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Old 03-05-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
Hmoobthor
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Stop feeding the fish!


Not really sure how people claim to have 0 nitrate. ... or what they do each week...

I do my wc each week about half a 5gallon pail.... (maybe I should be changing 5g instead?) ...this is on my 55g.

I keep having 10-20pmm on nitrate and really want to get help on how to acheive close to 0ppm. Sometimes I get reading of 40ppm if I heavy feed.

I run a eheim auto feeder which feed the fish at 10am each day. And I would feed at night. Sometime I would skip the night feeding if i feed like it.

Do you guys suggest I stop using the auto feeder...it would release about 10-15 pellet small size...

I also added pennywort in there to suck up some nitrate too...

My fish are all big, fat, and healthy...even my amano and oto catfish which i know are very senstive to nitrate..

HELP ME!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:16 PM   #2
latchdan
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What kind of setup do you have? Low light/high light? 40ppm of nitrate isn't all that much.
But you are only changing 2.5 gallons weekly? That seems rather small for a 55gal.
I found out that my tank (37 gallons) 20% is actually filled with substrate/plants/fish/wood. So my tank is a little under 30 gallons. I change 50% of the water weekly. That is three 5 gallon buckets. If your tank has similar amounts of substrate/wood/rock that would make your tank hold around 44 gallons. When doing a water change I think minimum do a 20%. That would be around 9 gallons. Larger water changes are more beneficial then a lot of smaller ones. (1, 20% compared to 2, 10%) You are doing a 5% water change.

If you want to lower nitrates do larger water changes, or get more plants.

Last edited by latchdan; 03-05-2013 at 11:18 PM.. Reason: sp.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:36 PM   #3
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We have a small Fluval Ebi (7.9 gallons) with 6 OEBT's, 2 otos, and 3 Nerites and is densely planted. We were changing 50% water weekly and noticed a drop off in plant growth and checked the parameters and realized we were at 0 Nitrates. I had never occured to me that it might actually happen, so we went to 25% every 2 weeks and have added some Chili rasbora to increase the bioload. Even adding Seachem Nitrogen took us weeks to see a stable test result and are just barely holding 10ppm.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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make sure you have good plant growth, if there dying they will add to the nitrate instead of take it away.

i also agree that is way to small a water change. even when my nitrates are zero i still do a 50% water change each week. 0 nitrates do not equal good water quality.

using buckets on a 55g is no fun. have you looked into a water changer that hooks to your sink?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankruptjojo View Post
make sure you have good plant growth, if there dying they will add to the nitrate instead of take it away.

i also agree that is way to small a water change. even when my nitrates are zero i still do a 50% water change each week. 0 nitrates do not equal good water quality.

using buckets on a 55g is no fun. have you looked into a water changer that hooks to your sink?

my setup is pretty much low tech...with java fern, anubias, dwarf sag and a couple pennywort

I "use" to do 2/3 water change...but i got lazy...too much tank and heavy water carrying...(maybe i need to get off my ass..lol)

I really don't plan on buying a python or some gadget to do water change...

I really want to lower it more because I keep two bamboo shrimp...

Most of my fish are small nano fish...neon, CPD, rummy, and a cople large cory catfish, 1 pleco

i am thinking about not using the auto feeder since feeding two times a day do produce a large amount of poop each week

And I have to cloud my water a bit to feed teh bamboo shrimp
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latchdan View Post
What kind of setup do you have? Low light/high light? 40ppm of nitrate isn't all that much.
But you are only changing 2.5 gallons weekly? That seems rather small for a 55gal.
I found out that my tank (37 gallons) 20% is actually filled with substrate/plants/fish/wood. So my tank is a little under 30 gallons. I change 50% of the water weekly. That is three 5 gallon buckets. If your tank has similar amounts of substrate/wood/rock that would make your tank hold around 44 gallons. When doing a water change I think minimum do a 20%. That would be around 9 gallons. Larger water changes are more beneficial then a lot of smaller ones. (1, 20% compared to 2, 10%) You are doing a 5% water change.

If you want to lower nitrates do larger water changes, or get more plants.
I use to do large water change about 5g full to max...but since i got more tanks.....well...lazy
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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I'd first start with slimming down your feedings. Don't feed them for a day and then see how much they eat in a 5 min period and that will give you a good idea of how much they need per feeding. Or maybe try doing a couple small feedings during the day.

1/2 of a 5gal bucket isn't much of a water change for a 55. You should do at least 1 full bucket.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
I'd first start with slimming down your feedings. Don't feed them for a day and then see how much they eat in a 5 min period and that will give you a good idea of how much they need per feeding. Or maybe try doing a couple small feedings during the day.

1/2 of a 5gal bucket isn't much of a water change for a 55. You should do at least 1 full bucket.
everthing i toss in there....they eat it up..there is never leftover..lol

maybe my problem is my water change....

guess i have to fill that bucket up...i will have to test this out this weekend and see if it changes...
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:32 AM   #9
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it is possible to do a water change with a water pump and some long hose instead of buying a water changer. with my 7 tanks i dont know what i would do with out a water changer...
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
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I've never been a fan of auto feeders--too easy to end up overfeeding or missing other problems because you're not there to watch 'em eat. Typically they don't offer the flexibility to offer a variety of foods either.

Most of my tanks get a single daily feeding with an occasional day of fasting to keep their appetites keen, but get a wide variety of foods. Sinking shrimp pellets, algae wafers, one of three different types of flake food, or dehydrated (and re-constituted) tubifex or blood worms, as well as fresh veggies at least once a week and I'll occasional spring for some fresh blood worms or harvest some live scuds or daphnia from my nano tanks to keep my tetras on their toes and fiesty. Plus they all pick at the occasional smashed snail.

Gotta' agree on upping your water changes as well. I don't fertilize heavily so I skip the 50% weekly regime, but I still do at least 20% on the tanks that don't have riparium plants sucking up the excess.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:44 AM   #11
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I had one tank that kept getting 0 nitrates. I don't know which plants were doing it, but the tank was heavily planted and at least one of the plants was sucking up all the nitrates produced by the fish.

Another thing to check is your water before putting it in the tank. Some municipal water supplies have high nitrates right out of the tap.

Also, why do you want Nitrates below 20? That's a perfectly safe range, and without Nitrate some of your plants won't do well.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:20 AM   #12
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You can do two things about rising NO3.

Add less nitrogen.

Remove more nitrogen.

All the other ideas are variations on these most basic themes.

Nitrogen in this aquarium comes from one main source, the protein in fish food. If you had NO fish, just kept on dumping in fish food twice a day the tank would still show rising nitrates.
If you also fertilize the tank by adding any source of nitrogen (KNO3, Seachem Flourish Nitrogen...), then obviously that is also nitrogen being added.
I would cut the feeding to once a day, but do not feed any larger serving. Add kitchen vegetables for the Otos and any other fish that will eat them. Most vegetables have a lot less protein than almost any fish food.

Removing more nitrogen: Do water changes.
Do more frequent water changes. If you removed 3 gallons per day every day that would start to drop the NO3.
Do larger water changes. Instead of 5% water changes, try 25% water changes.
Increase the nitrogen export by growing faster growing plants and prune them. Every trimming is a way of removing nitrogen.
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