Fish aren't eating.
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Fish aren't eating.

This is a discussion on Fish aren't eating. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Tonight my fiancee fed her fish in her 10g tank but none of them ate. Normally its a feeding frenzy with her Buenos Aires ...

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
 
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Fish aren't eating.

Tonight my fiancee fed her fish in her 10g tank but none of them ate. Normally its a feeding frenzy with her Buenos Aires Tetra nearly jumping out of the tank after the food but there was none of that tonight. The CPD's ate a little but not much. Other than that her 2 Tetras, 3 Barred Pencilfish,1 Peppered Cory and 1 Emerald Dwarf Rasbora didn't eat. I did water test's ASAP and everything was good but the Nitrate's. They were between 40-80 ppm on they API Master test kit legend. I had her do a 30% water change and will do some more test's tomorrow. Hopefully everything will check out okay and there back to normal. Would the Nitrate's cause them not to eat? Any other suggestions on what I can do?
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoke88 View Post
Tonight my fiancee fed her fish in her 10g tank but none of them ate. Normally its a feeding frenzy with her Buenos Aires Tetra nearly jumping out of the tank after the food but there was none of that tonight. The CPD's ate a little but not much. Other than that her 2 Tetras, 3 Barred Pencilfish,1 Peppered Cory and 1 Emerald Dwarf Rasbora didn't eat. I did water test's ASAP and everything was good but the Nitrate's. They were between 40-80 ppm on they API Master test kit legend. I had her do a 30% water change and will do some more test's tomorrow. Hopefully everything will check out okay and there back to normal. Would the Nitrate's cause them not to eat? Any other suggestions on what I can do?
Yes the nitrates could very well be the problem. Nitrate is toxic to fish when it is above 20ppm and causes them to become stressed. They are probably not eating because they are stressed by the nirtrate. Continue with the water changes everyday until the nitrates are below 20ppm. I would recommend 50% water changes instead of 30 because your nitrate reading is more than twice the safe level for fish.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
 
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I did some more water test's today only to find out that everything is still in check and the Nitrate's have decreased by 50%. They were about 30ppm before the water change today. The fish were much more active today and ate almost like normal. I plan to do another water change tomorrow after another water test. Will the Nitrate levels stay at a safe level after all this or will they occasionally spike?
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Stoke88 View Post
I did some more water test's today only to find out that everything is still in check and the Nitrate's have decreased by 50%. They were about 30ppm before the water change today. The fish were much more active today and ate almost like normal. I plan to do another water change tomorrow after another water test. Will the Nitrate levels stay at a safe level after all this or will they occasionally spike?
They will always continue to rise as there isn't a bacteria that breaks them down to something safe. The only way to remove them will be partial water changes.

It's a good idea to do at least 15-25% once a week to keep those nitrates down.

Also, if you don't have one, a gravel vacuum is a good idea. It will clean out the gravel for any excess food and fish waste to get it out of the tank. Just use it all over, especially around decorations, until you drain out a couple gallons. Then replace with fresh conditioned water.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
 
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I do about 20% water changes weekly since its been setup. Its a fake planted tank so I don't have any help from the plants. I think gravel vacs are the greatest things since flushed toilets.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
 
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Like Geo said, weekly water changes are the only way to keep nitrates down, even with live plants. They will continue to rise and become toxic to fish if water changes are not done. Depending on your stocking, a 25% water change each week will work. If the tank is over stocked, then nothing less than a 50% water change should be done.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
 
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Just to make a couple of slight corrections to statements in two earlier posts...live plants can actually keep nitrates at zero. There is also bacteria in the substrate that do use nitrates.

On the plants: they assimilate ammonium as their preferred form of nitrogen [ammonia, ammonium, nitrite and nitrate are each differing forms of nitrogen]. They use a lot of it, and out-compete the bacteria in most cases. That means there is less ammonia for bacteria, so less nitrite and less nitrate resulting. Some plants will also assimilate nitrite and nitrate, but usually only when ammonium (ammonia) is used up. But depending upon plant load, type of plants, and fish load, all this in a healthy balanced planted tank can mean very low nitrates. This does not mean no water changes, which are still essential for other reasons. Without plants, nitrate is most easily removed by regular partial water changes, and half the tank volume changed weekly is a good level. I even do this much in my heavily-planted tanks.

On the bacteria, there are de-nitrification bacteria primarily in the substrate; these bacteria convert nitrate into nitrogen gas which is released back into the atmosphere. You can read the whole story in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

The above processes illustrate why a truly balanced aquarium can almost run itself. Making use of nature to do all the work that some aquarists expect from filtration equipment has its benefits.

Byron.
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