03-19-2009, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaddock
My two aquariums have essentially the same water, but they are showing a gnarly variance here are my rough test results:
ppm 45 gallon 60 gallon
Nitrate: 200???!!!! 20
Nitrite: 0.5 0.5
Hardness: 250+ 120
Alkalinity: 0 180+
pH: 6.4- 7
OK, so I just did a water change and leveled out the pH (previous to this test). I obviously added a pH neutralizer to the 45 to up that, it was off the chart low... What I don't understand is why is the water twice as hard in my 45? What's with the lack of alkalinity in the 45? I know the alkalinity in the 60 is a bit high, but according to the test kit, I should add "pH minus". I don't want to lower my pH, and honestly I'm not sure what the alkalinity is all about.... and how do I eliminate these insane nitrate levels in my 45???? HELP!
I recently purchased Dr. Foster and Smith Stabilize for the ammonia (this should get rid of nitrates right?), and Seachem Equilibrium to help with the GH... They should be here on Friday! I am frustrated, any sort of trouble shooting help would be appreciated!!!
agreed with Mikaila. The stabilize won't get rid of nitrates, though since you've already bought it you might use it for a week to suppress ammonia which may be present since you are cycling (though I am in general against adding any unnecessary chemicals to a tank, just a personal preference though). Ammonia and Nitrites are toxic to fish, so if you have any fish in the tanks, you should do a large water change to help dilute those. The water change will also reduce the nitrates (the percent of tank water that you change will correspond to the reduction in nitrates... changing half the water will cut the nitrate level in half, changing 10% of the water will reduce the nitrates by 10%, etc...)
I'd suggest doing weekly, at the very least bi-weekly water changes, to keep the nitrates in check. Ideally, you'd like to keep it under 40ppm for the fish's sake, lower than that is even better. Also, swish the sponge and carbon and whatever you have in your filters around in the water that you remove during the changes, to help rinse the "gunk" out without destroying the bacteria population that exists in your filter media.
As far as the difference in water parameters, assuming both tanks were filled with water from the same source around the same time, then it's gotta be something in the tank that is making one change drastically. Do you have similar decorations and stuff in each tank? For example a certain kind of rock in one that isn't in the other? It's POSSIBLE that something in one of the tanks is affecting the water parameters. If freshwater alkalinity is similar to saltwater, then the extremely low alkalinity level in the 45 is related to or causing the drop in pH. Alkalinity buffers the pH (again, assuming it works the same as it does in saltwater), so low alkalinity levels correspond to an inability to keep pH up. Why the alkalinity is low, again it might be related to some difference between what is in or done with the two tanks, but that's just a guess.