Lost...nitrates high - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-12-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Lost...nitrates high

I had a problem last week with all of my parameters for my water really high except the PH which was 7. I started doing water changes several times a day for a few days. Yesterday PH 7.6 which I was told is bad Ammonia .25, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. Did another water change today to continue to get the ammonia down but used Seachem neutral regulator instead of prime to help with the PH. My ammonia is still .25 and my nitrates jumped to 80. Iím at a loss. Iím sure I need to do another water change but can I use the Seachem prime if I already used the regulator? Or should I do something else. Lost.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-12-2018, 10:01 PM
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Lost...nitrates high

First things first, I donít recommend messing with your water chemistry unless you ABSOLUTELY have to, and even then there are better ways to do it than with chemicals. Once you start making those alterations you have to keep up with them. Itís better to have stable water than perfect water.

The only number Iím concerned about at this point is the ammonia. Is your tank cycled? Are you using liquid or strips to test?

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Iíve had the tank up and running for about 8+ yrs so it was cycled. I added another filtration system to get it cycled so I can move everyone to a bigger tank. Didnít do water changes so my Pleco was sick. A plocostomos FB page recommended I do daily sometimes twice a day water changes to bring my parameters down. Everything was good on Sunday then I did another water change and my nitrates are off the chart. Iím using api liquid test kit.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 11:26 AM
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the api nitrate test kit is extremely hard to read above 60ppm or so. 60-160 are just slight changes of red.


I would not use anything to control pH. A high pH is a sign that carbon dioxide is low which is hardly a bad thing for the fish.


If you have a planted tank that could explain the high ph. And if that tank had some "bump in the night" which caused ammonia to spike, the plants would consume the excess ammonia and forgo nitrates for nitrogen. Which causes a nitrate spike. What may happen is the "bump in the night" will pass, ammonia drop down, then nitrates drop down. All the while at very high pH values.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/

Last edited by beaslbob; 02-13-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tank is not planted, hubby doesnít want them. Ok then keep doing water changes to get ammonia down and hopefully some of the nitrates will go down as well.? Any other suggestions.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-13-2018, 03:28 PM
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The nitrate values increase exponentially on the chart so like bob said, the higher they are the harder it is to get an ďaccurateĒ reading. However, in all honesty, if your looking at nitrates in the 80-160 range then itís not really important what the actual value is - theyíre high and need to come down with water changes, same water changes that will help the ammonia.

The solution to pollution is dilution, so donít be afraid of draining half the tank or more. For example, letís say your nitrates were 100 (or ammonia 1.0). If you a small change of only 20%, your new nitrate value would be no lower than 80 - maybe as high as 90 since your source water might have nitrates in them. Have you tested the tap water? Ammonia would be no lower than .8 ppm, possibly higher if your tap water has chloromines. So you can see how ineffectual those small changes are. Again using nitrates as an example - your tank will produce say 50 nitrates every week. If you only change enough water each week to remove 30 or 40, then nitrates will accumulate to high levels. If you changed enough to remove what the tank produces, then youíll be at equilibrium more or less. In order to lower your nitrates you have to remove more than the tank produces each week. Plants are one way to do this, and water changes are another. Iím not into plants either

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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