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Thread: Nitrate jump.

  1. Default Nitrate jump.

    0 Not allowed!
    I check my water every Sunday and do water changes every Monday. I was busy Sunday and never checked my water so I did it today before water change. Well my nitrate jumped from 10 ppm to I would say 40 ppm. So I did 30 gal water change. My last water change I did a deep vac on my gravel ( Ick clean up after heat treatment again) also my filters where flowing slow so light rinsed in bucket of tank water. ( one Platy and one tetra Died after this) Would this have caused the jump or would the new drift would cause the jump? test today was after I put driftwood in my tank.

    My last test was
    PH above 7.6 always has been since the day I started any of my tanks and my fish seem to be ok with it.
    Ammonia 0 ppm
    Nitrite 0 ppm
    Nitrate 10 ppm

    Todays test
    PH still above 7.6
    Ammonia 0 ppm
    Nitrite 0 ppm
    Nitrate 40 ppm to 80 ppm.

    Thanks Dean.

  2. Default

    3 Not allowed!
    I can't remember but I'm thinking this is a 55 gal tank? Don't recall your stock or if the tank is planted but again, if I remember, you're not over stocked. Often, a nitrate spike means you're over feeding, over stocked (probably not your issue) or under filtered and your filtration is not adequate to keep the nitrates under control. - can't remember that either. Would be helpful to know all of those things in this thread.

    Others will have some other ideas.

    In the meantime, a 50% W/C, as you did, will help, but remember, it only lowers the nitrates by half. I'd do another 50% W/C tomorrow and see what the reading is the next day.
    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:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    55 gal
    11 neon tetras
    5 black neon tetras
    1 gold Gourami
    8 tiger barbs
    1 red tail shark
    1 sunburst platy( had two but one just died after last water change)
    1 bulldog (rubber lip) pleco
    2 glowlight tetra(had 3 but one died after last water change)
    1 fiddler crab (think that's the name)
    3 ghost shrimp

    Filters are one penguin 350 bio wheel and one penguin 150 bio wheel
    No real plants and I just put drift wood that was soaking in petco fish tanks. But I scrubed them and soaked in boiling water before adding.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    O yeah and my high range PH is 8.4 and I only feed once a day. flake and some times frozen brine and then I use a baster to put a pellet in the pleco and sharks cave. so the barbs don't eat them and when I did my last water change I cleaned the gravel all the way down to the bottom. Had a lot of stuff in my bucket after I was done.
    Last edited by Freashfish; 11-04-2013 at 04:24 PM.

  5. #5


    4 Not allowed!
    The pleco is generating a lot of waste and I'm surprised the shark hasn't harrassed your other fish.

    I found my nitrates going to high as well and discovered lots of rotting food in the tubing of my filter (mainly shrimp) - stuff that got sucked up into my filter and just stayed in there.

    I assume you make it a point to vacuum inside the "cave" to get any leftover food?

    How much water do you change on Mondays? How often are you vacuuming? Many of us vacuum a different part of the tank every water change (all the way down to the bottom every time) - especially if you have several fish that are large waste producers it's helpful to be more thorough if you aren't already doing that.

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I haven't cleaned the tubes in my filter but I will do that when I get back from the store. Should I also clean the stuff on the filters where the water flow comes out. I was cleaning gravel one side a water change and also lift the rocks to clean caves. my pleco is only 4 inches last Monday I cleaned all the gravel to clean any ick that might be left in the gravel after the heat treatment. Thinking I may have cleaned to much of the gravel at one time.

    Thanks for the help Dean.

  7. Default

    3 Not allowed!
    cleaning too much gravel at one time could cause a loss of BB but not a nitrate spike.
    Imma is right on point with her comments.
    If you're doing all of that, then just stay the course. do that second W/C to get the nitrates down then watch closely. If it continues to be high, check the water in your tap = in fact, you might want to check that now to see if there are nitrates in your tap water.

    you could also try fasting them one day a week. it's so easy to overfeed. and it's difficult when you have such a mix of fish as I'm sure you're concerned that not all of them are getting enough. the pleco and shark don't need a pellet every day. you could go to every other day. a fish's stomach is roughly the size of their eye - keep that in mind. and keep in mind they sometimes go for days without feeding in the wild. I had a sick angel once that went 6 weeks without eating. she's fat and healthy now but that was a valuable lesson for me on food portion control.
    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:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the info fishmommie and imma !!

    I'll do another WC tomorrow and watch my feeding. Didn't know that about the fish stomach Thanks on that info.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    【ツ】 - korith So glad someone else takes KH seriously! - talldutchie most promising newbie award! - talldutchie Good advice. Stick around! - ~firefly~ A gift for your knowledge of Tetras. - steeler1 
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    1 Not allowed!
    As others have mentioned, increase your weekly water change volume. I change half my tanks every week. And I have live plants too, which help. Nitrates should be kept no higher than 10ppm, with 20ppm the absolute max. If nitrate rises above this, something is wrong (meaning the issues already mentioned in this thread).

    Live plants would help you. Even something as simple as floating plants like Water Sprite, Water Lettuce, Frogbit. Floating plants have the aerial advantage, being able to assimilate CO2 from the air faster than from water, and they are near the tank light, so they grow fast and this uses ammonia which then doesn't get converted to nitrite and nitrate, so the nitrate remains lower.

    Have you tested the tap water for nitrate? Just to know if this is or isn't a possible source.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    After shaking a jar of tap water readings are.
    Nitrate 0 ppm
    PH just over 7.6

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