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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

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.

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