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!!!
Well it looks like the tanks are cycling, since you have nitrites. What type of test kit are you using? Do you have a test for ammonia?
Tanks that are cycling are very unstable. Adding the ph stuff is not going to help. And personally it is something I am against adding all together. When the tank is cycling the all the water stats go on a rollercoster ride. The tank need to finish cycling, before you can address the water quality issues.
Also the only way you can get rid of nitrates is to do a water change.
I would not add any of those products to the water. Sorry to say, but they are a waste of money. You could use some Prime and lots of water changes.
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.
In a previous post you indicated that a pleco had outgrown your 45 gal. Is this the 45 gal with Ph 6.4?
If so,, I would not be so quick to dump products in to raise the Ph especially if you are also expieriencing elevated ammonia. Ammonia is much more toxic as the Ph level is increased and less toxic at lower Ph values. Nitrates such as you posted for the 45 gal are usually indications that maint of the tank may have been neglected. I would were it me, Perform small 10 to 20 percent water changes every two to three days and keep an eye on ammonia levels. I might also reduce the frequency and amount of food being offered if fish are in the tanks to one feeding every two days. I would also vaccum one third of the gravel in the 45 gal. Not the 60 gal and a different area each week. If the 60 gal is cycling, with fish ,,, the same applys with the exception that you don't want to disturb the gravel or filter until the tank reads zero for ammonia, zero for nitrites,and some detectable nitrAtes. If the 45 gal has been set up for some time with fish then "old tank syndrome" may be what you are expieriencing. You may wish to have a read here.. www.bestfish.com/oldtank.htm hope some of this helps.
old tank syndrome... that may be my deal... :|
i will start a water change regiment, and i haven't changed the filter cartridge in a while... so i will get on that! i have had aquariums for so long, but it seems as though i am only now learning the basics! i guess before i wasn't taking things as seriously!
thanks for the advice, i will report back!
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