The Best Tips on How to Lower Nitrates in Your Freshwater Aquarium

 . in Maintenance

Close up of a small plant inside a freshwater tank, with tiny particles floating around it.

Fishkeeping is a very rewarding activity, but it also has its share of challenges. There are many things you need to do to make sure your fish have the best possible environment to live in. One of the essential aptitudes you need to have is knowing how to lower nitrates in your fish tank. If that gets out of hand, you will have serious problems.

Nitrates are one of the biggest threats to your fish health and wellbeing. Changing the water and adding live plants in the aquarium isn’t always enough, you need to take an extra step in removing nitrates. That means using a product specially designed to get the water inside your tank as clean as possible. Here is the list of the best products for lowering nitrates in freshwater aquariums.

How to Lower Nitrates in Your Freshwater Aquarium

Seachem is probably the best brand when it comes to water conditioners and treatments. You will probably use many of their products at some point during your fish keeping experience, and you will not regret it. This conditioner is a particularly good product, which is why we have placed it at the top of the list.

Any fish tank can benefit from a conditioner, and this one works for any type of aquarium, both freshwater, and marine. You can even use it in fish ponds.  Not only will you get rid of high nitrate in the fish tank, but it also removes chlorine and chloramine, and it detoxifies ammonia, nitrites and heavy metals.

To find out how to use it, read the instructions carefully. You will see what the correct dosage is, when to add it, and even how to solve critical levels in your water fast. If there are no serious problems, you can just use it for maintenance and to prevent any issues. Just add it during each water change at least every 4-5 weeks.

To get an idea on how long this bottle will last, a cap-full is the right dose for a 50-gallon aquarium. If you have a small tank, it would be a good idea to get a syringe to measure the amount correctly. Not only will you be sure you have added the right dose, but you will also save money by not wasting any drop of the product.

You will feel an unpleasant smell when you open the bottle, but it won’t make the water inside your tank smell.

You don’t have to worry about an overdose. It’s such a safe product, that you can even use a dose 5 times higher than the regular one if you have an emergency. So, the only reason to be careful how much you add is to make the bottle last longer.

It’s extremely safe for the inhabitants of your tank. However, don’t pour the dirty fish water in the garden if you grow vegetables you are planning to eat. But you can flush it down the toilet without any problem.


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What it removes?

Chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, heavy metals.

Take a look at the video below to see a buyer’s review:

Our Verdict

We absolutely love this product! The cons aren’t even close to making it not worth buying. It’s a great product, very efficient, concentrated, and safe for your fish and the environment. If you use it correctly, it will last a really long time, because it’s concentrated. It may be a little more expensive than others, but its value is much higher than the price. It’s a #1 bestseller on Amazon, and for a good reason. If you’re wondering how to lower nitrate levels in freshwater, this is the best solution.

#2 – Tetra EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner


Tetra EasyBalance is specially designed for freshwater aquariums. It does a great job maintaining the water in your tank chemically balanced. Just one dose every week will keep you away from any problems. It’s great for removing nitrates, phosphates, it regulates PH and alkalinity and adds a lot of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes in the water.

Your fish will feel much better after you add this to the water, they will be more energetic and have more appetite. You will be able to see the changes even one hour after you use it. Not only will your fish be happy, but you will no longer have the stress of too frequent water changes.

You can also use this product if your fish is sick. Add it with the medication, and it will actually help their recovery. It’s full of vitamin B and other healthy ingredients that will get them better sooner than you think.

There is one thing you need to know before buying this product. It’s yellow and very thick and you will have to shake it very well for a few minutes before using it, to avoid clots. If you shake it for 5 minutes, it won’t be that clumpy, but it will still have some particles. That’s ok; those grains will settle at the bottom and slowly dissolve in 1 or 2 hours. For the weekly water change, it’s a good idea to dissolve it in the water before adding it to the tank.



What it removes?

It reduces nitrates, phosphates, and keeps the PH at the ideal level.

Take a look at this presentation of EasyBalance and AqyaSafe, from Tetra:

Our Verdict

Tetra is one of the trusted brands when it comes to fish tanks, but also water conditioner and treatments. They have many products you may use for your aquarium, but this particular one is very good for removing nitrate from water. It may not solve all the problems, so you will have to combine it with other products. But the price is so low, it’s worth it!

#3 – Seachem Denitrate 1 Liter


We’re back to Seachem for another great product. This time it’s a high porosity filtration that will remove high nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and organics. It’s an amazing support for the biological filter, both for freshwater and marine tanks.

Seachem Denitrate is a solid porous substance that has about 4 mm in diameter, like small white pebbles. It provides anaerobic denitrification without any special culture feedings. It will get you safe nitrate levels in the aquarium, and also get rid of ammonia. But this is not meant for extremely high levels of nitrate.

To make sure it does the best job, place it where there’s a good flow of water, like in the canister filter or box filter. And make sure the flow rate doesn’t exceed 50 gallons per hour. It would also be a good idea to put it in a media bag, not directly in the filter. That way, you will avoid any small fragments getting sucked up through the filter and getting in the tank. They can damage the propeller.

We’re not dealing with a chemical substance, but a biological media that helps the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which will perform denitrification. It works and is very safe for the fish, it doesn’t bring any disruption in the normal activity inside your aquarium.

Before you use it, make sure you rinse it very well, to get rid of any dust.



What it removes?

Nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and organics.

Take a look at this video to see how to create a ‘slow-flow’ reactor in a canister filter, using Seachem Denitrate:

Our Verdict

This is another great option from Seachem, and it’s definitely worth buying. You just need to make sure you get it for maintenance or for solving a low-to-medium nitrate problem. It’s not meant for crisis situations. Other than that, it’s an excellent nitrate remover.

#4 – Microbe-Lift NiteOutII for Home Aquariums


Microbe-Lift is another good brand for conditioners and treatments for your aquarium. If you need to remove nitrates from the water, this one can help you. It’s great because it has no chemicals, so it’s safe for your fish.

It will get rid not just of nitrate, but also organic waste, ammonia, and nitrites. Your water will be crystal clear and free of toxins. You can use it for maintenance, because it will provide continuous removal of ammonia. But if you need to instantly cycle the tank, you must also use Micro-Lift Special Blend. Together, they will do the trick.

Make sure you read the instructions very carefully before using it. You will see that if you use it in a tank with live animals, you need to be sure the tank is extremely well oxygenated. That is very important, so you can use air stones to get the right level of oxygen. People who have complained about this product killing their fish usually had ignored this step.



What it removes?

aquarium nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, organic waste.

Take a look below for a video presentation of this product, from the manufacturer:

Our Verdict

Apart from the smell, we haven’t found any negative aspects of this product. And the unpleasant smell isn’t unusual for these water treatments. The fact is it’s a safe, chemical-free product that acts quickly and is easy to use. So, it’s definitely worth buying.

#5 – Seachem Purigen Organic Filtration Resin


We have another Seachem product on the list, this time a premium synthetic filter resin. You can use it both for freshwater and marine tanks, and one pack is enough for 100 gallons.

Purigen is a macro-porous synthetic polymer, and it’s great at removing nitrates and other impurities from the water. The color can differ from one pack to another, from cream to light yellow. It comes in a bag, so all you need to do is rinse it very well with tap water and put it in your filter. It’s an addition to your filter media, so it doesn’t replace the carbon or any other element.

This organic resin has a large capacity. Its pores actually create a larger usable surface area, so it will be extremely efficient if you want to remove nitrate from the fish tank. And the best part is you can regenerate it by placing it in a solution of bleach and water. This way, you will remove the organics it has collected from the tank, and the resin will be ready to go back to work. However, at this price, you can just get a new one without any remorse.

People mostly use this in planted tanks that have Mopani or other types of driftwood, because it removes the tannins from the water and keeps it clean and clear. But it’s also great for any other type of aquarium.

Purigen works very well and also fast. If you place it in the tank in the evening, by morning you will already see that the aquarium nitrate level has dropped, and the water is extremely clear. It’s like suddenly getting HD vision.

You need to be careful when using this product along with others. Some slime coat products contain a substance that will make Purigen useless, and it won’t be able to regenerate. If you need to use such a product, just remove the resin from the filter for 1 or 2 days. Even if you forget to do that, you don’t have to worry about safety. Purigen won’t become toxic, it will just stop working.



What it removes?

You can use it for removing nitrate from the aquarium, as well as nitrite and ammonia.

For a video presentation of Purigen, take a look below:

Our Verdict

This is another great choice from Seachem for when you don’t know how to lower nitrates or ammonia in your aquarium. It’s great for any type of tank, if you make sure not to combine it with certain slime coats. It’s definitely worth using.

#6 – KORDON AmQuel Plus for Aquarium


Kordon is a well-established brand that makes a lot of great products to help you keep your fish happy. And to have safe nitrate levels in the aquarium, AmQuel Plus is a very good option. You can use it in any type of tank, for removing nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, chlorine and chloramines.

And it really works, nitrates will be reduced to zero in no time. It’s extremely efficient and safe, as long as you follow the instructions correctly. That means to only use it in a well-aerated tank. Use an air stone to make sure your fish will have enough oxygen. Another issue is that you cannot use it for long periods, because it will affect the PH levels in the tank.

AmQuel can be used with other water conditioners, and even with herbal fish medications. It’s even suitable for ponds. It will keep your water clean and help you reduce the frequency of water changes.



What it removes?

It’s a nitrate remover that also gets rid of nitrite, ammonia, chlorine and chloramines.

AmQuel is not only great if you want to lower nitrates in the aquarium, but it also removes ammonia, as you can see in the following video:

Our Verdict

AmQuel is definitely a good product for lowering nitrates in freshwater aquariums, as long as you follow the instructions. It works well and fast and doesn’t cost much, so it’s worth trying it.

#7 – API NITRA-ZORB SIZE 6 Aquarium Canister Filter Filtration Pouch


API is one of the most trusted and popular brands for fish food and water treatments. And this product is great for nitrates in fish tanks problems. It’s a bag that you put in your canister filter, and it removes toxins and prevents algae from growing like crazy.

The best thing about Nitra-Zorb is that is can also be used as a fast solution for emergencies. It even works overnight! It will remove nitrate from the fish tank faster than you think and keep the water crystal clear. Just make sure you rinse it very well before placing it in the filter.

There is only one issue with this product, but it can be fixed very easily. Although the pack says that it fits most filters, it doesn’t. It’s actually designed for a certain type of filter. If your tank is smaller, it won’t fit. But you can still use it, just take it out and move it into a smaller bag. It works well and it’s worth the trouble.

Nitra-Zorb does an excellent job removing nitrates, but you must remember to recharge it once in a while. All you have to do is place it in a salt solution.



What it removes?

It’s great for removing nitrates, nitrite, and ammonia.

Check out the next video, to see Nitra-Zorb being tested:

Our Verdict

This is a very good solution if you have high nitrates in water. It may not be as spectacular as some of the other products, but it works well, it keeps your fish safe, and it’s rechargeable so you will be saving money. If you don’t mind moving it to another bag, we think you should try this product.

#8 – Algone Aquarium Water Clarifier and Nitrate Remover


This is another product that comes in filter pouches. The package contains 6 pouches, and it can treat up to 330 gallons of water. It can be used in tanks of many sizes, from 5 to 110 gallons, to lower nitrate levels in freshwater and marine aquariums.

Algone is safe for your fish and for any plants you may have in the aquarium. It cleans the water and prevents it from getting cloudy. You will notice that your fish have more energy, and the water will be sparkling clean.

You must keep in mind that the pouch will need to be rinsed once in a while, because they collect organics from the water and need to be cleaned. Also, if your nitrate problem is really serious, this product may not be enough on its own. But if you combine it with Instant Natural Nitrate Remover, for instance, they will get the job done.



What it removes?

You can use it for removing nitrates and ammonia.

Take a look at the next video to see Algone in action in a fish pond:

Our Verdict

This may not be the best nitrate remover on the market, but it’s a decent product. If your nitrate levels aren’t through the roof, it will lower them. It’s safe, easy to use and affordable, so there’s no reason not to try it.

#9 – Seachem Matrix Bio Media 1 Liter


This is the last Seachem product on the list. When you open it, you may think you have just bought a container of overpriced pebbles. But Matrix is definitely worth the money. It looks like pebbles because it’s a mined product. It should be grey, but sometimes pieces of black Obsidian are mixed in. They are supposed to be removed by hand before packaging, but some still make their way inside. Just take those away, rinse the rest and you are ready to go.

Matrix is a porous media and a perfect surface for biological bacteria. It will do a great job removing nitrates, nitrites and ammonia in freshwater, marine and reef tanks. But it’s not a quick fix. Since this product doesn’t directly eliminate nitrates, but rather provide a home for the nitrate-eating bacteria, the process takes longer. It is efficient, but for maintenance and prevention, not to solve a crisis. On the bright side, you don’t have to ever replace it.



What it removes?

Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate remover.

For a review showing all the benefits of Matrix, take a look at this video:

Our Verdict

This is a product that will keep the level of nitrates in fish tanks at zero. It’s that simple. It’s easy to use, safe, and very cost-efficient, considering you don’t have to replace it, ever! The fact that you need to wash it before using it is hardly a problem. It’s a great way to make sure you have good bacteria in your tank, so it’s definitely worth buying.

#10 – Dr. Tim’s Aquatics Ammonium Chloride Aquarium Treatment


Dr. Tim’s Aquatics has all sorts of products for all types of tanks, and even for ponds. In this case, it a 100% natural product that works both for freshwater and marine tanks. It has an interesting form of pellets, it’s eco-friendly, and it removes toxins without affecting the fish in any way.

If you don’t know how to lower nitrates, this is an excellent choice. And it will also remove phosphates naturally. It doesn’t work overnight, but if you are patient, you will have a perfectly balanced environment, and you won’t have to worry about the aquarium nitrate level.

It’s an alternative to carbon dosing, and it’s completely safe for fish and corals. The product comes in different sizes, but if you have a small tank, we recommend that you choose the 50-gallon option, as it’s cheaper.

As with any other product, and especially for water treatments, you must read the instructions carefully first. And start small, with gentle cleaning. Make sure you set your tumbler to a light mode. Remember, your fish won’t like any sudden changes, not even if they improve their environment.



What it removes?

You can use it for removing nitrates and phosphates.

To get an idea on how efficient this brand’s products are, take a look at this video and see Dr. Tim do fishless cycling on a new aquarium:

Our Verdict

This may not be one of the most popular products on the market, mainly because the price is a bit higher and it takes longer to work, but it’s still a great choice. The fact that it’s all-natural is very important. It’s also easy to use and if you don’t have an urgent need forremoving nitrates, it will work very well.

What Are Nitrates?

Nitrates are a combination of nitrogen and oxygen, more precisely one molecule of nitrogen and three of oxygen. There are nitrates in nature, in our environment, and even in some of the food we eat. The food industry uses them as preservatives and colorants, so they aren’t necessarily toxic, depending on the concentration. On the other hand, they also use them in gunpowder, fertilizers and industrial products, so they have a pretty large usage.

In the fishkeeping business, nitrates are the indirect result of fish waste. Uneaten food, fish waste and decaying plants release ammonia, which in turn produces nitrates. Ammonia is extremely harmful to fish, so nitrate must also be removed from aquariums. Since it’s a gas that has no color and no odor, its’ presence won’t be obvious to you. But it can be detected if you test the water.

Why are nitrates bad in the water? The plants may love it, but they are essentially poison for your fish. Apart from that, a nitrate aquarium is also low on oxygen, which is another source of discomfort for the fish.

What causes nitrates in the aquarium water?

High levels of nitrates in fish tanks are caused by a faulty cleaning process, usually. Since nitrate is the result of too much waste in the water, the main causes are:

  • This is a common mistake, especially among beginners. Out of too much enthusiasm, you may give your fish much more food than they need. They won’t benefit from it, because it’s better to have a balanced diet. And, at the same time, that extra food will either be digested and will create extra waste, or it will build up at the bottom at the tank, as a different type of waste. Either way, it will lead to high nitrates in water.
  • It may be fun to watch a bunch of fish swimming around the aquarium, but you shouldn’t add too many. If you overcrowd the tank, they won’t have enough space to move, enough oxygen and won’t feel comfortable. But it also means there will be more waste in the water.
  • Inefficient cleaning. If you don’t clean the aquarium regularly, the water will start to smell, and it will get cloudy and change its color. A dirty tank means more nitrates and growing algae, which will affect your fish’ health, not just the aspect of the aquarium.

What Are the Safe Nitrate Levels in an Aquarium?

Freshwater tanks can stand higher levels of nitrate than marine aquariums, but the difference isn’t that big. Ideally, the level shouldn’t get higher than 5 to 10 ppm. Even with levels this low, your fish will still feel stressed. But if the nitrate level should never get to 50 ppm or higher, if you want your fish to be safe. It’s even better to keep in under 25 ppm and do your best to lower it even more.

How Does Nitrate Affect Fish?

Nitrates in fish tanks have about the same effect as toxins would have on a human. Their immune system will be affected, so they will get sick easier. They will not grow as fast and as strong as they should and may even have trouble reproducing.

What are the symptoms of nitrate poisoning of fish?

Nitrate poisoning has serious effects on fish, but if you detect it early you can save them. Apart from testing the water, you can detect or at least suspect high levels of nitrate by following your fish’sbehavior. There are certain changes that occur in their activity and their general state that can tell you it’s time to check the water. It can happen gradually or start with only one fish, so it’s a good idea to always keep an eye on them. These are the symptoms of nitrate poisoning in fish:

  • They lose their appetite
  • They move their gills rapidly, as a sign of an accelerated respiration rate
  • They look dazed
  • They are disoriented
  • They start laying at the bottom of the tank
  • In really bad cases, they get into a curled position.

Can a fish recover from nitrate poisoning?

At this point, we need to mention there are two situations when it comes to nitrates and the level of toxicity for fish:

  • Nitrate poisoning happens when they are exposed gradually, and the levels grow in time.
  • Nitrate shock happens when the level of nitrate in the water changes suddenly and substantially

Fish can survive and recover from nitrate poisoning, while nitrate shock usually kills them. But what you need to keep in mind is that even a sudden drop in nitrate levels still means shock for the fish. So, if you detect extremely high levels, under no circumstance should you do drastic water changes, because it can kill the fish.

How do high nitrates affect plants in an aquarium?

While fish will feel stressed and get sick in a nitrate aquarium, plants will love it. They will use it to feed and grow. So, a heavily planted tank will be a safer environment for your fish. Even with many plants, you still need to check the water, because they may not be able to absorb all the nitrates, and the fish will still suffer.

How to Fix Nitrate Levels in Freshwater Fish Tanks

If you noticed something strange in your fish behavior and found a nitrate problem, you need to take immediate measures to prevent further damage and allow your fish to heal. If you aren’t sure how to lower nitrates, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Do a partial water change. Even if you may be tempted to change it all to get rid of the nitrate, don’t do it! Such a massive drop in nitrate levels will send you fish into shock. Remove about 30% of the water and vacuum the gravel very well to remove any built-up waste.
  • Use a nitrate remover for freshwater aquariums and add it in the tap water before making the partial water change. You need to normalize the nitrate levels gradually.
  • Gently rinse the filter media. Don’t clean it too well, to get rid of all the bacteria.
  • Add live plants, if possible. They help lowering nitrates in fish tanks.
  • If your aquarium is overpopulated, move some of the fish, to avoid extra waste. If you cannot get a larger tank, find a small one to put some of the fish, at least as a temporary solution.
  • Make sure you don’t overfeed the fish.
  • Keep testing the water.

Nitrate vs. Nitrite – What Is the Difference?

Both nitrates and nitrites are toxic for your fish, along with ammonia. The nitrate is the least toxic form, but it’s still very important to be removed from the water. It all starts with the waste inside the tank:

  1. Fish waste, uneaten food, and plants are breaking down in the water and create ammonia.
  2. Ammonia is turned into nitrites by nitrifying bacteria.
  3. Beneficial nitrifying bacteria convert nitrite into nitrate.
  4. Nitrate is used by plants to grow, but the excess is toxic for the fish, so it must be removed.

Now that you know what creates nitrates and that there’s an entire chain of toxicity going on inside that water, it’s clear why it’s so important to keep everything balanced. Good bacteria is essential, and it’s crucial to find the best nitrate remover.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Nitrate Remover

Keeping live plants and cleaning the tank may not be sufficient at some point. If for whatever reason, you have a high nitrate aquarium, you need extra help. It’s time for a nitrate remover. To make sure you buy the right one, these are the things you need to consider:

  • How fast you need it to work. As you can see from our list, some of them are great for removing nitrates quickly, while others are more suited for prevention and maintenance.
  • Safety. The best nitrate remover for freshwater is as natural as possible and presents no threat to the fish. Make sure you read the label very carefully.
  • Brand. There is a huge variety on the market, but when it comes to water treatments, always choose one of the trusted brands. There’s no point in risking your fish’ health by testing an unknown product.
  • Choose one that’s cost-efficient. Some nitrate removers are very concentrated, so even if they seem expensive, you will be using them for a long time, so they are worth the price. Some of them can be recharged, while others have no expiration date.
  • Overdose issues. Try not to pick a product that is easy to overdose, but one with a larger margin. Natural and eco-friendly nitrate removers don’t present such dangers. Clear instructions are particularly important, so avoid any product that doesn’t have complete and accurate instructions on how to apply it.
  • Make sure it removes all the toxins. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to pair it with another product, to get rid of everything. Along with removing nitrates, it should also take care of nitrites, ammonia, chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals and phosphates.

What Is the Most Efficient Type of Nitrate Remover?

The answer to that question depends on a few factors, like the gravity of the nitrate problem and the type of aquarium you have. There are many forms of nitrate removers on the market:

  • Liquid water conditioner
  • Sponge
  • Pads
  • Tablets
  • Pellets

If you have an urgent need for removing nitrates, the liquid one is the best option. For maintenance, they all are efficient, as long as they are high-quality products.

The Main Pollutants in Fish Tanks?

As you can see from our list of nitrate removers, your fish face a lot of toxic threats. And not all products are generally efficient against every pollutant. Here are the main toxins you need to remove:

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Phosphates
  • Heavy metals
  • Chlorine
  • Chloramine

They may not all be equally dangerous, but you still need to test the water for everything and take all the necessary measures to keep the environment as balanced and safe as possible.

How to Prevent High Levels of Nitrates in Fish Tanks?

Prevention is definitely preferable to treatment, so it’s important to take all the necessary measures not to be forced to find out how to lower nitrates.

The first thing you need to remember is to frequently test the water. It’s not enough to do partial water changes, these toxins aren’t always visible to the naked eye. It’s true sometimes there are signs that show you that something is wrong, like the color of the water or the way fish behave. But usually, when you notice those signs, the problem is already quite serious. So, make a habit of testing the water.

Live plants are a great toxin remover and fish tank odor eliminator, because they absorb nitrates. So, a heavily planted tank will do part of the work for you. That is, of course, if you have enough space for many plants.

Overfeeding the fish is a common mistake that leads to high nitrates in fish tanks. Keep in mind that the extra food you add won’t be a fun snack for your fish, but will probably end up at the bottom of the tank, and will turn into ammonia.

Overstocking the aquarium is bad in general, and is one of the common causes of high nitrate levels. More fish means more waste, and the beneficial bacteria may not be able to keep up with their rhythm.

Last but not least, cleaning the aquarium is extremely important. Unless you have a self-cleaning system in place, you must never skip or postpone water changes. You can, however, take some measures to make them less frequent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would my tank have nitrates with no fish? Nitrates in a tank with no fish sound a bit strange, but it can happen. The most common cause is the quality of the tap water. In some regions of the US, there is a serious problem with high-nitrate water supply. It can actually be as high as 40 ppm. So, it’s very important to test the water as often as possible.

Apart from that, the reason can also be decaying plants, which are another source of waste in the aquarium, just like dirty gravel, unwashed filters, or uneaten food that hasn’t been vacuumed.

What is the best item to lower ammonia and nitrate and nitrite levels in aquariums? There are many great products on the market to help you keep your aquarium clean. Our list contains a lot of great options for removing nitrates, and we have also listed some useful pieces of advice on how to lower nitrates and choose the right product. As an extra suggestion, Seachem Prime has made it to the top of the list because it really checks all the boxes and is a truly excellent product. But you must choose according to your specific situation, after considering all the aspects.

Which fish are more sensitive to nitrates? All fish are affected by nitrates in fish tanks, especially if the levels are high. But it’s worse for younger fish, because they aren’t strong enough to fight it. Apart from immature fish, there is a species that seems to be more sensitive to nitrates: the Discus.

How can I test my tap water for nitrates? You would be surprised to know what’s in that glass of tap water you plan to drink. Testing the water for nitrates is a great idea, for your own health. But if you also use it in your aquarium, testing becomes mandatory, and you cannot just rely on your water company. There are many testing kits available on the market, and many cover many toxins, not just nitrate. You use strips and you can tell by the way they change color how clean your water is. 


What is a nitrate reactor? A nitrate reactor is the means to place the biological media inside the tank. You can get them on Amazon for different prices, depending on the brand and size. 

How long can a nitrate poisoned goldfish survive? Depending on how serious the nitrate poisoning was, a goldfish can feel better after a few days, and live for a few months or even longer after the incident. However, you should know that your fish will never be the same after nitrate poisoning, their organism can be permanently affected. That’s why it is far more important to prevent such situations.


Owning an aquarium will bring many challenges, not just for beginners. But learning how to lower nitrates is one of the most important lessons. The balance of the environment you create inside the tank is pretty fragile, and nitrate is one of the most dangerous enemies. It can cause problems even if you follow the cleaning schedule, so it’s extremely important to test the water regularly. If prevention methods don’t work, the good news is that there are products on the market that can help you restore the balance. We have selected some great options so you can easily choose the best nitrate remover for your freshwater tank.

It’s important not to get overwhelmed by the danger of toxins in the aquarium. They are very serious problems, but they can be avoided if you follow our advice. And if a crisis does happen, don’t forget to fix it gradually. Any sudden change, even a drop in nitrate level, will harm your fish even more and could even send them into shock. So just take it step by step, keep testing, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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