Any advice? PLEASE! nitrate prob, among others - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-05-2009, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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New testing kit was great, thx all who recommended it.
Those levels are as follows-
My house water pH is 6.8 or 7.0
tank pH is 6.4 or 6.6
NH3 was 0.25 or 0.50
Nitrite was 5.0
Nitrate was either 40 or 80.

Had a hrad time differentiating btw some of the colors compared to my sample color.

Looking forward to another water change tomorrow

Much love for the advise

1 Jack Dempsey, 4 Golden Severums, 1 unk. small Cichlid, 1 parrot, 1 algae, 6 baby Giant Danios
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-05-2009, 10:29 PM
Glad you got a good test kit. I know nothing about the numbers. Someone else will have to tell you what it all means.
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-05-2009, 11:06 PM
Ammonia is in a good range for cycling, but nitrite needs to be brought down ASAP! As other said NH3 should not go over .5 and Nitrite should not go over .25. Anything over those numbers and you risk killing and/or doing irreversible harm to the fish. Your fish are taking 5.0! I suggest doing a very large water change, more than 50%. Retest and do another 50% one if you need too. Water changes need to be done to keep the levels down, this doesn't mean just one a day. It may take more. The goal is to keep NH3 and nitrite down. I highly suggest going the the store and picking up some Prime. It helps control the NH3 and nitrite and is really needed if you want the fish to have a fighting chance. Also something that would REALLY help you is if you could get some mature media from another tank(friends or LFS) this will give your tank a major jump start and shorten the time it takes to cycle. If you get enough, it could cycle your tank fully. There is also the option of giving all the fish away. Back to the petstore or a friend, then doing a fishless cycle. The fish are more likely to die than to live through the cycle. Oh and it's always hard to figure nitrate with those kits.......

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #14 of 31 Old 02-05-2009, 11:11 PM
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Using prime will help. You might also want to consider putting salt into your water during the next few weeks to help your fish cope with the high nitrite levels. If you do add salt, only do it once a week or so until your tank has cycled, then do not add it again. Salt does not evaporate from water, and the only way to get rid of it is with water changes. Salt messes with a fish's system and under normal circumstances it is better to not have it in the water, but in your case it might help lighten the pressure that the fish are feeling right now. Others may disagree, so it is up to you.

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 07:09 AM
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I agree with PRIME as water conditioner. Some water conditioners only deal with chlorine and PRIME detoxifys ammonia,chlorine, chloramines, and also helps detoxify NITRITES. Until you can get some,, water changes will also help lower ammonia, and nitrites and will need to be done to keep those levels from killing the fish with or without PRIME. You can cut back on food as well to help keep these levels from climbing too high between water changes.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #16 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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I did get the prime last night along with the freshwater test kit. I did a water change this am. I tested water after change. I also added salt (I usually do, just forgot to mention previously), I also added two caps of the prime (90 gal tank). Here are this ams levels-

NH3- 0 WAS 0.25/0.5
Nitrite 0.5 WAS 5.0
Nitrate 40. WAS 40 OR 80, couldnt really tell. But today was def. 40!

Fish look happier, even woke up this morning and found all the live plants dug up, floating on the top. Guess they were bored last night .

So I guess still do dailys, was thinking Id test again later tonight. Is that neccessary?
Just very nervous to be going away next week for 8 days. I hope things are better by then, as I have no one to come do daily water changes and testing .

Thanks again

1 Jack Dempsey, 4 Golden Severums, 1 unk. small Cichlid, 1 parrot, 1 algae, 6 baby Giant Danios
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post #17 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 09:03 AM
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First off, I said to plan on a water change a day just to get you ready for it. The real rule is to do a water change whenever you see ammonia or nitrites above 0.25 ppm. However with your stocking that's likely to be every single day. Maybe even more.

If you're going to use carbon and have several bags I'd replace one bag each week and rotate. Frankly I'm not convinced you really need the carbon and I'd just use the space for biomedia or something else. That's another discussion though.

Right now I'd be aggressive with the gravel vac. Any gunk sitting in your gravel is producing ammonia, better to get it out of there. Filter cleaning I wouldn't worry so much about. Clean it as you regularly do but be extra cautious to not disturb the bacteria. Really you shouldn't have to clean a canister filter that often. Most of the time right now though you're only really concerned with getting water out and new water in. Here's what I'd do. Next water change give 1/3 of the bottom of your tank a good vacuuming. The next change vac the next 1/3 and then the next 1/3 with the next change. After that just vacuum 1/2 the tank once a week. If you have to do water changes more often don't worry about vac'ing, just suck the water out and replace it.

The pH out of your tap is great. I'd highly advise that you stop monkeying with it. Toss the pH additives in the trash and revel in having a tap pH that I can only dream of. The water changes you'll have to do will bring your tank pH in line with your tap pH and you'll be good to go.

Your ammonia isn't awful, but I'd plan on a 50% change today and a 50% change tomorrow to get it down and then monitor it. Your nitrites are pretty bad though. Prime will help with the toxicity of the nitrites. Salt is said to help reduce the toxicity of nitrites so it might be worth using, but I'm hesitant to advise it because its easy to overdose and it only comes out with water changes. The two 50% water changes that I recommended will drop your nitrites considerably. You're going to have to keep up on the water changes though until the nitrites are down below 0.25 ppm. That means 30 to 50% changes daily for a while. Once things are back under control you can go to smaller changes like 25 to 30% to keep it under control but with levels so high getting them down quickly necessitates larger changes. The nitrates don't look too bad. They're not good but they're not awful. You ideally want them to always be below 40ppm. Less is even better. The water changes you're doing for the rest of the pollutants will take care of the nitrates however.

Once again, use Prime for your water changes. It's great stuff.

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Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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post #18 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ok!! Fisrt let me again thank you all, this site is a dream!
Water changes, I have no problems changing water more than once a day if need be.
Ill plan to do another large water change tom. I did roughly 50% just now.
Thanks for the info on carbon. I will rotate weekly. If you think it will help matters, I can go to the store and get more biomedia and take out one carbon.
Gotcha on the gravel vac, the great thing is I am not seeing much sediment coming trhu the tubing, I see good suction, but after 2 seconds or so the water in the vac is clear, to the naked eye! This morning I probably vac'd about 1/3, I did a good vac yesterday moving the driftwood and coral, today I went around them.
I havent touched the pH since 1/31 after the ppl at the store said dont worry about it.
Prime, added it.
Salt, read directions and gave exactly that, think it came out to be 1 cup plus 2 tbsp.

Plan for tom.- large water change, add prime, add salt again?, and test before water change?

1 Jack Dempsey, 4 Golden Severums, 1 unk. small Cichlid, 1 parrot, 1 algae, 6 baby Giant Danios
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post #19 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 09:20 AM
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Use the stuff as directed. Enough Prime to treat the water you're adding and that's it. If you do a 50% water change you only need to add 50% of a dose of salt to make up for what's been removed.

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Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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post #20 of 31 Old 02-06-2009, 05:50 PM
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I am confused on one thing. You advised to use a gravel vac to get rid of anything in the gravel that is producing ammonia, but I thought that Nitrates also lived in the gravel? Wouldn't it be counter-productive to vacuum out the nitrates that are left? Wouldn't doing that increase the ammonia? Or is the vacuuming going to be controlling the ammonia more than killing the nitrates?

Maybe I am not fully understanding the Nitrogen cycle....

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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