All my cichlids seem to be really lazy, they all just hang out in their own spots and dont really swim around. My water seems to be good. The only thing off is the nitrates. Temp is at 79.5 which from what I have read is the upper end of the heat they like.
Is there anything I can do, could the temp be to high?
Oh and its only 3 that are maybe 2 .5 inchs in a 29 gallon tank, so they arent over crowded.
What are your water params, including GH and KH? How much decoration is in the tank and how is it set up? Do you have any photos of this tank that I could see?
Also, what foods are you offering them and how much, how often?
What is GH and KH?
Didnt think about it before but I have soft water(due to a water softner I have had for years). What can I do to up the hardness?
I dont have any pictures right now. But I have one big decoration with room for them to hide inside of plus fake plants all over.
Im feeding them pellets, dont know the name though lost the box, twice a day. Also feed them some frozen brine shrimp once a week or so.
GH & Kh measure general hardness and carbonate hardness. Those along with pH will tell us where your hardness really is in that tank. How to bring it up and how far to bring it up will depend on the test results for those 3 tests. It would also be a good idea if you can post ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels if possible. Nitrate directly affects pH and ammonia & nitrite will also tell us what to expect for near future nitrate levels.
If you need help finding the GH and Kh test kits let us know and I'm sure many here can advise you on where to purchase them. Please use liquid test kits for accuracy, and always test the water immediately after removing it from the tank, also for accuracy. If you have a lfs that will test your water you can take them a sample and request those 2 tests, but ask them to write down exact numbers and the type/brand of test kits they used so we know what we're working with here. If taking water to a lfs for testing, it must be done within 1 hr of removing water from the tank, otherwise water chemistry breaks down too far to offer accurate results.
So, to sum it up... the numbers we need to help you are as follows:
Need to go out and buy a better test kit. I have those sticks that measure everything.
Please, in the future, don't waste your money on the test strips. They are very inaccurate and can cause many issues in a tank by reporting false readings. Liquid test kits are the most accurate and economical at the same time (aside from digital meters). API is one of the best as well as being one of the cheapest.
cool Ill stop by the LFS and pick up a test kit
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