How to Lower Nitrate in a Fish Tank

By Jen Davis

The water quality in your fish tank plays a crucial role in keeping your fish healthy. Ammonia is created when your fish pass their waste products in the water. Good bacteria within your tank breaks down the waste into nitrate. If you have tested your water and discovered the nitrate levels in your tank are too high, there are several things you can do to lower the nitrate levels.

Lowering Nitrate Levels

A properly maintained fish tank is unlikely to have high nitrate levels. It is generally said that any tank that has a nitrate level of more than 50 milligrams per liter has too much nitrate. The ideal amount of nitrate typically is considered to be around 0.2 milligrams per liter or less. Clean your tank regularly, changing out the water and using an algae scraper to remove algae from the walls. It generally is advised that aquarium owners change out 10 to 15 percent of the water in the tank on a regular basis. Check your tank's filtering equipment and make sure everything is in good working order. If you are consistently having problems with high nitrate levels in your tank, you may want to consider reducing the number of animals in your aquarium. You may want to considering feeding your fish less frequently, as overfeeding is a common cause of high nitrate levels.