0 ammonia 0 trite 40 trate - overstocked?
Tank has been up and running for at least 3 months. Today is the first time I have tested this tank. Results are in the thread title. I'm happy, I've never lost a fish. Heavily, heavily planted. Gravel substrate. I attribute my high nitrates to:
Having never vaccuumed the substrated since it's been put in. I will probably do a 75% water change next week to address this.
Overstocking. 6 small zebra danios, 1 glass tetra, 1 tiger barb, 1 RTS, 3 spotted corys, 1 black neon, 1 bamboo shrimp. 10g tank. Everybody gets along great, no issues there. My large amounts of plants must be the saving grace, along with my once weekly 40% water changes.
I'm happy with the current stock amount. I've considered switching the substrate to sand, which I think may fix the trates. I honestly believe thats whats causing this.
Thoughts? Pictures of my tank / info can be found in the aquarium tab next to my name.
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Well your defiantly over stocked for a tank that size, and your right a gravel vacuum will help remove some of the decaying organic matter but changing the substrate probably wont help much as you will still have the same organic load on the tank. A better option would be to include more stem plants in your setup as they will assimilate nutrients faster as they tend to grow faster, good ones for this are anarchris and hornswort, anther plant I like for this reason is duckweed but alot of people hate it as it can take over the top of the tank.
Remove a few fish and add stem plants and you should get to nitrates under control.
Also do not over feed your fish this is a mistake most new people make only feed as much as your fish will clean up in a few minutes.
That could be it I do usually find too much flakes or bloodworms on the top still fifteen mins after feeding...thats a good point. Thanks guys. I am always scared to underfeed, but I had been advised that its okay to feed only once every other day even.
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Removing fish isn't going to happen, they'd have to go to a fish store and the only ones within 45 minutes of me are Petsmarts...two small chain stores have already declined taking extra plants (after propagation) and fish, for free. I don't have another tank they can make a home in, currently. I will purchase some of the plants you mentioned though to try and switch things up. And I do think that a sand-substrate would make a difference, as food particulate often gets trapped in there and lost forever. Wish sand though my corys would probably have an easier time cleaning up and particulate matter and it would be easier to clean during water changes.
Meh, idk. I'm so indecisive about what I wanna do in this situation.
your lone tiger barb could be a problem. they need to be in groups or they can become very mean. even small groups aren't enough. they are horrible fin nippers if there aren't enough of them. i had 4 (bought five, one died shortly after getting them) and the one who become dominant literally nipped one of the other one's tail down to nothing. i euthanized the injured one and brought my total up to 9, and they are all happy now. one alone will almost definitely become an issue.
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There are real issues just waiting to happen due to the selection of fish you have. It may appear "fine" presently, but this is putting several of those fish under stress and eventually something will give. Also, as fish mature, they frequently develop their inherent behavioural traits. Which brings me to the shark.
Red Tailed Shark is much too large a fish and much too aggressive for a 10g. You can read more in our profile, click on the shaded name. This fish will be downright nasty and likely kill most of the other fish in time, not only because that is it's nature but in such a small space the added stress will worsen this.
Tiger Barb are naturally aggressive and as has been mentioned need a larger group, but in a larger tank. Please read the profile for more, I needn't repeat all that.
The glass tetra and black neon tetra are shoaling fish, they need to be in a group. Six is usually considered minimum. They are under severe stress without companions of their own species. This is how nature made them, we can't force them differently.
The 6 Zebra Danio are in a decent group, but for such an active swimmer a 10g is not sufficient space. Moving these to a 30g will be better, but you still have the above issues.
Stress is a major health issue; sickness almost always occurs solely due to stress brought on by one of several factors. You cannot always see "stress" in fish, but it is still there.
On the nitrate issue, this is due to the high bioload as others have mentioned, or if nitrate is present in the source (tap) water as Mikaila subsequently noted.
Please read the profiles to better understand how nature is working here. We are all here to offer assistance as best we can.
What is your nitrate out of the tap? I highly doubt your substrate is causing the nitrates. I use black dirt and other high organics capped over with sand and with my new tap water my tanks maintain close to zero nitrate levels.
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