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I think you're on track now, and I concur with 1077's comments. I would just say that for the future, a weekly partial water change of 40-50% is advisable (every week, once a week). Nitrates at 40ppm is not particularly serious, though most recommend keeping them at 20ppm or lower. With plants they will often be zero to 5 ppm. The more fish, the higher the nitrates proportionally. But with things settled, and weekly pwc, should be OK.
Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
I would like to add I have the Jungle strips and also the freshwater API master kit, and I generally trust the API kit more the the jungle strips, API has been giving me a reading of at least 40 and the strips of less then 20. Maybe I just got a bad set of strips but either way I will not be buying them again.
ok i have located the full problem to my nitrate issue. not only the fry in the filter but also a very large well rooted plant i had (and found out it was not ment to be in water damn the lfs) was dieing from the roots up and i only noticed this today as i noticed the stalks turning brown and mushy. i took out the entier root and plant and threw it out took out my fish and plants stired all my sand well let it settle then did a 70% water change. tomarrow ill test the water see how it is but the fish seem to still all be fine. just thought id share thankes for all your guys help =)
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