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Need help with new 10 gallon tank, cloudy water, fish dying

This is a discussion on Need help with new 10 gallon tank, cloudy water, fish dying within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Oliver82 Okay I got the API master kit and here are the results: Ph 7.6 Ammonia 0-.25ppm Nitrite .25 ppm Nitrate ...

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Need help with new 10 gallon tank, cloudy water, fish dying
Old 05-29-2010, 03:16 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver82 View Post
Okay I got the API master kit and here are the results:
Ph 7.6
Ammonia 0-.25ppm
Nitrite .25 ppm
Nitrate 40-80ppm
the tank has been setup now for about 1 month, I'm concerned with some of the higher readings. Also noticed some light brown algae growing on the glass, some plants and some gravel
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Two comments from these numbers:

When using the nitrate test kit, the instructions say to shake regent #2 for 30 seconds before adding the drops to the tube. In fact, it has to be shaken for 2+ minutes to obtain an accurate result. If you do this you may get a different (lower and more accurate) result.

Have you tested the plain tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? These numbers of your tap water may tell us something before commenting further.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:46 AM   #22
 
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Also, have you tried testing the pH with the high range pH test? The regular pH test maxes out at 7.6 so with that reading you should use the high-range test to see if it's actually greater than 7.6.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:04 AM   #23
 
on the high range pH it seems to be at 7.4
nitrite looks in between 0ppm and .25ppm but closer to 0
nitrate is what is high and is either at 40ppm or 80 (the colors look the same on the chart)
I have not tested the tap water. If i decide to add 1 or 2 gallons of bottled drinking water, do i still need to add prime?
thanks again
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:43 AM   #24
 
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Nitrate is controlled by regular (weekly) partial water changes, or having live plants. While not a serious issue at your numbers, it is still higher than it should be.

Have you tested the tap water for nitrate? This is a real possibility. Before wasting money on bottled water, let's find the source. A conditioner like Prime will handle nitrate in the tap water.

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Old 06-01-2010, 12:02 PM   #25
 
Have not yet tested the tap water, will do so tonight.
When doing partial water changes do you vacuum from the gravel? I've also used prime since day 1
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edit- I have live plants :)
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #26
 
Okay so here are my tap water resutls:
Ammonia- 1.0ppm
Nitrite-0
Nitrate-0
How do I lower ammonia??
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:47 AM   #27
 
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Well, you can't, really. If you're using something like Prime, it will detoxify the ammonia in your tap water (for up to 24 hours) but your beneficial bacteria should be able to process that ammonia into nitrate before those 24 hours are up. Ammonia in your tap water can be really frustrating when doing a fish-in cycle, but on a well-established tank (especially a planted one) it's not much of an issue.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:07 PM   #28
 
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I concur with iamntbatman on the ammonia.

To your earlier question on vacuuming the gravel, normally yes, but in planted tanks the detrius in the gravel gets broken down by bacteria into nutrients for the plants, so most of us with planted tanks do little or no gravel cleaning. If you look at the photos of my tanks, you will see open gravel areas along the front, these I run the vacuum over only because the corys feed from these areas and I like to keep them clean. The other areas where there are plants never see the vacuum.

I'm still puzzled by your "high" nitrate number; in a planted tank this is rare. I would do some 50% water changes (using Prime) maybe twice a day apart, vacuuming the open gravel areas well this time, and see if the nitrate drops. Remember to shake the regent #2 for 2 minutes minimum before adding the drops, otherwise you will likely get a higher than accurate reading. Check the nitrate the day after each water change, it will give a better result.

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