Yesterday I did a 50% water change in my 150 gallon aquarium. I tested the water last weekend and my ph was 7.9, ammonia .25 (which it always reads at .25 to the point where i think the test kit is wrong or my color vision is wrong), nitrites 0 and nitrates 0. I tested the water today and the readings are all the same except the nitrates are at 5ppm. I have never seen a nitrite or nitrate reading since we set up the aquarium several months ago. Is there anything I should be doing or not be doing that i could have over looked? (We currently have 3 phantom barbs, 2 tiger barbs, 2 rummy nose tetras, 5 serpae tetras, 2 turquoise rainbows, 4 austrailian rainbows, 2 bosemanis, 4 dwarf gouramis, 2 alge eaters, 2 small cat fish i cant recall their species but they have black and white stripes and you never ever see them, and 1 pleco - sadly one of my pleco's passed on yesterday for some unknown reason.)
It sounds like your tank finally cycled, unless there is a reason you think you should have no nitrates? Is this a well planted tank? Or something else that would be absorbing nitrates? Most every tank has nitrates unless you are so well planted that your plants are absorbing all your ammonia before the beneficial bacteria have a chance to turn it to nitrites, then to nitrates. Or you have some sort of product that removes nitrates.
no not really other than i never had a nitrate reading so far. I would have thought the tank should have cycled by now since we have had it for at least 4 months. But i do not have it planted at all as i'm trying to learn one aspect at a time.
5ppm is nothing to be alarmed about. My tank, is planted and still shows a reading of 10ppm for nitrates.
Something that did jump out at me though:
Sorry to hear about your pleco :-(
Thanks Johnny. I originally had them in schools of 7 yet the rest didn't survive (we lost a number of fish in the beginning). I've been reluctant to up the number of barbs because i've read they tend to be aggressive where as the two i have seem to be holding their own and tend to leave the other fish be. The tetras seem to hang together - the phantoms and the serpaes (I didnt realize I had called the phantoms barbs in my original post as they are tetras). Perhaps i'm wrong in assuming that tp some extent a tetra is a tetra and that the school they seemed to have made for themselves counts as a school of happy fish.
My pleco was the first fish we'd lost in a while. It was odd cause I had purchased two at the same time. One is growing like crazy and the one that passed on wasn't growing at all. He was eating and didnt seem to be experiencing any health issues but i'm guessing something was going on that i didn't pick up on since he apparently wasn't so healthy.
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