Bowls with fish and near zero nitrates
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:53 AM   #1
rodcuda
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Bowls with fish and near zero nitrates


I have two bowls with gravel and some hornwort, guppy grass and 3 marimo balls each. One has a Betta and one has a goldfish and I feed them every day. Both bowls have super low nitrates, like well under 5, the yellow in the test is slightly darker than the zero on the card.

I know my kit is good as it shows nitrates on my community tank. I am amazed that these bowls do so well with just some plants and marimo balls.

Anyone else seen the water quality stay so good in small bowls like this?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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I have in my 1.5 gallon, it was heated and had a huge carpet of java fern, 6 marimo moss balls, banana plant. Substrate i only had a 1/4 inch of fluval shrimp stratum.
I had housed a betta, nerite snail and amano shrimp in there.
Didn't have to do a single water change for over a month.
The thing is- when i did do a water change, everything died. Its like i poked the pocket of poison.

Have you tested for ammonia, nitrite, etc?
The thing with bowls and smaller tanks is that its nearly impossible to keep stable for longer than a few months of "luck" imo.

I do hope you are considering moving the goldfish out soon though, even if the water is stable the thing will get super ill due to stunted growth.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:36 AM   #3
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And i always get confused about this so correct me if i'm wrong, but i do believe nitrates can be up to 20 and still safe, nitrates are not as important as the nitrItes and ammonia.
Its the nitrites and ammonia that cause the problems..
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
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I've planted vases ranging from less than 1/4 cup of water up to 3g. All have been up and running for 6 months to a year--never had a problem with water quality in any of them outside of really stupid errors or extreme neglect.

Substrates include sand, fluorite, aquarium gravel, sand capped dirt and mixes of all of the above. Plant mass has varied from fairly minimal to fairly heavy. Water changes are pretty consistently 20-30% weekly with an occasional 2x week for bowls that have sudden snail--and thus snail poop-population booms. A few were started with an RO/tap water mix, but they've all been switched to straight tap water now.

All have some sort of snails, most have shrimp (ghost or cherries), many include endlers as well.

No filters, no heaters.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #5
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I was just surprised at how well they are doing.

And yes Nitrates up to 20 is ok for most easy fish. Ammonia and Nitrites should always be zero.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
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at lower pH ammonia and nitrite are more tolerable, but still not recommended. nitrite is more hazardous than ammonia, but its all good that your bowls are doing well in terms of waste. yes planted tanks are excellent at making water good for fish and inverts.
But get that goldfish out of there lol. If you're a serious aquarist and that's not a temporary housing situation, then idk what you're thinking xD
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:43 AM   #7
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He's a feeder that got a lucky break. He might move on up, but for now the bowl is better then being eaten.
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