NitrAte Problem! Need Advice! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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NitrAte Problem! Need Advice!

Howdy, it has been a while since I have been on with a problem.

I did a PWC yesterday and I tested my water today.

I have:

50g tank
Ehiem Cannister Filter

I am a at the border line with fish population (probably should have a few less fish) and I have a 8 new tiny fry in the tank, all doing fine.

My water reading is:

Ph: 7.6
High Ph: 8.0

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0


I have a heavily planted aquarium and I have been pretty steady over the last year with Water quality.

Yesterday, I purchased a longer syphon tube and took out a lot of waste from the gravel. In other words, because of the longer tube, I pushed it in more removing more material from the gravel. I also removed a reasonable amount of spot algae off the glass with a new steel scrapper.

Other than that, I have done nothing new.

Is this dangerously high?

I have done a partial water change tonight and will continue to do so over the next few days.

Any advice?? Help?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Big Fish; 06-20-2010 at 11:04 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Picture of my 50g

I have posted this before but I thought I would add it for reference.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 11:34 PM
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Some members might disagree, but in my opinion a nitrate reading of 5 is not something to worry about. It is not always possible to keep nitrate at 0 as mentioned in various articles. Your other parameters are fine so just keep doing your normal regular water changes and your tank will be just fine.
I would seriously start doing more water changes and reduce ffeding when it reaches 25 and up.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 12:06 AM
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Yea, 5 nitrite isn't anything worth worrying about.

Plus, the thing about planted tanks... They might absorb all the ammonia, and completely outcompete the bacteria, but since they greatly prefer ammonia than nitrate, the nitrate will sometimes never go away without water changes.

After a 20% w/c it was 5? I would test it in a couple days and see if it jumps anywhere. If it's 5 or less, then you have nothing to worry about.

(depending on your fish) I wouldn't panic until it hits 15 or so. I've heard some people let it get up to 25, but I wouldn't.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 04:30 AM
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Agreed, 5 ppm nitrate is very low and it's quite difficult to maintain anything lower than that without a heavily planted tank. 25 ppm might be high by some standards, but usually 40 ppm is the "high end" number most cite when talking about where things start getting problematic (even then, I've heard of people with nitrate in the hundreds of ppm that had gotten that way due to long term neglect in water changes, and had fish that were relatively healthy given the circumstances). The usual number to aim for is "20 ppm and under" so I think you're more than fine.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 07:37 AM
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+1 on all the above posts. I have planted tank and my nitrates hang right around 10ppm. Fish are all very happy and healthy!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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I love this place!!!!!

Thank you for your posts, greatly appreciated!

I will do a 20% pwc today or tomorrow and see what happens.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond so quickly, greatly appreciated. I will let you know what happens.

Big Fish
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-21-2010, 02:46 PM
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Test the nitrate before the water change, as someone mentioned, to get a better idea of what it is; one would expect it to be less after a water change unless nitrates occur in the source water of course.

I agree with prior comments, I have 5 ppm nitrate in all my tanks except for the 115g which is between 5 and 10 due to more fish. Below 20ppm is considered safe by most.

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]
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