Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   nitrate problem (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/nitrate-problem-51188/)

bigrift 09-08-2010 06:01 PM

nitrate problem
 
ok so iv got a 30g tank well planted with 14 fish in it and all of a sudden my nitrate lvls have gone threw the roof. i have play sand substrate i clean and do 10% water changes weekly (curently doing 30% due to high nitrate starting this week). so far iv had no fish loss or plant loss but besides doing water changes is there anything else i can do to lower my nitrate? should i do more than 30%? just for the record i had moved the plants and fish from a 55g tank to the 30g tank a few weeks ago cause of a huge pond snail problem. when in the 55g tank i had no nitrate at all... maybe the snails should have stayed?

burnsbabe 09-08-2010 07:27 PM

You can certainly do more than a 30% every week. I might be tempted to do 50% twice weekly until your problem is solved and then make 30% every week the standard. 10% isn't a whole lot.

As for the cause of the problem, did you cycle the tank before you switched your fish over, or did you just drop them in? The plants ought to help.

zof 09-08-2010 07:31 PM

I've been having the same nitrate issue with my 36 gallon tank, and unsure what is causing it, I've been going on a month now trying to figure it out. I will be interested to see what people say about yours, all I know is I have a ton of snails (pond and ramshorn) in this tank and at first I was actually blaming them, but to no avail.

bigrift 09-08-2010 07:44 PM

i did cycle the tank for actually 2 weeks and used at least half the water in the new tank from the old. the reason it took me 2 weeks is i had a issue with the water being very cloudy from the sand even after washing it. another thing i didnt add was seeing as i have no snails as of yet to stir the sand around i use the syphone to poke threw the sand to get the gases out when i do my water changes. tomarrow i will do a 50% water change and again saturday and see if that helps.

Russell 09-08-2010 09:06 PM

Are either of you using an API test kit to measure nitrate. The reagent solution in bottle 2 precipitates out of solution and must be shaken to re-mix. Unfortunately this usually means that if you haven't been shaking it that you will get false lows until the solution is super concentrated and then you will get false highs. Other kits use the same method and chemicals as API and should need the same shaking but, API is the only one I know of that has publicly admitted that this occurs.

zof 09-08-2010 09:31 PM

[thread jack]Well this is not my thread but I have shaken the #2 bottle for at least 1:30 to 2 minutes plus I have 2 tanks and the other one always registers normal.[/thread jack]

Back to bigrift and his issue :-D

Byron 09-08-2010 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigrift (Post 467257)
ok so iv got a 30g tank well planted with 14 fish in it and all of a sudden my nitrate lvls have gone threw the roof. i have play sand substrate i clean and do 10% water changes weekly (curently doing 30% due to high nitrate starting this week). so far iv had no fish loss or plant loss but besides doing water changes is there anything else i can do to lower my nitrate? should i do more than 30%? just for the record i had moved the plants and fish from a 55g tank to the 30g tank a few weeks ago cause of a huge pond snail problem. when in the 55g tank i had no nitrate at all... maybe the snails should have stayed?

It's difficult to answer this because we don't know all the data. But in general, water changes are the best way short-term to reduce nitrate. Long-term, you need to find the cause and eliminate it. Once things are biologically balanced, a weekly water change will work with the plants to maintain stability--nitrate should not be rising and falling, it should be stable. And with lots of plants, very low; high nitrate in a planted tank means too many fish or some other heavy load on the biology of the tank.

First question, what is the exact nitrate reading? And on this, if you have the API test kit, shake regent #2 for 2+ minutes (not just 30 seconds as stated in the instructions) or you will get a false high reading.

Second, how long has this 30g been running?

Third, what are the fish?

Fourth, is it well planted or just a couple of plants?

Byron.

bigrift 09-09-2010 12:11 AM

i use the jungle quick dip 5 in 1 test strips always have so i trust them. when in dought i bring a sample to my lfs and have them confirm my readings.first nitrate reading (no3) was 40 ppm and the second (no2) was 3.0 ppm. i think i may have found my problem though. i have 4 mollies and 5 platys 2 plecos 3 guppies (males). i was looking at the substrate and found a few black spots along the glass (no snails to turn the sand so iv been doing it manually) and i turned the sand a bit threw the tank and decided since i had my filter unpluged to check the filter (whitch i change monthly) and found a few dozzen fry that got sucked up in the filter. aparently the filter is to close to a plant that the fry like to hide in and they became victoms of the filter. now normally if i see fry i catch them and place them in a grow tank and later on i keep the best ones and feed the rest to my cichlids. to solve this i changed the filter and the media tomarrow a 50% water change iv also moved the plant a bit and stuffed part of the tube with cheese cloth so i can look in and see anything stuck in there (i know ill be cleaning it alot but it saves filter pads and time trying to clean mushy fry from the pad lol) hopefully this will help with the issue ill report back in a few days if it helps or not.

the tank has been running about a month now and it is well planted i must have 30 seperate plants in the tank and about 6 or 7 diffrent kinds (no clue what they are they looked nice at the lfs i got them at)

1077 09-09-2010 12:58 AM

Plants or no plants, I would keep a close eye on water parameters in a month old tank and would feed the fish sparingly.
By removing and replacing filter media ,a substantial amount of beneficial bacteria was also removed.
Until such time as plants get firmly established, and bacterial colony is replenished,there is a possibility that levels of ammonia and nitrites might rise to stressful/toxic levels.
Is always a good idea to research plants and animals that we place in the aquarium . Some plants offered at fish stores are not always true aquatic plants (See Petco) and are sold to those unaware and plants subsequently begin to die/rot in the aquarium in a few weeks or a month. This then results in water quality issues.
Rather than stuffing something in the intake tube? (reduced flow),, I would suggest placing a pre-filter sponge over the intake to prevent fry from becoming lost and as you have observed,clogging the filter material and creating nearly lethal results for other fishes.

bigrift 09-09-2010 11:13 AM

all plants and fish iv had for well over 6 months in another tank true some of the plants i know arnt true aquatic plants but they seem to all be doing fine very green and growing like crazy in the sand. what i used is a small amount of cheese cloth and i havnt noticed any change in flow. as far as bactirea i had a few peices of driftwood that were also in the other tank that i have not cleaned off and also a sponge in the filter that i left alone also. from everything iv read my nitrate isnt really all that bad but could have gotten worse because of the fry. a few water changes a week for the next few weeks and a close watch on my ladies should do the trick i hope.


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