How Do You Lower Nitrates In A Turtle Tank?

How Do You Lower Nitrates In A Turtle Tank
Written by Mehwish Imtiaz

Lowering nitrates in a turtle’s tank to the safe level is one of the most critical steps in maintaining its habitat. Turtle’s use tank’s water not only for swimming but also for drinking. High nitrates level in the tank’s water will increase their levels in your pet’s body too. Every living body extracts nitrates out by urinating. Otherwise, it will lead to metabolic acidosis and other metabolic diseases. Increased nitrate levels will put unnecessary pressure on the pet’s body, which can be lethal in the long run.

Therefore, it is highly advised to monitor the nitrates level’s in the turtle’s tank carefully. In this article, I will address all the solutions to keep low nitrate levels in your turtle’s tank.

Lowering Nitrates In A Turtle’s Tank

Performing standard water changes with little or no nitrate levels will lessen the general nitrate level within the aquarium. In the case your nearby water tap or healthy water is nitrate-rich, utilize deionized water treatment or reverse osmosis.  Doing this will offer resistance to the nitrate levels and will keep them in adequate amounts during alteration.

How Are Nitrates Produce In The Tank?

Nitrate is the component of turtle’s waste. Common sources include:

  1. Poops of aquatic organisms
  2. Decaying plants
  3. Unhygienic filters
  4. Any leftover or uneaten foods of either the turtles or the fishes.
  5. Adding more species in a small tank.

Overfeeding is a major cause of elevated levels of nitrates in a tank or an aquarium. Any uneaten food decays, driving to indeed more nitrates.

Moreover, if you have a small tank and inhibit a giant pet turtle or more species or breeds in a small habitat, it will quickly build up wastes. On the one hand, the live plants provide oxygen and increase the aesthetics of the tank, while on the other, they also increase the nitrates level. Dirty and non-working filters catalyze the problem.

How Much Is Nitrate Concentration Ok For The Turtle Tank?

40 ppm is enough. You should use below 50 ppm of concentration if it is near to or is 80ppm the water becomes toxic. If you have algae grown in the tank, then it should be 10ppm to avoid any danger.

Processes That Lower The Nitrate Levels In Water

Water Change

While maintaining a proper balance between the minerals of tank water, one important method is to change the tank water continuously.  In this way, the contaminated water is replaced by freshwater.

Addition Of Plants

Plants usually neutralize the levels of nitrates and nitrites in the tank water.

More Fish and other species:

Lessen the population of fishes and other species. If not possible, jump on to a bigger tank or use multiple tanks.

Water Conditioners

These are the products that remove the nitrates from the tank water.

Here are a few products which you can use to lower the concentration of nitrates in water:

Seachem Prime Fresh And Saltwater Conditioner

Seachem prime water conditioner not only removes the nitrates but it has some more benefits too. It also deals with other problems that may arise in the tank water. It is the safest nitrate remover. It is harmful in rare cases whenever the tank is overdosed by it. In fact, you can use this product every day as it breaks down entirely in two days. You can buy this product on Amazon.com for about $65.39.

Seachem Denitrator

It is also the best nitrate remover. It removes nitrates along with nitrates and ammonia, and other organics as well.

You can buy it on Amazon.com for about $51.83.

Hazards Of Increased Nitrate Levels In The Tank

  Exposure To Other Diseases:

Increased levels of nitrates in the tank are harmful to the fishes and turtles. No doubt nitrates are less toxic than nitrites. But nitrates also do harm a little, for sure. In this case, your turtle is more exposed to other diseases.

  Poor Growth:

High nitrate levels can affect the growth of fishes and turtles terribly.

  Threat To Reproductive Organs:

Nitrates will cause harm to the reproductive organs of both fishes and turtles if they both are kept in the high-level nitrate tank. They will be unable to reproduce.

  Threat To Life:

If the aquatic organisms are kept in a tank for too long, that is high in concentration of nitrates, and it will pose a threat to their lives. Your turtle might not live as long as you expect.

Can Nitrites Be Removed From The Water By Water Conditioners?

Yes, water conditioners usually make the hard water soft. They remove the heavy metals from the water. In addition, water conditioners also remove the nitrites and nitrates.

Another Method

To begin with, perform water changes with dechlorinated water to diminish the nitrite levels. The expansion of approximately 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon will avoid methemoglobin poisonous quality by blocking the nitrate assimilation. A mixture of aquarium salt and marine salt can be utilized in this process.

How To Remove Ammonia From Turtle Tank?

Removal of ammonia can be done by two simple methods, which are:

  Installation Of A Filter:

The filter filters the water from heavy metals, ammonia, chlorine. It makes the hard water soft to some extent. Good water conditioners do the adequate conversion for hard water into soft.

  Water Change:

This process is the same which is those done for nitrates, nitrites. You just have to change the tank water on a daily basis. You can replace the part of previous water with the fresh one. This will maintain the cleanliness of the water.

Do You Know?

Rather than the local freshwater aquarium, the turtle tanks must “cycle.” When cycling in total, the smelling salts, nitrates, nitrites that result from turtle squander, and uneaten nourishment breaking down within the water will be diminished to negligible levels. On the off chance that your turtle’s tank is as well little, it will be a bit difficult to keep it clean.

Turtle’s are messy organisms. They crap a lot, so in the case of a small tank, it will become dirty speedier. Moreover, the oceanic turtles love to swim, and a small tank is a turn-off for them. You must provide them with a larger tank for their sufficient exercise and swimming. This will make them even healthier. The tank will be less messy.

Why Is My Turtle Tank Green?

If there is a lot of algae growth in the tank. This is the reason that your tank looks green. To avoid this, you should clean your turtle’s tank daily. Algae has some adverse effects on turtle’s health. In the presence of algae, the nitrates and nitrites levels increase. So, you just have to monitor the growth of algae. If it’s growing beyond a specific limit, it will prove life-threatening for your turtle. A small amount of algae is acceptable. So, to cope up with this, you have to use the water, which has 10ppm of nitrates concentration of its own. The algae will balance the remaining concentration.

Pro Tip:

Daily cleanliness will avoid almost all these problems if the tank is not cleaned as per schedule. It will stink bad resulting in the stinking of the turtle itself.


The nitrates level in the turtle’s tank can be really harmful for their survival. So, it would be best to take appropriate measures to ensure that the concentration always stays at the lower end. Follow the above-mentioned tips to get excellent results.

In case of any other query, you may drop down the comment or contact us. We would be happy to help.