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|Nitrate level high|
I'm new here so take it easy on me folks. I have read alot of articles about high Nitrate levels in tanks...but feel I need information specific to my tank.
I bought a 30 gal tank about 1 week ago, I didn't have to move it far, so I moved it with about 6 inches of water in it. The tank came with 3 fish, a Blue Gourami, Angel Fish, and Pleco. The fish are relatively large.
When I got the tank home, I set it up, added water, and got everything moving. A day or so later I tested the water, and I am getting 0 readings for Nitrite, and Ammonia, but my Nitrates are through the roof, we are talking like 150+. I have no idea how to get them down. I have not added any chemicals to the tanks, and recently bought new filters, and did a 25% water change and gravel clean about 2 days ago.. Nitrate levels did not drop.
I will admit, I haven't tested the water out of the tap yet. Is it possible to have that high of Nitrate in drinking water?
I did read in one of Franks post about "old tank" syndrome.. something I have never heard of before. Please advise. (as well as how urgent it is for me to get this under control)
|Posted 19-Aug-2009 17:27|
The only way to get nitrates down is doing partial water changes and vacuming the gravel. If there is alot of build up in the gravel it can cause the high nitrates.
|Posted 19-Aug-2009 19:47|
Small Fry with Ketchup
Wow this is like dejevu all over again! Few years back I bought a 30 used, took out all the water except just enough to cover the gravel. Of course when I busted out the gravel vac the guy was like "wow thats a cool thing" , I should have known the nitrates would have been sky high I had no clue they'd be as high as yours considering I had done such a massive water change!
So, yeah. It'll take a long time, keep those deep gravel cleanings going, make sure you're going all the way to the bottom and holding it there till the waters running up the tube clear.
I ended up doing a substrate change on my tank as the gravel that was in there was this nasty faded purple color. Adding some floating hornwart helped a lot in my tank, as did the removal of all the gravel of course.
|Posted 19-Aug-2009 22:17|
Just to make sure, frequent water changes will not harm the fish? And we are talking about 25% at a time? What frequency? (Of course while the water is being taken out, the gravel will be cleaned)
I will get a HornWart next time I'm in town.
How urgent is it to bring Nitrates down... Sorry to seem so needy, but my 4 year old daughter is WAY attached to these fish already... and having one pass wouldn't be good.
|Posted 19-Aug-2009 22:30|
Small Fry with Ketchup
If they're big I'm assuming they've lasted this long right *shrug*? I'm not trying to be lackadaisical about the situation, just a little perspective.
The thing with water changes is that you need to make sure temp ph ect is all matching, 25% every day isn't going to upset the fish at all so long as it's not a sudden shock like a 2 degree drop.
Might want to pick up some carbon as well if you're not running it. Can help clear it up particle matter, even if it does nothing for nitrates. You'll want to be careful with hornwart though, I've had it suck a tank dry of nitrates and have to hit up home depot for some nitrAtes to add (yep, same tank that was off the scale with nitrAtes).
Also look at getting some biospira, getting a good dose of the proper bacteria back in the filters would help a bunch, and would reduce any chances of a minicycle from the water changes.
Increasing surface agitation can help force more oxygen into the water making life a tad easier on the fish now. If you're running a HOB filter on it just drop the water level a bit to increase splash. If it's a canister position the spray bar above the water rather then below.
|Posted 20-Aug-2009 00:19|
I am assuming HOB filter means one that hangs on the side.. and if I am correct, yes I use that kind. It also has Carbon in the filter...is that what you mean? or is there Carbon you put in the actual tank?
I will start with 25% water changes and gravel cleans daily.
Have no clue what "biospira" is, ...some type of additive? Available at a petstore?
Thanks for all the advice, its much appreciated.
|Posted 20-Aug-2009 02:14|
Small Fry with Ketchup
Yes carbon in a HOB filter (be sure to change it monthly). If you hover over terms that have the parallel lines it'll tell you what it's short for .
GAH I didn't even mean BioSpira, although it is the best one out there, I meant Cycle. They both do the same thing, introduce the good bacteria into the tank. BioSpira is just more expensive and works overnight to cycle a tank. Cycle is cheaper, not sold in the refrigerated section of your LFS, and is more widely available. Since the tank is already established I'd suggest Cycle. Last I knew even the chain pet stores and w@lmart were carrying it.
BTW, sorry for not officially welcoming you !
|Posted 20-Aug-2009 03:14|
The Old Tank Syndrome (OTS) is described in this link:
This article is really well written and describes the
processes that cause the pH to plummet while the Nitrates
A 30G tank with those fish in it could, indeed, have a
truly filthy substrate. The fish are "messy" eaters
scattering fragments of food through out the tank.
The filter, to keep up with those "guys" should have
30 gallons at its lowest limit. So the box should say
30 to 55 or more gallons as the spread for the filter.
Everyone is correct with their advice. The water changes
should be around 25 to 50% and because you moved the tank
from one home to another over a short distance, is it safe
to say that it was within the same town? If so, the water
treatment plant that provides your tap water should be the
same as the one servicing the previous owners home. If
that is the case, you should need to be concerned only with
matching temperatures within 2 degrees or so for the
If the pH is normal in the tank now, you should be dealing
only with falling nitrate readings, and that will not
stress the fish. If the pH were very low, and you were
changing large amounts of pH water with a different pH
reading water, then you could be stressing the fish and
causing more problems. I did not see a pH reading with
your first posts. You could probably post a pH reading
so we know if you are changing that value at too fast a
rate. Too much of a change (around 2 points) can stress
the fish as their me
new pH and can weaken the fish and make them open to
disease and parasites such as Ich.
I'd continue with the regular water changes, lighten up on
the feeding (less food), and continue with the gravel
vacuuming. You should have a clean, stable, tank in no
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 20-Aug-2009 03:32|
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