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Thread: Nitrate questions
08-18-2012, 12:31 AM #1
So I am having a nitrate problem. I've tried everything... I've reduced feeding, even starting cutting down feeding to my bumblebee cats, who were getting fed three times a week, now it's twice... problem is, I'm still losing fish unexpectedly. Everything else it fine, my parametrs are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH of 7, but my nitrates are in the red. like, the blood red of death color. I've even started half dosing ferts, and this week I decided not to fert at all because of the reading I got. Over the past week I've lost two giant danios [um, really?... heartiest fish ever], a bloodfin tetra, and a panda cory. I am at a loss for what's going on here. Today, I did a 25 percent change. I did almost a 50 percent change last week... and in only a week's time the nitrates got back up there where they were today! A petsmart associate told me to cut the filter off during feeding so that the food particles didn't potentially end up in the filter, thus causing nitrate buildup. He also told me to start feeding on the other side of the tank, which seems like a good idea. Does anyone else have a suggestion for me? I am losing passion for this hobby every day through the loss of fish... and BOTH of my frogs in my other tank died a day apart from one another with no explanation. They bloated, skin on their legs sloughed off, and I found them upside down. The betta is happy as ever. I am frustrated.5 gallon planted tank - 1 female betta and one HUGE mystery snail
60 gallon planted community 3 marble lyretail mollies, 3 creamsicle mollies, 9 lampeye tetras, 5 bloodfin tetras, 4 black skirt tetras, 1 rubberlipped pleco, 3 peppered corys, 3 bumblebee catfish, 3 emerald green corydoras, 2 gold danios, and 2 giant danios
08-18-2012, 12:47 AM #2
Well, first keep doing w/c until the nitrates are down to a safe level...no matter how many you need. That will save lives.
Don't turn off your filter. Rinse the media thoroughly in the old water, making sure the gunk comes off. Do not use tap water.
When you do the w/c, do you vacuum the gravel thoroughly too? Gunk builds up there.
Test the water you use from the tap, sometimes it has nitrates in it.
You can try fasting your fish for a few days to keep the waste buildup from getting too severe while you figure this out.20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!
08-18-2012, 12:48 AM #3
Lower your TrAtes, Simple, Do larger WC.
BTW, The LFS employee offered up a huge logic fail as a solution:
It makes no difference if the food particles end up in the filter or stay in the tank because..... It's all the same system.Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.
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08-18-2012, 12:50 AM #4
Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? I would do a large water change of 75% using Prime or some other water treatment. Two days later I would clean my filter using a new plastic bucket with water from your treated tank. Or water from the tap which is treated with a de-chlorinator. If it's not obvious, do a huge water change. Just remember to keep the temperature of the water within 2 degrees F.Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..
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08-18-2012, 12:56 AM #5
08-18-2012, 06:52 AM #6
Agreed with those people that says larger water changes. I'm not sure why you don't do above 50% water change when your nitrates are really high..Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL
Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.
08-18-2012, 07:33 AM #7
What is your fertilizer dosing regimen? Also, is your tank heavily planted? How about lighting? CO2?
08-18-2012, 03:26 PM #8
Do 50% water changes everyday for 1 week. That should dramatically reduce your nitrates. Do not use fertilizer at all during this week.
As others has said, increase the amount and frequency of your water changes.
08-18-2012, 03:37 PM #9
I do large water changes on every tank every week. My nitrates run very, very low......like if I was to check today, I would have 0 due to water changes, filter rinsing and gravel cleaning yesterday. When I was having nitrate problems occassionly, I found out it was due to dirty filters.
Mainly......the sponges in my AC filters! I have found them to be nitrate factories simply due to my lack of cleaning them. They now get rinsed out every 2 weeks. You can change the water every day but if it's running through a nitrate factory, it will quickly become high again.
08-18-2012, 03:42 PM #10
I do pretty much the same thing as Lady Hobbs.
Large weekly water changes, substrate vacs, and routine filter media cleaning. I only have sponges and bio-max filter media in my filters. So far it has been working great for me, I seldon find any nitrate readings using my API test kitIf 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
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