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welshboy 03-18-2010 05:38 AM

help with Nitrate please
Hi' i did a water change on monday.I just checked the Nitrate and the reading with the test is 80ppm.All the other water tests are fine.Can anyone help me out with some advice Thanks.Mark

JohnnyD44 03-18-2010 05:43 AM

Nitrates can come from a number of things, mostly excess ammonia which comes from excess waste and food.

If you could answer these questions, we could narrow down your problem!!!

What size is your tank?
Tank inhabitants?
How long has it been running?
Water change schedule?
Nitrate in tap water?
Feeding schedule?

welshboy 03-18-2010 06:03 AM

My tank is 4FT long' clown loaches' pleco kissing gramies' bleeding heart and lemon tetras' guppies' 2 redtail sharks.Tank have been running for around 4 years' water change due on monday' nitrate tap water is 10ppm.Feeding morning and night.Mark

JohnnyD44 03-18-2010 06:08 AM

what kind of pleco is it? do you know? a common pleco can grow to over a foot. They are really big waste producers also.

What kind of filter are you running? Do you have plants?

how many of each tetra? number of loaches?

welshboy 03-18-2010 06:15 AM

I think it's a common pleco at the moment it's around 14'' long.5 loaches and 8 tetras. i do have plants' the pumps i have are 2 powerheads one each side of the tank.

1077 03-18-2010 08:29 AM


Originally Posted by welshboy (Post 346123)
I think it's a common pleco at the moment it's around 14'' long.5 loaches and 8 tetras. i do have plants' the pumps i have are 2 powerheads one each side of the tank.

Do powerheads power under gravel filter? If so,, and considering the tanks age,, It could be that mulm has collected under the plate and is contributing to NitrAte levels.

LisaC144 03-18-2010 09:45 AM

I agree wit hthe above, but if you get a reading that seems odd, you should always double and triple check. Depending on the test kit you are using (I'm think of API because that is what I use) you have to chake the HECK out of the #2 Nitrate test bottle. Then once you add the 10 drops, you have to shake the HECK out of the test tube. Just a suggestion to retest to be 100% sure before you go nuts trying to figure it out.

Oldfishlady 03-18-2010 12:49 PM

Overstocked and poorly stocked is part of the problem IMO, plus having nitrate in your tap water is not helping matters either.
You need to rehome some fish but first you need to get them in lower nitrate slowly and this can take about 10 days to safely do this.Too fast of a drop in nitrate can shock even kill the fish, high nitrate can also affect their immune response.
Start by making 10% water changes for 2 days, then 20% for 2 day, then 30% for 2 days, then 40% for 2 day, then 50% for 2 days, vacuum 1/4 of the substrate with one of the percents of 10-20-30-40%, when you get to the 50% water changes vacuum 1/2 with each one, check your nitrate level before each change and start a log, try to keep the nitrate drop in the 5-10ppm range even though you will be adding back nitrate from your tap. Once you get your nitrate in the 20ppm range, rehome that big pleco and the clowns neither of these fish need to be in your tank unless it is at least 125g or bigger, get some stem plants and floating plants like hornwort and water lettuce to help with your nitrate and stay on top of 50% weekly water changes and vacuum the substrate in all the areas you can reach without moving anything in the tank like the decoration, if you have an UGF it will be a problem with stem plants and the roots can cause it to not work properly. If your substrate is too deep that will also cause problems.
As Lisa stated shake the heck out of the nitrate reagent and give it a bang on the table and shake some more as the reagent in the API nitrate tend to settle and you will not get accurate readings

welshboy 03-18-2010 06:23 PM

Hi Thanks ever so much for your help with the nitrate.Next time i will follow what the members wrote.Mark

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