Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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blacksheep 03-17-2010 07:59 PM

Good water parameters???
Ammonia? Nitrate? Nitrite? What should the numbers of PPM be when you test it?

Austin 03-17-2010 08:11 PM

0 ammonia always
0 nitrite always.
Low nitrate... not sure the exact number. 20 ppm or less i think?

Oldfishlady 03-17-2010 08:17 PM

ammonia 0ppm......
nitrite 0ppm....
nitrate 5-10ppm...

for most fish..... pH 6-8...however most fish adapt to pH and will be just fine unless you are spawning/breeding and pH can affect breeding/hatch/eggs/fry in some is the sudden change in pH and nitrate that can stress/kill

Ammonia and nitrite IMO are harmful both short and long term at level 0.25ppm and above

Nitrate over 30ppm can affect the immune response making fish more apt to health issues
often the sudden change in nitrate is the reason for sudden death and disease in fish....
this is where the myth that "water change" or "new fish" caused my fish deaths or problems come from....high nitrate...with slow change/rise in nitrates the fish will be just fine and tolerate it without issues, but make a large water change and the sudden drop shocks the fish and they get sick or die and the water change is blamed...
same with new fish added from a low nitrate to high nitrate tank...the fish get sick and die and the the old fish get sick due to low immunity from living in high nitrate and the new fish are blamed when if was a nitrate shock.....

blacksheep 03-17-2010 11:27 PM

My current parameters for my 36 gallons are
ammonia .25
nitrite 1
nitrate 5
How long until ammonia and nitrite hits 0? Its been cycling for about 6 days.

PRichs87 03-18-2010 12:05 AM

Be patient! Are you fishless cycling?

blacksheep 03-18-2010 12:08 AM

I was until my older brother through in his raphael catfish 2 days ago -_-

LisaC144 03-18-2010 09:37 AM

Interesting regarding the nitrate changes, OldFishLady. i recently changed my tank from a non-planted to a planted. Nitrates went from around 20-30ppm regularly to 0-5ppm regularly (for obvious reasons of the live plants). I lost a couple fish during the change. I must state that I did have a mini-cycle that lasted for about 4 days but i recently lost an Angelfish as well. I'm now wondering if it was because of the drastic change in nitrate after I planted it.

Oldfishlady 03-18-2010 12:12 PM

It could have been Lisa, it is recommended that you drop nitrate no more than 5-10ppm at a time by making small percent water changes and increasing the percent each day until you reach 50% and 5-10ppm nitrate.
Some fish are more sensitive than others and the time they spend in the high nitrate plays a role too, pH also can be a factor in regards to sudden changes.
IMO 30ppm is right on the edge in that caution area, most fish handle those slow rise in the nitrate and will be just fine, however, it will affect their immune response.
When you have high nitrate you also need to find out why, reason....not enough water water changes i.e. frequency, low percent, poor substrate vacuuming, overstocked, over feeding, dirty filter or poor flow are a few reasons.
Nitrates are the lesser of the evils but they can have adverse effects at high levels

LisaC144 03-18-2010 01:29 PM

Well everything seems to be okay now. I asked if I should keep my old tank water as I did the change, but everyone recommended no because you're just saving dirty water and nothing beneficial (like BB). Now I'm wondering if I would have saved the water if some of the fish would have survived. Some might have died due to the mini-cycle for sure, but perhaps it could have been from the rapid drop in Nitrate now too. I never, ever knew that. I'm just wondering for future reference because I plan on upgrading from a 55g to a 90g within a year.

Oldfishlady 03-18-2010 06:56 PM

Most of the NB or nitrifying bacteria are on the surface area in the tank, like the walls, decoration, the top layers of the substrate and in the filter media, very little is in the water column itself...due to it being sticking and adhering to IMO the water itself it just waste water and not really useful unless you did a good vacuum too and then it is good for house plants and this will contains lots of DOC and nitrate, so throwing it out I don't think it would have made much difference in some regards with just water but vacuumed that might have helped some...and with the mini-cycle making daily water changes to reduce the ammonia and nitrite levels is all you could do on that IMO
On your next project I would put your new filter for the 90g on the 55g a couple of weeks to a month and get it seeded really well and bag up the top layer of substrate in the 55g in some pantyhose and drop in the 90g for the first week or so after you get it set up, just watch you nitrate and pH on the 55g if you plan to add those fish to the 90g and they should be fine....

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