Nitrates won't stay away!
OK, I'm still having problems with the Nitrate level in my water. So I was hoping you all here could see what you think of my problem.
I have a 75G that has been cycled for about 3-4 weeks. Here the major info:
Nitrates-10 going up to 40
Eheim Classic 2217 Canister filter
Aqueon Quietflow 55/75 HOB filter
Heater, set at 76/78
Eco Complete Substrate- 2&1/2"
12-Mondo Grass Plants...All healthy, no rotting, no deteriorating leaves, had for 3 or 4 months.
2-Silver Dollar Tetras
1-Honey Dwarf Gourami
1-Very Clever and Fast Baby Guppy
I feed a small pinch of Tetra Flakes in the morning and the either a pinch of some other food or a cube of frozen Brine Shrimp (thawed in a cup of tank water) at night. I switch foods around, sometimes feeding shrimp pellets, Betta pellets, freeze dry tubiflex worms, freeze dry brine shrimp, and some other small pellet fish food. I have a piece of lettuce or cucumber weighted down, and I leave it in the tank for a day or two every couple of weeks. I also feed algae tablets every so often. If there is food left in the bottom of the tank, specially the pellet food, I skip feeding the next day. So I don't see over feeding being a factor in my problem, or over stocking.
I do 50%/75% WC each week after testing my water. I try to do them on either Friday or Saturday, to keep consistent. I have an API Master kit that is about 11 months old, and I only use Prime, usually 1 & 1/2 the dosage.
My temp is set at 76/78, I turn my florescent light on at 10:00am and turn it off at 10:00pm. I have no algae growing in my tank.
I tested the water from my tap after adding Prime to it, and my readings were:
So if any of you have any ideals of why I'm running into this problem, I'm anxious to hear from you. Please, no offense to any one, but can we stay on topic...I read and been told before about 2 male Gouramis or Gouramis and a Betta should not be kept in the same tank. Mine have been doing fine for months now. Oh yeah, there's the occasional "chase" to reclaim the territory, but endless harassment, fin nipping, or head butting..and I know I should have more than 2 Silver Dollars cause they school, but I can handle those things later. Right now I need to get my Nitrates down to a safe level for all my fish.
Why I have nitrates increase, I find it's due to my filters needing a good rinsing out. A water change will bring them down, as you know, but if the water is running through some pretty dirty media, it just climbs up there again.
+ 1 - I found that once I cleaned the hoses to my cannister filter, my nitrates weren't up so high anymore - I found lots of old food in them.
Originally Posted by andreahp
Thank you both. I rinsed the biomedia from my 2217 by running the tank water I was getting when I did my WC through it a number of times. The sponge pad in the 2217 I rinsed in a bucket of tank water till it was clean. My tubing was fine...no build up at all. I clean the inlet tube on my Quietflow HOB, and rinse the boibag, again in old tank water.
Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
I did an 80% WC, and I tested my tap water again after adding Prime to a glass of it and letting it stand for about 30 minutes. All 3 test came up 0, which I was quite happy about.
I didn't feed my fish that day and waited till the next morning to test the water. Ammonia and Nitrites were 0, Nitrates were 20.
Is this a major concern right now? All my fish are doing extremely well...eating, swimming around, "playful" and even a few of my fish that I could tell were being stressed out in the 29G, are vivid, and lively.
I guess I'm more worried that as I increase the number of fish, the Nitrates are only going to get worst. If I can't keep a handle on them right now, what will it be like in the future? I want to add some more fish. I'm not planning on getting a ton of fish, and the ones I want would have a small bioload (like Jumble Neons, a few small Corys, and a couple of male Guppies.)
Still a little frustrated...Ghpr13
Until you get a handle on the nitrates, it's not wise to add more fish - why add to your problem?
Whenever there is an unexplained issue in your tank, it's best to figure out how to eliminate it before subjecting new fish to it or increasing the problem.
It sound like you did what you needed to with your filter in order to address the problem - try feeding every other day and only enough to be eaten in about 3 minutes.
++ to what everyone has said. If I see nitrates rising in my 30 gal, it's a sure sign I need to clean my filter and filter media. It also probably means I'm feeding more than I think I am :o(
Try a day of fasting once a week and see if that doesn't help. it's also good for the fish.
I didn't see any mention of vacuuming your substrate. you take such good care of your tank, though, I suspect you also do regular vacuuming. But having said that, a really deep vac, where you shove the hose deep into the substrate may offer some nitrate reduction.
30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
90 Gal Journal: http://bit.ly/1vC7gVX
fishless cycling: http://bit.ly/1DARf3T
fish in cycling: http://bit.ly/1ILvcfp
What is your nitrate level out of the tap? I know my nitrate level rose dramatically after Hurricane Sandy because we were on boil water restrictions and the water company added mass quantities of chemicals to our water supply. I would urge you to check your tap water parameters.
andreahp & fishmommie,
Don't worry, I'm not going to get another fish until I get a handle on this. I will try to do a deeper cleaning of my substrate. On feeding, I guess I can try feeding less, but in all seriousness, there's no food left in the tank after about 3 of 4 minutes. And I only feed them once in the morning and once in the evening...just a pinch both time. Any food that land on the bottom is being eaten by my fish...my silver dollars will go all around looking for food on the bottom. But I could try the every other day feeding and only once a day, seeing what kind of impact that makes.
I'm also thinking about getting another canister filter,figuring you can't have too much filtration.
Well thanks again, and have a great Thanksgiving Day!
Confused or maybe I'm just misinterpreting this post, but please explain - I'm no expert.
Just cleaning filters or hoses brings nitrate levels down doesn't make sense. Nitrate is just the by product from nitrites being converted. I'm not aware of any other source (other than tap water) that produce levels of nitrates.
So remove the extra food, dying plants, or what have you can potentially SLOW DOWN nitrate levels but it won't lower them. I only know of two ways to REMOVE nitrates, water changes and plants. You can also dilute nitrates by adding water, but really who can add enough without overflowing their tank.
Those with experience can you explain all the ways to get levels of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates (naturally) and if there's a natural way to lower these elements.
Not wanting to hang anyone, just with all I've read regarding the nitrogen cycle it doesn't make sense cleaning filters, hoses, decor, will lower nitrate.
Does nitrate stick to filter media?
Last edited by ijankrom; 11-19-2012 at 04:01 PM.
25 Gal - Tropical
Custom made Wet/Dry/Sump Filter System, AquaClear 20 Powerhead, RenaCal Excel 300 Heater, artificial plants
- 7 Blackskirt Tetras, German Blue Ram, Bulldog Pleco, Assassin snail.
"Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." King Solomon.
Pictures of my 10 Gal Sump Filtration project