HELP! Nitrate problem! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 19 Old 11-26-2006, 11:37 PM
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I would love to see a picture of your tank. Sounds like you may have too many plants/decorations for its size. Any real plants in there? Those will help stabalize your water parameters.

Also, it is crucial that you vacuum the gravel at some point...there's a good chance there is uneaten food rotting away, or just plain old fish feces stuck in there, polluting the water causing those abnormal readings. Don't go too crazy though, your gravel bed is in the process of housing beneficial bacteria, so only do small portions at a time, since your tank is still cycling.
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post #12 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 12:02 AM
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acutally, doesnt 90% of the bacterial colonies live in the bio-pad in the filter? that way regular gravel vacs would be beneficial to the health of the tank...weekly...or at LEAST every other week

"everything happens for a reason...the hard part is figuring out what that reason is."
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 12:05 AM
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I'm not familiar with those statistics, and have to say that I think they are untrue. Many bacteria colonies will inhabit your substrate, as well as in your filter.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 12:21 AM
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i know that some bacterial colonies lived in the gravel, but i thought they existed primarily in the filter...i could be wrong though. =), regardless, probably need a gravel vac. :D

"everything happens for a reason...the hard part is figuring out what that reason is."
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 01:52 AM
As far as what percentage of nitrifying bacteria is in the media and how much is in the susbtrate, it would be hard to tell, unless under a microscope. The amount of nitrifying bacteria does equal to the amount of the bioload and surface area the bacteria can cover.
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post #16 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Eddie and girlofgod - I will be doing a gravel vac today with another 30% water change. Today's levels (before the vac and wc): nitrite .25, ammonia .25-.50 (not sure of that reading, colors are so close), and nitrate... drum roll please.... 20!! Better than the 40+ I WAS dealing with. And after today's gravel vac and wc, things should look better here after... Now by staying on top of this, all SHOULD be ok from this point forward (note to self, the lack of visual evidence of crap on bottom is NOT a good indicator of the need to vac!)

You guys have been SO very helpful!!
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post #17 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 05:01 PM
Since the tank is not fully established, do a lite gravel vac, but just waving the syphon over the gravel, so you don't disturb the gravel and the bacteria. Once the tank is fully established, then you can do a normal gravel vac.
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post #18 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome help I've received here - you all are wonderful. Eddie, that's just what I did today, THEN read your post (phew!!).

Thanks again to all of you for keeping my fish alive and getting me back on the straight and narrow road
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post #19 of 19 Old 11-27-2006, 09:47 PM
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just keep monitoring those parameters...you want to make sure that you are reading o for nitrite AND ammonia and under 40 for nitrates before you will be fully cycled. good luck! glad we could help!

bri

"everything happens for a reason...the hard part is figuring out what that reason is."
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