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  1. #1

    Unhappy elevated nitrate

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi. I recently did a larger than ususal grave vac on my 60 gallon discus tank. Now my nitrates are about 60 but nitrites are 0. Is this because i stirred up so much junk in the tank and I should leave it alone or should i do another partial water change without gravel vac? thanks

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    If it were my tank, I'd do another PWC to get the nitrates down to 20 - even more than 1 more if needed - discus are sensitive fish.

    Also, I assume you don't vacuum your gravel often if you stirred up so much junk and are you possibly overfeeding?

    What you should be aiming for is to have a reading of 20 nitrates before you do a gravel vac.

    When is the last time you cleaned your filter? I know I used to have a higher reading for nitrates than I should have and discovered lots of rotting food in the tubing of my filter - had to rinse them out and then make sure I vac a different part of the gravel with every water change.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    i have only had the discus for about two weeks. i am feeding several times a day, as they would not eat at first. i have gravel vac frequently. i have a undergravel filter with two power heads, a bio wheel 350 and another hango on aqua clear. prior to the discus i had 3 black tailed shark for several years . now it is just 4 clown loaches and 5 3inch discus. if i do another partial water change tomorrow should i continue to do vigorous gravel clean or just do water change

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    While I'm not totally familiar with your filtration, I've read that undergravel filters can lead to higher nitrate levels and get clogged easily - most people don't use them anymore. Also, are you sure that what you have is sufficient for a 60gal tank? I dont' know the capacity of your filters - I'm sure you know that ideally you should have filtration for double the size of your tank.

    If you normally do thorough gravel vacs I would do water changes to see if that brings down your nitrates - if you continue to have problems with the nitrates level then you will need to see where else the nitrates are coming from.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    thank you. i had discus years ago, and things have changed alot. i am giving them live worms and i imagine over feeding is a problem. i will do water change again tomorrow and look into more filtration

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    It sounds like that due to your fish being slow to eat, much of what you put in there wasn't eaten maybe?

    When I feed my fish, I add a tiny amount at a time and watch to see them eat it - with your fish, if they don't seem interested, I can see where you'd try a few times especially if they're small, but very often if can take new fish a while to feel "at home" and accept what you're offering.

    It's a good idea to make sure to vacuum up all the wasted food, especially until you are able to replace the under gravel filter.

    Also, I wouldn't stick exclusively with the worms - fish need more of a varied diet and worms won't have every nutrient they need. Just my 2 cents. : )

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    so what type of filter would you suggest? and what type of media inside it. i read that discus dont like charcoal. have you ever used chemi pure. i imagine i could do without any gravel in the tank and just clean it easier after they eat.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    I would pull the plates to the undergravel filter out of there. Discus are fussy fish and all that crud under those plates are simply places for it to all hide. Clean that gravel weekly, stop feeding so much and do large water changes.

    I would also stop feeding them live worms and stick with a good pellet food and some blood worms "occassionly".

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    How many gallons is your AC rated for? I would recommend either another AC or a cannister filter for a tank that size - no need to worry about charcoal - it's not needed unless you're looking to remove medication or an odor from the water. A cannister filter allows you to customize your media - you can add bio media to what it already comes with, put in more mechanical filtration (like pillow stuffing, filter floss, etc.) to polish the water, etc.

    There are many people who keep no substrate in their tanks - it's recommended for quarantine tanks and breeding and is easier to keep clean that's true. I don't know what chemi pure is so can't help you there.

    I hope this helps you - I am not really familiar with all the brands though.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    so i did a 20% water change. My nitrates are now about 40 and i have trace of amonia and no nitrite. should i wait a few hours and repeat this? also can i just remove the undergravel plates without causing more problems, or do i need to do only one thing at a time. thanks in advance

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