lowering nitrates - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-05-2007, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
lowering nitrates

hi,i currently dont have any tanks that the nitrates ar too high in,but when they are too high i want to know an easy way to bring them down.
any suggestions?

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-05-2007, 01:27 PM
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40-50% water changes once a week and adding some plants.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-05-2007, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
okey doak,thanks!!

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post #4 of 11 Old 07-07-2007, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
40-50% water changes once a week and adding some plants.
Try to avoid doing that large of water changes. Even if you are making the water better, doing large water changes can cause a large shift in water params which could stress a fish. You also add a lot of saturated gasses to the tank. I would say do more like 25-30% at a time and no more. If you have to do 40-50% once a week, the tank is probably very overstocked or there is overfeeding. Plants definitely do help as well though.

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-07-2007, 08:38 AM
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Doing such large water changes are fine IMHO. The beneficial bacteria barely lives in the water, and really lives in the filter, as well as the substrate, ornaments and on the glass etc. What I would say when doing water changes like that is to do it reasonably quickly because the bacteria exposed to air will die if it dries out so as long as you do it quick ehough for the tank not to dry you'll be fine. If you're worried about that then do 30%, fill it up, and do 30% again straight after. This is what I do and I have never had a problem with params.

Doing large water changes doesn't mean that it is overstocked or overfed in all cases althoguh sometimes it can. Some fish are messy eaters, or produce a lot of waste. Also some foods make more of amess than others. My plecs love veg but some of the veg makes the water dirty very quickly the way they annihalate it when I put it in.

However if your tank water isn't getting very dirty, 30% will be all that is needed. If your params are high, rather than just getting a reading then I advise larger water changes, if not 30% will probably be sufficient. You'll be able to know for yourself how much is needed if you check again shortly after doing a water change. If you havent brought them down much, just change some more. Then continue this every day or every second day.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-07-2007, 03:18 PM
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I wasn't saying anything about losing bacteria when doing water changes. I was merely talking about going from a really dirty tank to a super clean tank or from one pH to another or from one temperature to another. Even if you are making the water quality better, large shifts in water quality can stress a fish out. THe point I made about saturated gases is also something to consider as well since that is the reason you don't throw fish into a brand new tank until several days of letting it run. I'm not saying that doing a 40-50% water change will instantly kill all fish or anything...it's just a risky way to do it. If your tank is getting so bad that a 50% change is needed weekly then you'd be better off doing 25% twice a week. Fresh veggies should be removed daily and I don't know of anything that is so messy that a 50% change would be needed weekly...seems like something would be wrong there. But if you are willing to put in the maintenance then awesome.
I feed live shrimp, frozen bloodworms, veggies, frozen brine shrimp, spirulina, flakes and sinking pellets and i'm doing 25% every 2-4 week. I work at a fish store so I test the water almost everytime I go into work and change when needed. I'm not trying to say anyone is a bad fishkeeper if they have to change water 50% every week...I just don't think I could keep up with that schedule

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-07-2007, 05:30 PM
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mHeintz57 i do at least 50% in all of my tanks per week. When you get into the world of keeping predatory or large fish its almost a must to do large water changes unless you want to hook up an auto changer. As long as you dont toy with your tap water to meet a certain condition and get the temp right then there shouldn't be any problems. When power feeding small predators some people do 50-75% every 1-2 days depending on the growth they want to see.

I see the point your making and if this person has a tetra/cory tank then you might need to look into overstocked/under filtered to see if there is a problem but their are a few different worlds to fish keeping and using general rules for all isn't always best.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-07-2007, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
ok,the tank is not that dirty,i just noticed that the fish were acting a little different,so i tested the water and the nitrates were high.now alge is not taking over the tank or anything,and the fish have gotten back to normal.
its a 30 gallon with 5 black fin tetras,4 serpae tetras,2 yoyo loachesand 3 zebra danios.is this overstocked,also is there a better filter that a penguin bio wheel 200 for this tank?

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-08-2007, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mHeinitz57
I wasn't saying anything about losing bacteria when doing water changes. I was merely talking about going from a really dirty tank to a super clean tank or from one pH to another or from one temperature to another. Even if you are making the water quality better, large shifts in water quality can stress a fish out. THe point I made about saturated gases is also something to consider as well since that is the reason you don't throw fish into a brand new tank until several days of letting it run. I'm not saying that doing a 40-50% water change will instantly kill all fish or anything...it's just a risky way to do it. If your tank is getting so bad that a 50% change is needed weekly then you'd be better off doing 25% twice a week. Fresh veggies should be removed daily and I don't know of anything that is so messy that a 50% change would be needed weekly...seems like something would be wrong there. But if you are willing to put in the maintenance then awesome.
I feed live shrimp, frozen bloodworms, veggies, frozen brine shrimp, spirulina, flakes and sinking pellets and i'm doing 25% every 2-4 week. I work at a fish store so I test the water almost everytime I go into work and change when needed. I'm not trying to say anyone is a bad fishkeeper if they have to change water 50% every week...I just don't think I could keep up with that schedule
I'm sorry if you misunderstood. I agree I am simply saying that if your params are really off, then this would be the lesser of 2 evils so to speak IMHO.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-08-2007, 10:12 AM
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yeah Julie, you are definitely right on that and often fishkeeping requires choosing the lesser of two evils unfortunately. Everyone has their own methods and patterns of doing stuff and there is never only one right way to do things. In my tanks, whether is be a small community tank or a large predatory tank, im a fan of keeping things consistant and not trying to change too much at a time. But yeah, sometimes you have to do drastic things. If my nitrates get away from me and build too high, i'll do a series of 20-25% changes over several days till it comes down to safe levels rather than just changing it all at once. But of course there are always other ways of doing things

Serpaekeeper...about your question earlier, the biowheel 200 should work just fine for your tank. Biowheels are excellent filters and you did good by getting one made for a larger tank. The best way to bring nitrates down is to not let them get up high

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