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Thread: Brown Hair Algae In A Filter?
12-31-2013, 11:38 AM #11
The issue with any large water change is matching pH. If the water you are adding has a pH within 0.2 of the tank, all will be fine. If not, than a series of small water changes will be required. A lot depends on if your water is hard or soft. If soft, very likely the pH will drift and be different than the source water. Good idea to measure the pH of the tank and source water. If your water is chlorinated, remember to use the correct amount of de-chlorinating chemical.
I do not know how often you change (never just add!) the tanks water. I do a 100% exchange over the week (I have a constant flow system since I have well water that is soft.) Many people aim for at least a 30% weekly change but just remember that two 15% water changes do not exactly add up to one 30% change; rather it is a little less (about 27% w/c.)
Also, do not forget to clean the substrate - nitrate buildup in the water will also be in the substrate. Just stir open area's and avoid plants/roots. There is only so much that can be done in a heavily planted tank on substrate cleaning ... .
By the way, a large drop in "nitrate levels" will cause the fish to become far more lively and colorful.
Last edited by Cermet; 12-31-2013 at 11:45 AM.
01-04-2014, 05:20 AM #12
Lol it is hard cleaning a planted tank substrate. When I stir, it kicks up the nasties. Will it settle or get filtered?
My fish are colorful and active despite my high nitrates. Every time I come to the tank, they rush to the top because they know it's feeding or maintenance time. The bite at my hands and they hurt!
01-04-2014, 05:56 AM #13
I've never been that fanatical in cleaning substrate on planted tanks.
However, nitrates this high are worrying. Had anyone considered to check the tap water? Also, what are you feeding your plants? A contributing factor to high nitrates is lack of other plant nutrients.
01-04-2014, 12:11 PM #14
Talldutchie's point about the tap water (non-zero nitrates in the tap occur for a lot of people - even ammonia and rarely, nitrites) and ferts (too much of a good thing is sometimes ... bad) are a good catch and should be checked.
Have you cleaned your filter media of late (remember, if yor tap is clorinated, use old tank water to rinise out the filter media!)? Do you vacuum up the left over food after the fish eat?
If stirring the substrate creates a mess, the bottom substrate is very dirty and is most likely the cause of the high nitrates - cleaning the substrate is most likely required to get the nitrates down.
If your substrate is gravel Mommy suggests to place the vacuum tube down into the gravel to remove the waste build up - this creates less clouding and works fine. If your substrate is sand, this may suck up the substrate and send it down the drain (not so fine) - in which case stirring is your only recourse ... . Just stir an area and vacuum up as much debris as possible. Do as much of the substrate as possible than do as large a water change as possible with the fish in the tank.
I just keep my sand substrate fairly clean and surface vacuuming works fine. I just do this every week at a min.
When I do a major substrate cleaning in my tank, I remove each fake plant, wood and stones one at a time and clean the substrate under it, and then I put the plant/item back.
Just remember that once you do a good job cleaning the substrate, you don't need to do it again for a long time (if ever) as long as you do light vacuums at least every few days/week or if food is left over (remember, some foods break up into ultra fine debris that you can't easily see.)
Remember, just because tank breed fish can endure high nitrate waste - it is a waste and levels near/over 40 ppm are considered toxic for most fish; that said, under 5 ppm is best for fish (and more than enough for live plants.)
Best of luck
Last edited by Cermet; 01-04-2014 at 12:16 PM.
01-05-2014, 11:33 AM #15
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. I don't notice any leftover food when I started to clean...everyday. I have a LOT of snails in my tank. Nerites, MTS and Mystery Snails and I doubt they leave anything begging. When my tank was fairly new, I had a casualty and didn't notice until I seen the snails eating the bones of a dead fish. My substrate is a mix of Black TMS and floramax.
01-05-2014, 12:58 PM #16
01-09-2014, 07:56 AM #17
Lol what's culling?
01-09-2014, 01:47 PM #18
01-09-2014, 03:37 PM #19
Oooh ok. My cichlids like to nibble on them. But the snails are causing this?