Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two fish tanks, a 20 and a 29. They have the exact same readins for everything.
Ph:7.6+
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:160!!!!!
Ammonia:.25
Obviously... My nitrate is pretty terrible... Many of my community fish have been dying and my goldfish are sulky.
They still all deffenatly have a great appetite and the guppies tend to stay at the top while the goldfish on the bottom, glofish bottom, and the others are supposed to be on the bottom.
I have 3 Cory catfish in there to help with the recent addition of sand in the 20 gallon.
My bristlenose pleco in goldfish tank seems to have some discoloration... Kind of looks like burns but I'm not sure.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Have you tested your tap water to see if there is any nitrates in it?? I would personally get a conditioner like Prime that detoxifies the nitrates. Prime will do so for 48hrs or up then. So atleast every 48 I would do water changes until you can figure out where/what's causing the nitrates to be soo high??
What fish are in what tank??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Boredomb has posted some good suggestions / questions. Goldfish are big waste producers and it is easy to over feed them as they seem to be constantly hungry. Between their waste and the possibility of over feeding, your readings are very understandable. Goldfish aren't really suited to either of your tanks. I would think that ammonia burns could be a very real issue with your plecostomus (also not suited to your tanks). If you must keep everything as is, frequent partial water changes of 30-50% as Boredom suggested are vital. Live stem / floating plants will be very helpful in stabilizing the ammonia and nitrates. Your readings also suggest that your cycle is not completed and the plants will help improve that issue also. I love goldfish; however, I have come to believe that they are a pond fish unless you have a very large tank to support their needs. If it is possible for you to rehome the goldfish and plecostomus, that will open up a lot of room for very interesting and beautiful fish for you to enjoy. Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have you tested your tap water to see if there is any nitrates in it?? I would personally get a conditioner like Prime that detoxifies the nitrates. Prime will do so for 48hrs or up then. So atleast every 48 I would do water changes until you can figure out where/what's causing the nitrates to be soo high??
What fish are in what tank??
The thing is, I do not use tap water. I use spring drinking water that my family all drinks from a water store.

In my 29 gallon I have 2 goldfish and a bristlenose pleco.
In my 20 gallon
3 Cory catfish
3 glofish
2 lyretail guppies
1 unknown
The rest are guppies
1 otto


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Boredomb has posted some good suggestions / questions. Goldfish are big waste producers and it is easy to over feed them as they seem to be constantly hungry. Between their waste and the possibility of over feeding, your readings are very understandable. Goldfish aren't really suited to either of your tanks. I would think that ammonia burns could be a very real issue with your plecostomus (also not suited to your tanks). If you must keep everything as is, frequent partial water changes of 30-50% as Boredom suggested are vital. Live stem / floating plants will be very helpful in stabilizing the ammonia and nitrates. Your readings also suggest that your cycle is not completed and the plants will help improve that issue also. I love goldfish; however, I have come to believe that they are a pond fish unless you have a very large tank to support their needs. If it is possible for you to rehome the goldfish and plecostomus, that will open up a lot of room for very interesting and beautiful fish for you to enjoy. Best of luck.
My pleco is fine, because he is a bristlenose therefore doesn't get too big. I have reformed 2 of my previous 4 goldfish, for their health, I have a persons ho has a beautiful pong who tanks them :) however the two I have now, since they are social I have to have more than 1, and they other was my very first fish ever. Had him for 7 years.

I have had the 20 gallon running for 5 years now, how could it be uncycled? The 29 gallon is about 302 months old. The only thing I can think of is that I recently switched ther substrates, about a month ago. Now the 20 has sand, and the 29 has gravel.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
I would seriously test the spring water and see. Another thing is that spring water might be too soft for Goldfish. Changing the substrate could have caused an issue but you would have seen nitrites before the nitrates. I would personally up the water changes volume and frequencies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Cycles can be upset and at least need to partially re-establish. You would probably have nitrites though, so you're most likely right. Boredomb's suggestions sound like the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
I've always heard that you should not use bottled water for water changes. That's got to be extremely expensive, unless you are only changing out like 10%, in which case it makes sense that your nitrates are so high. Small water changes really don't do anything. Perhaps you have old tank syndrome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
There is a spring not far from here where people used to pull off the side of the road and collect jugs of water. It is in a rural / farming area. I can't help but think that it was loaded with nitrates due to the agricultural runoff. This is an example of why it would be a good idea to test it. Of course, since this is a new issue, Jaysee's thought regarding old tank syndrome is something to consider. In any event, the water changes and finding the source of the nitrate can't do anything but help. Conditioned tap water may well be better for your tanks than your drinking water. You should test you tap water also to see how it compares. Your water company can give you info on GH and KH, etc. I sent an email to ours and received a very complete and friendly reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Old tank syndrome sounds right for the 20 gallon. But it's hard for me go to the water store more than once a week to accumulate all that water, I'd have to buy another jug. My jugs are 3 gallons, and I have 3.

What is the highest amount of water you can change for it to be safe?


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Many folks on the site do 50% weekly water changes. I do 30-50% depending on how my back feels on that particular day. If you read about discus fish care, you'll see that some people change out most of the water every day. As I mentioned earlier, your tap water, properly conditioned, could be a very good alternative to purchasing special water. For the sake of convenience and your wallet, checking that possibility could be a real boon to you and your tanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Many folks on the site do 50% weekly water changes. I do 30-50% depending on how my back feels on that particular day. If you read about discus fish care, you'll see that some people change out most of the water every day. As I mentioned earlier, your tap water, properly conditioned, could be a very good alternative to purchasing special water. For the sake of convenience and your wallet, checking that possibility could be a real boon to you and your tanks.
The water I purchase is only 30 cents a gallon. For tap water I'd have to buy conditioner..


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
I change 80% of my water. You can safely change 100% as long as the tank water chemistry is similar to the your source water chemistry. The concern with old tank syndrome is that the water chemistry in the tank becomes very different than your source, so doing a large change would cause the fish shock. It would be best to slowly build up to that.

A 500 ml bottle of prime water conditioner cost $12 on amazon, and treats 5,000 gallons of water, which breaks down to $0.0024 per gallon (a quarter of a penny....) - that plus the cost of the water itself is WAY cheaper than buying water from the store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
At this point I would agree. Small frequent water changes are best at this point. If you did a major water change it could shock/stress the fish. Also even with you using spring water a conditioner would help with nitrates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Phew, ok well here's an update. I did go and buy top fin conditioner, and started tap water, I can get it from the bathtub, right? I've been doing daily 30% water changes and getting any dead leaves out. One fish is a little stressed but others seem fine, I hope. The test still shows 160 ppm nitrate, I've been doing water changes for 3 days In a row.. Ill continue with them for he whole week and then test again.



I've never done so much so often so close together before, I accidentally for the first time ever sucked in a fish and didn't notice... Poor girl had a red head and died.. Then I sucked up a frog, but quickly got her out. She is fine now.







Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Phew, ok well here's an update. I did go and buy top fin conditioner, and started tap water, I can get it from the bathtub, right? I've been doing daily 30% water changes and getting any dead leaves out. One fish is a little stressed but others seem fine, I hope. The test still shows 160 ppm nitrate, I've been doing water changes for 3 days In a row.. Ill continue with them for he whole week and then test again.



I've never done so much so often so close together before, I accidentally for the first time ever sucked in a fish and didn't notice... Poor girl had a red head and died.. Then I sucked up a frog, but quickly got her out. She is fine now.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App

Its fine getting it out the bathtub faucet.
Have been vacuuming the substrate any at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have been vacuuming the substrate any at all?
I've been vacuuming the gravel in 29 gallon but my 20 gallon has sand. I was told I didn't have to clean it if I got Cory catfish, I have3. But ya, I still get what poop and junk I can from the sand. I at least don't stress about it as much as I did without the catfish.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
IMHO in order to get nitrates down you have to increase the consumers of those nitrates.

Small frequent water changes or larger less frequent can and will results in nitrates in the red on the api test kit (160ppm or so) when there are insufficient nitrate consumers to keep up with nitrate production.

I would add plants, reduce feedings and let the system consume the nitrates. Eventually they will drop down to unmeasureable levels.

Of course then 3 weeks later you will get cyano. But that is easy enough to correct by adjusting lighting and feeding.

If you fish eat the plants then wet up some kind or protection for the plants or use an algae turf scrubber.


my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
IMHO in order to get nitrates down you have to increase the consumers of those nitrates.

Small frequent water changes or larger less frequent can and will results in nitrates in the red on the api test kit (160ppm or so) when there are insufficient nitrate consumers to keep up with nitrate production.

I would add plants, reduce feedings and let the system consume the nitrates. Eventually they will drop down to unmeasureable levels.

Of course then 3 weeks later you will get cyano. But that is easy enough to correct by adjusting lighting and feeding.

If you fish eat the plants then wet up some kind or protection for the plants or use an algae turf scrubber.


my .02
I actually do have quite a few plants and plan to get more. I have 3 types currently in there and no fake plants. In my 20 gallon that is. In the 29 I have silk plants because my goldfish eat all the real plants.

I decently feed less than I used to and am doing, til the nitrates go down, daily 30%+ water changes.

What is cynado?


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top