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Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    Question Keeping Nitrates under control!

    0 Not allowed!
    For those of you that read my topic here you'll know somewhat of my situation, but here is the revised edition.
    Essentially I'm doing twice and sometimes thrice weekly water changes of ^50%, but I still can not seem to keep my Nitrates under control.
    I have tested my tap water and come up with 0ppm nitrates, yet within a day or so of me doing water changes my parameters are back into the dangerous dark oranges.
    I currently have 10 live plants which I hoped would be helping with nitrate control, but would love to get more, especially if it will help the situation.

    So my question to you all, what can I do to help keep my nitrates under better check? Water changes three times a week are becoming tiring especially that this is the 4th week with no apparent progress. Is it possible my filter is still cycling?

    Once more, the stock of my tank:
    1 Opaline Gourami
    5 Rosy Barbs
    3 Neon Tetras
    1 Albino Pleco
    1 African Dwarf Frog

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    The fact that you have higher nitrates tells me your tank is cycled. Below are a few things to try that I have found to work very well to keep nitrates lower (other than waterchanges):
    -Vac some of the substrate with each water change to keep crud from building up in the substrate
    -don't over stock your tank
    -don't over feed your fish
    -clean your filter media in old tank water about once a month
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the recommendations Cliff.
    I didn't think that my tank was over-stocked but someone said it could be a possibility with the fish I have. It's a 30g, what's your opinion on it for the stock I have?
    Also, I have cleaned my filter recently with tank water, and I don't usually feed my fish enough so that there is any left to decay.
    I haven't vac'd the substrate though recently, I'll put that on my to-do list for my next change!

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm not 100% sure if you are overstocked as I'm not very familiar with gouramis , but it doesn't too bad. Hopefully someone else can offer some better insight to that

    Cleaning the substrate will certain help. I clean about 1/3 (ish) of mine with each water change.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    How big is the albino pleco? Is this an albino version of the common pleco?

    What temp do you keep your tank at?

    What is the ammonia reading out of your tap?

    How many times a day do you feed your fish?

    How think is your gravel substrate?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Pleco is around an inch and a half/ two inches. He's about a year old now so I doubt he'll get bigger.
    Temp is 80-82
    One feeding at night
    Gravel is ~2-3 inches.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    if it's a bristle nose pleco, they are relatively slow growers and it's going to get bigger, but it should still be ok. Not sure how much waste a frog produces but other than that I don't think you are overstocked. I would do a full gravel clean, even under all decor, something is decaying if you are getting high readings. Could it be the test, the liquid ones require vigorous shaking of the 2nd liquid as is has particles that come out of suspension at rest and you need to shake hard to get them back in before you test.
    6ft Australian Fresh water turtle tank - 2 macleay river turtles, numerous guppy at varying stages of development.

    5ft 150gal planted discus tank - 8 discus, 10 cardinal tetras, 10 rummnose, 6 albino cories, and breeding RCS in tank sump and just about everywhere everything done from scratch, filtration and stand tank
    journal @

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

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    0 Not allowed!
    I just read through your other post as see you were using test strips and now have an API liquid test kit. Are you shaking the nitrate bottles enough? You really have to shake the crap out of them if they have been sitting unused for a while or you will get inaccurate readings.
    I see waack already posted about the testers while I was reading your other thread... I agree with waack, are you sure you are shaking the bottles enough.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    I'll do another test here in a few minutes and I'll shake the bottles to death! Thanks for the heads up!

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Shake away and let us know the results :)
    I've done that many times and within my 2 tests I get 0 nitrates and 100. lol, so it's good practice to do multiple tests and double check the procedure is correct

    i also dont think you are overstocked

    are you using any plant ferts? root tabs or liquid?

    lastly when you do clean the substrate, do what cliff does and 1/3 at a time. if you have a lot of gunk in there and try to clean it all on the first pass, you risk a mini ammonia spike due to the built up stuff down there and that'll hurt your fish real quick.

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