I did a 35-40% water change a couple hrs ago & just tested the water the levels are good except the nitrAte is at 80ppm.
Last week they were 10.
the only difference is I added the plants on thursday & my new oranda on thursday & new sand on thur...would any of this caused such a jump?
I'm going to do another water change...but what is the deal????
I also don't think i have seen my small apple snail since i added the new sand...if she got buried or stuck somewhere & died would that cause a spike?
Ouch. I would suspect a very, very dirty filter. When you changed the substrate you may have picked up a ton of mulm from the old substrate. Don't think one dead snail would cause that kind of spike.
I didn't change subtrate i just added more.
but the filters were running, maybe stuff got stirred up?
should i clean one of the filters after doing such a big water change in one day? (this will prob be close to chaning 80% of the water if not a bit more)
Is there a lot of gunk buried in your substrate? Perhaps a gravel cleaning and water change now but if it goes up again like that, then next week do a filter cleaning.
Sand can store a huge load of nitrate, and even nitrites/ammonia. Vacuuming it and changing most of the aquarium water is your best plan. If you clean the filter, don't throw away the media but rinse in old tank water (or if your tap is well, can use that.)
Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is fifteen Sterba's Corys. Filters: canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber that removes phosphates and nitrates! Also, a highly dangerous commercial nitrate removal unit from hell
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Adding the Oranda could indeed have spiked up the nitrates. It will take your BB some time to catch up. Do a large (80%) water change and vacuum your substrate as thoroughly as possible.
Next week, clean the filter.
Cleaning the filter on the same day you do a large water change/substrate vac will result in overcleaning and loss of BB.
Cleanliness is the best way to control nitrates. Once your plants get established, they will help keep the levels down, as well.
If you suspect a dead snail, try to find it and determine if it is alive. If not, remove it immediately. When you fish it out of the tank, give it the smell test. If it sends you reeling, it's dead.
20 gal. high: planted; 1 zebra danio, 6 glofish, several snails, 2 (visible) RCS; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 4 rosy barbs, 6 glofish, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 zebra danios, 5 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
Ok did another big water change & the nitrAte is now between 10-20ppm....which is much closer to what it normally is!
With it being at 80 after a water change i shutter at the thought of what it could have been at!!! makes sense why a couple of my goldies were acting a little strange...
do they act strange if the nitrate is off?
when i turned the filters back on after this water change some stuff came out so I am sure the big filter must be dirty - will clean it next week.
i'm going to try to locate that snail...which i already know is going to be a task LOL
**with this spike happening should i check the water again in a few days?
80ppm nitrate level after a 40% water change?! Wow! I can only imagine what those levels were before hand. Usually the 80ppm nitrate leads to the 40% water change. Something fishy is going on here...
Originally Posted by Cermet
Well said, Cermet! I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading through the thread. Sand is great for keeping debris on top, leaving it easier to vacuum out. However if the debris gets buried it can eventually "rot" the sand away. This has happened to me before and when I went to vacuum the area the sand just turned into a brown cloud and then disappeared. So I guess the moral of the story is sand, though great in many aspects, can be a hot bed of problems if not maintained properly.
I also agree with Lady Hobbs. Filter maintenance is essential for maintaining optimal water quality. I clean all my filters at least once a month. The bio-media is rinsed in either tank water or clean dechlorinated water. The sponges are rinsed under the sink and floss is simply thrown away. Poorly maintained filters can also be a hot bed of problems. Again, another lesson I learned the hard way.
1. Turn the filters off and any other pumps and let the tank settle down for a bit.
2. During this period, I would remove and clean the filters. Make sure you get a good rinse on the motor. Adding sand like this to a tank with the filter(s) running could have allowed for a lot of sand particles to get sucked into the filter. No bien! This can destroy the impeller.
3. After the filters are cleaned, set them back up but don't turn them on yet.
Hopefully you're like me and take many small breaks while doing the most simple tasks which would have allowed the tank to settle a bit.
4. At this point I would vacuum any debris that's sitting on top of the substrate. Don't do another water change, just vacuum enough to get the excess out.
5. Top off the tank with water and turn the filters back on
6. Feed minimally for the next couple of days and see what happens
I hope this helps a bit. I more or less just restated what Cermet and Lady Hobbs said earlier, but a concurring opinion just makes for a more concrete answer. And if there's still a problem, try and find live nitrifying bacteria and add that to the tank. Best of luck!!
P.s. Sorry for the length! I procrastinating from work...
220g South American
Way to make my post feel useless!!! I guess that's what I get for being a two-finger typer. But I'm glad things have straightened out for you! As for the fish acting funny, yes, extremely high nitrates can lead to nitrate poisoning. Fish can show ailments in different ways. I went away for 6 weeks and had a friend watch my place during the time. When I returned, the nitrate levels in the one tank were 100+...I kid you not. The fish would not eat. My baby arowana had the "wobbles", where the fish would tilt back and forth while swimming. Some fish had a sense of vertigo. While one fish literally did slow motion barrel rolls. If the problem is taken care of immediately, then it is likely that your fish will be fine. It seems like your in good shape. Awesome! And yes, monitor the levels through the next week. Okay, back to work...finally...
Originally Posted by jessfish
220g South American