tested my nitrates and it's way up there. chart is kind of hard but it looks like it's between 20 -40 ppm. Out of the tap it's reading close to that. Nitrites read 0. Ammonia is 0
Sue...

I find the cheaper kits can be way off with nitrate, if you have some extra money a LaMotte nitrate kit can be worth every dollar, espeically with a variable water source.

Best way to get rid of excess nitrate is to grow plants. Leave the chemicals alone for now... Stuff like Riccia, Hornwort, Frogbit, Pennywort, Water Sprite and other reasonable floating plants tend to be the best for rapid denitrification. Just let 'em float, as they can use CO2 in the air this way. For persistant nitrate problems (my former place had >40ppm all year) RO can be a proper long term solution. 10-20 even 30ppm in the tap is managable with plants, above this, espeically with a decent size fish load, thing can get out of hand.

Jeff
 

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Tom Barr suggests dosing 10 ppm nitrates twice per week with a 50% water change weekly. That means that if the plants don't take up any nitrates (worst case) your nitrate level would peak at 40 ppm. So 40 ppm nitrate isn't the end of the world. Just don't do a water change. As the plants suck up the nitrate, its concentration should go down. You've got pre-fertilized water! We could bottle it and sell it! :lol:

Regards,
Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had to search the 3 lfs within 2 hours drive of my home for a full month before one of them got a nitrate test in. Took what I could get. It's an aquarium pharmaceticals brand.
Chart is hard to read. Varing degrees of red and orange mostly with little color difference between lots of nitrates. I could easily have lots more.

Went to the other house today and brought back 2 big pails of water and changed some. No easy task. House is 250 years old and had to go into the basement for it. Don't have any pressure in the sink for some reason. Took nearly an hour to fill a gallon jug. Decided I wouldn't live long enough to fill two five gallon pails. Test looks better now. Not great, just better. More orange than red color. Tommorrow I'll bring back a little more water and change it out. Plants were looking bad and I lost 2 fish. They are back to pearling now and the fish seem happier.

Hate to say it but the thing that freaked me out was it means some run off from the horse pen is getting in my well. No nitrites or ammonia so it means it's the old composted stuff but still not appetizing. This time of year massive amounts of melted snow run down the mountain and it can't be stopped or directed for very long. I try to shovel against the tide for nearly a month every year. Soon it will be kind of moot. We will be moving to the old house that has 9x more land so manure getting too close to the well won't be an issue. Once the horses are gone from here mother nature will take it's course and I bet I'll have the greenest hillside in town.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The nitrates out of the tap are going down by lots. Wonder if it was the sudden spring thaw. All the gunk and goo locked in place by ice and snow released at once.
 
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