Nitrates are ions that are commonly found in aquariums if the water is not cleaned and filtered regularly. Nitrates come from nitrites. In turn, nitrites come from ammonia, which is produced by decomposing biological wastes and spoiled uneaten food.
When left to stay in aquarium water, high levels of nitrates greatly affect the health of fish, corals and plants
in a very bad way. Nitrates cause oxygen levels to decrease. As a result, fish will have a hard time breathing, which will make them exert extra effort that can agitate their gills. Corals will not properly form their exoskeletons and plants will not thrive well.
To make sure that your aquarium is free of nitrates, you'll have to use the Kent Marine Nitrate Sponge from Pet Store
. This product is a zeolitic filter medium that works in a couple of direct ways. The first one is that it absorbs ammonia in the water. The second one is that it encourages the process of anaerobic de-nitrification through a biological process, thanks to its porous and granular texture.
The Kent Marine Nitrate Sponge can be used with freshwater and saltwater tanks. It is safe to use in direct contact with the water because it does not release back the ammonia, and it does not absorb nutrients.
Kent Marine Nitrate Sponge is a granular zeolitic medium which works by two methods.
- It slowly directly adsorbs small amounts of ammonia that are released by fish and natural processes, and
- it fosters anaerobic bacterial denitrification due to its physical porous structure. This denitrification slowly reduces nitrate levels in the aquarium. It works well in freshwater tanks or tap water to remove toxic ammonia directly! Nitrate Sponge prolongs the time allowed between water changes by keeping nitrates low!
Place Nitrate Sponge in a large mesh (800 micron) bag on top of your wet-dry filter or in a canister filter, where water will flow through the material. It can be used as an excellent media in de-nitrators and other slow-flow applications, and is more efficient in this type usage (see below). Test nitrates regularly. Several weeks will be required to see an appreciable drop in nitrates. (Caution: nitrate testing is the most difficult of all aquarium tests, and many aquarium test kits are inaccurate for marine systems. We recommend that you use the SeaTestTM or FasTestTM test kit by Aquarium Systems® for accurate results!)
Considerations for use:
Nitrates are best brought down initially with large water changes with a low nitrate salt, such as Kent Sea Salt. Deionization or reverse osmosis filtration of tap water nitrates will also help if your tap water contains significant levels of nitrates. Each treatment of Nitrate Sponge will reduce nitrates by about 20 ppm (total nitrates) for the stated size. Not overfeeding the tank, good maintenance practices, regularly vacuuming of detritus, regular use of Kent Marine Reef Carbon, and regular changing of filter floss are critical to nitrate control and water changes are absolutely necessary! Products which contain gluconates, other sugars and heavy organic chemicals should be avoided since they will foster undesirable growth of cyanobacteria. Phosphates and silicates are also nutrients or fertilizers which, given proper lighting and other nutrients, will promote rapid growth of undesirable algae, diatoms and cyanobacteria also. Kent Marine Phosphate Sponge can be used simultaneously with the Nitrate Sponge to lower the levels of these fertilizers and help reduce growth of these unsightly nuisances.
If you have a bad nitrate problem, consider purchasing a filter housing in which to place the Nitrate Sponge. Fill this housing with aquarium water and let stand totally closed, with no water movement for 3 weeks. This will give the bacteria time to multiply and populate the Nitrate Sponge. Tap your main pressure line from your aquarium pump with small airline tubing and a small air valve. Adjust the valve to allow one drop per second to flow out of the filter back into your sump. This unit requires no feeding and therefore cannot produce deadly hydrogen sulfide gas as other systems might.