How To Increase Nitrates In Reef Tank (And What to Use!)

Want to know how to increase nitrates in reef tank?

Reef tanks should have a reduced number of nitrates to maintain a healthy environment. The range is often set at somewhere between 0.25 ppm and 5 ppm.

If the goal is to increase the nitrates in the reef tank then it’s best to do it as safely as possible.

Remember, too much nitrate, especially if it crosses the upper limit (5 ppm) is going to cause irritation and/or other relevant health concerns in fish.

These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Refusal to Eat
  • Pain

There are many examples of fish dying because of too much nitrate in the reef tank!

This is why it’s best to learn how to increase nitrates in reef tank using a safe and tested solution. If you are methodical with your approach, the ideal nitrate level can be reached relatively quickly.

This guide is going to teach you how to increase nitrates in reef tank along with what to think about during the process to ensure your fish are safe.

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Tips on How To Increase Nitrates In Reef Tank Safely

Tip #1: Use High-Grade Potassium Nitrate

The best solution involves using high-grade potassium nitrate such as the one sold by Fireworks on Amazon.

This high-grade potassium nitrate is going to provide a quick, streamlined solution that’s easy to measure. Take a bit of the powder and start adding it to the water.

It will immediately start to spread through the reef tank ensuring the nitrate levels in the reef tank rise.

Please note, it’s strong, so take your time during the process and don’t add too much! This may have a negative effect on your fish.

The benefits of this solution include:

  • Complete Protection
  • Easy to Install
  • Immediate Results

As you learn how to increase nitrates in reef tanks, this is a solution that’s going to be the quickest. The pure nitrate is going to quickly interact with the water and change the reef tank’s nitrate levels in seconds.

Of course, it’s recommended to keep testing the water during this process.

Start gradually and see how the numbers rise. You will be surprised as to how quickly everything rises because nitrates aren’t expected to reach high levels in a reef tank.

By testing the water, it will be easier to determine how much you need to add based on the tank’s size. Sometimes, all you are going to need is a pinch of nitrate to get the job done as it mixes into the reef tank.

Keep this in mind as you figure out how to increase nitrates in reef tanks safely.

how to increase nitrates in reef tank

Tip #2: Gradually Increase the Feedings

What is the most natural way of increasing nitrates in the reef tank?

It will come through increasing feedings. Look for fish foods that are known for being higher in nitrates and/or increase the number of feedings throughout a 24-hour cycle.

If you do this, it is going to become easier for the nitrates to increase because the fish will have leftovers spread throughout the water.

Nitrates from fish food are often the most “natural” means of adding them into the reef rank, which is why it’s best to start with increased feedings throughout the day.

Just like adding potassium nitrate into the reef tank, you have to make sure to be measured with your approach.

Increasing the feedings is a wonderful idea, but it needs to be done patiently. Otherwise, you can end up harming the living organisms in your reef tank with a possibility of death.

This is why remaining within the acceptable range of 0.25 ppm and 5 ppm is imperative!

Tip #3: Keep Testing

Using a high-grade testing solution such as the Salifert Nitrate Test Kit is the way to go.

This is a simple test kit that is going to give you quick readings of what’s going on in the reef tank. This is essential when you start taking corrective measures to increase the nitrates in the reef tank.

Use the test kit, find out what the current nitrate levels are, and then move forward with your solution.

Initial readings can be low, which is why it’s recommended to document multiple readings using a high-end test kit.

This test kit is going to ensure things are done in a measured way to avoid serious consequences.

If the reading is already indicating the nitrate level is close to 0.25 ppm then it’s best to do things naturally (i.e. increased feedings).

If it is sitting at 0 ppm then you can start considering solutions such as potassium nitrate.

how to increase nitrates in reef tank

Tip #4: Reduce the Number of Water Changes

As you learn how to increase nitrates in reef tanks, you will understand it’s the water changes that are going to lead to massive fluctuations.

A good solution is to reduce the number of water changes throughout the year.

This will immediately keep the nitrate levels high in your reef tank. Of course, you still want to keep the water fresh for the fish, so continue to monitor the levels and set a schedule for water changes.

Final Thoughts

For those figuring out how to increase nitrates in reef tanks, it’s important to start with increased feedings and then venture towards a high-powered solution such as pure potassium nitrate online.

If you are measured with your approach, the results are going to be in line with what you need.

Remember, the reef tank is generally going to have low nitrate levels, so overdoing the increase is dangerous and unnecessary.

Stay patient, take readings using your test kit, and keep it within the listed range.

For more on how to take care of your reef tank, read these articles – how to remove water fleas in a fish tank, tips for cleaning fish tank sand, how to warm up a fish tank, and good ich treatment for fish tank.