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problem with nitrates

This is a discussion on problem with nitrates within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by cbirk I got a little confused with all the filter switching, I just wanted to make sure that your not taking ...

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problem with nitrates
Old 01-10-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbirk View Post
I got a little confused with all the filter switching, I just wanted to make sure that your not taking out filter media that has beneficial bacteria living in it and replacing with new stuff that does not. This would actually be counter productive to your tank.
All we had before was the biomax and carbon so we replaced the carbon with Zeo-Carb and put Clear Max in the bottom tray as suggested in the instructions. Also, as suggested, we staggered the media changes and added Nutrafin Cycle. Another question I have: Are there any negative effects to Nutrafin Cycle? There are no warnings on the bottle, and I read on the web that overdose in the tank is not possible. Is this true?
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
 
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you will find mixed feelings. Most I think don't believe in adding any chemicals to your tank besides a good conditioner. I must have missed somehow that you had a canister filter, this makes more sense now. Do you have any sponge like pieces in any of the layers? This is where your bacteria will mostly grow I believe.

As far as weather or not you can overdoes your tank, Not sure. I don't really know how the liquid cycle stuff works. If it suposedly adds the good bacteria (which I am not sure how this is possible) then no I wouldn't think you could. If it is just adding ammonia and nitrites etc to you tank to help speed up the cycle, then I would think you could. Better let someone else answer that knows more about it. Sorry :/
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:06 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by cbirk View Post
you will find mixed feelings. Most I think don't believe in adding any chemicals to your tank besides a good conditioner. I must have missed somehow that you had a canister filter, this makes more sense now. Do you have any sponge like pieces in any of the layers? This is where your bacteria will mostly grow I believe.

As far as weather or not you can overdoes your tank, Not sure. I don't really know how the liquid cycle stuff works. If it suposedly adds the good bacteria (which I am not sure how this is possible) then no I wouldn't think you could. If it is just adding ammonia and nitrites etc to you tank to help speed up the cycle, then I would think you could. Better let someone else answer that knows more about it. Sorry :/
No problem. I greatly appreciate your input. Thank you very much.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:58 PM   #14
 
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Now that things have settled down a bit, I'd like to offer some suggestions. First though, please do not jump into things; I know myself how tempting it is, especially when starting out with a new tank, to think this or that is not "as it should be" and into the tank goes this or that chemical to "fix" it. No. That is the absolute worst thing you can do with live fish in an aquarium. The effect of some chemicals or substances on bacteria, water parameters, and the biological system can be immense, and in a closed system the fish are trapped in this mess. I'm not saying you have a mess, just a general caution not to hurl yourself into a solution. If the tank is relatively stable biologically speaking, the fish will be far less stressed and thus healthier, than if the water is fluctuating back and forth with this and that.

Nitrates. This is the third stage in the nitrification cycle. Fish and bacteria (different types, these in the substrate) produce ammonia, nitrosomonas bacteria consume the ammonia and produce nitrite, and nitrospira bacteria consume the nitrite and produce nitrate. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all forms of nitrogen; ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic, nitrate much less so. However, fish in natural waters do not have to contend with nitrates, generally speaking, so any level of nitrate can be troublesome to some degree for many fish. Most of us recommend nitrates be below 20ppm, though up to 40ppm is tolerable for most of the "common" fish. While it can be debated that even higher nitrates are not an issue, there is no argument that some fish find difficulty with higher nitrates, so it is wise to keep them at or below 20ppm.

As your tap water has zero nitrate, the nitrates in the aquarium are from within the aquarium. There are two major ways to naturally control nitrates. One is with live plants, the other is with regular partial water changes. Live plants use ammonia directly (which they change to ammonium, their preferred form of nitrogen) and with lots of live plants and a balanced fish load, you will absolutely never have nitrates above 20ppm, usually well below 10ppm. A certain benefit of live plants.

Water changes are essential to a healthy aquarium, unless it is lightly stocked with fish and heavily planted, in which case the natural biological equilibrium will be stable. But most of us like more fish, so the weekly water change is crucial to the fish's health. However, along with this, if nitrates continue to be high even with water changes, it probably means there is something amiss with the biological system. Too many fish for the water volume, too much feeding, or too few water changes.

Last comment on Nutrafin's Cycle. This is a chemical mix that supposedly jump-starts the nitrifying bacteria. I used it many years ago when I had to pull my tank down and reset it, but normally I have live plants so "cycling" is not an issue. Rather than Cycle, I would use a true 100% bacteria supplement. I know of two, Seachem's Stability and Tetra's SafeStart. I won't get into the scientific munbo-jumbo now, but these two are 100% live bacteria and they do work. But they are only needed during the first week, to "seed" the bacteria. So, on the Cycle, I would not continue using it.

I hope this has explained things a bit for you. Feel free to ask questions.

Byron.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #15
 
we were freaking out because of the spike but i talked to this lady and she said its new tank syndrome an thats why she kept on reminding me to go slow with adding fish because some cannot handle the shock of the tank settling.... so now that we have freaked out a little and switched all the filters (oops) but now i have brown algae which apparently is from over feeding!! so they said it was a good move to put the clear max in there I am just wondering if it is okay just to scrub the tank and the stuff inside to remove it or if it is dangerous and should be worried??
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:23 PM   #16
 
haha sorry didn't see my boyfriends messages there! but yes.... brown algae... haha
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #17
 
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Brown algae, or more technically, diatoms, is completely natural and normal in a new tank. It usually appears sometime during the first 2-3 months, and once the aquarium is biologically stable, diatoms will normally not be back. While they are present, you can remove them from the glass with a scraper or sponge. I wouldn't worry much about them, except if you have live plants and they get on the leaves; this you can remove with your fingers during the water change. Any algae that coats plant leaves will at some stage "suffocate" the leaf if allowed to build up. Some fish will eat diatoms, but I do not recommend buying fish solely for such purposes unless you really like the fish and want it in the tank permanently. Fish add to the bioload, and there is no point in crowding the tank with "unwanted" fish.
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