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ColoradoUtah 05-04-2013 07:46 PM

Need explanation of my parameters
Finally got a complete test kit. These are the results I got yesterday and today.
5-3 Before WC - Ph 6.6 - 6.4 (lighting bad could not tell); NH - 0; NO2 - 0; NO3 - 40. Did a 50% WC. Did not get a chance to retest NO3. My mistake.:oops:
5-4 Well Water at the Tap - Kh - 5, Gh - 8, Ph - 6.8, all N's - 0.
Tank test Ph - 6.6, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 0, Nitrate - 160+
50% WC and cleaned filters, nitrate down to 40%
I would appreciate someone giving me a general interpretation of these numbers and then an explanation of the huge jump in nitrate in one day, especially after a 50% wc.

I am very confused.

ColoradoUtah 05-04-2013 08:27 PM

Sorry for not explaining the Kh and Gh more clearly. They are 89.5 and 143.2 respectively.
Also, after rereading the CO2 and Plants thread, I am clearly having a CO2 problem.
Frankly, I am surprised I am not losing fish.

Boredomb 05-04-2013 10:00 PM

Is the test kit you are using strips or is it a liquid test kit??

ColoradoUtah 05-05-2013 05:47 AM


Boredomb 05-05-2013 10:37 AM

I know with the API master test kit when testing nitrates it important that you shake the #2 reagent like crazy for about 2 mins. I know it says for 30sec but you need to do it more be more actuate. If you weren't doing that that might be some of the funny numbers.

Byron 05-05-2013 10:41 AM

Follow Boredomb's suggestion on the Nitrate test, and let us know the results.

Your source water (well at the tap) is about as perfect as one could get, for soft to moderate water fish anyway.

What fish are in this tank, and any plants? And what is the tank size?


ColoradoUtah 05-05-2013 11:03 AM

6 white skirt tetras - 1 to 1.5"
6 black widow tetras - 1.5 to 2"
4 tiger barbs - 1"
2 marble/blue gourami - 2.5"
2 double bar platy - 1"
4 silver dollars >2"
5 neon tetras - >1"
2 gold dust mollys - 1.5"
1 kissing gourami - 4"
2 orange swords - 2.5"
3 assorted mollys - 1"
10nerite snails

55 gal
Set up since Nov 2012
At least 13 plants, although floating is not what I want.
2 18" 15w florescent bulbs, on about 12 - 14 hrs., no direct sunlight.
50% WC weekly

I'm going to do a nitrate test now.

ColoradoUtah 05-05-2013 11:29 AM

The nitrate test is the loveliest candy apple red, more than 90ppm. I'll be doing a 75% water change shortly. Will this screw up the bacteria? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Byron 05-05-2013 11:58 AM

There are some issues here.

First the nitrate. Do you vacuum the substrate when you do the weekly 50% water change? Are you perhaps overfeeding? What plants [a photo of the tank would probably answer this last question]?

I do not think your livebearers (platy, molly, swordtail) are going to do well long-term is acidic water. The GH is not bad at 8 dGH [143 ppm is about 8 dGH], though this is borderline. The other named fish are soft water so no issues on that aspect. But there are fish listed that shouldn't be combined, but I'll leave this for now.


ColoradoUtah 05-05-2013 12:40 PM

I don't vacuum. There is very little floor space. But after this, I am going to figure out a way to do something. I think I have been overfeeding but, cut way back about a week ago. I also have cut back on the amount of time the light is on.

There is one thing that might have contributed to this. We have had a major rain storm and two ago the breaker for the fish room blew while I was out. I do not know how long the tank was without a pump. I had problems all afternoon until I rerouted the tank electrical. Could this have lead to the rise in the nitrates?

Live Plants: Anubias hastifolia, Diffenbacia "Lucky Bamboo", Hornwort, water sprite, 2 large swords, 2 large Vallisneria, red Cabomba, pygme chain sword, Kleiner bar sword, Baby tears (floating), Ludwigia.

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