Water parameters? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters?

I just did a water check for my 2yr old 55g planted tank. My ammonia is 1ppm nitrite 0ppm and nitrate is 15ppm. Are these parameters ok? And how do I increase my bb to decrease my ammonia?

Recently I've discovered that I've been cleaning my filter wrong. I just replace my carbon cartridges every 3 weeks and rinse my foam pads. Is this ok? Or should I just get rid of the carbon. Isn't there enough bb in the tanks surfaces?

Also I have a tropical tank and my ph is 7.8. Is this okay and how would I fix this ?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 04:10 PM
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I just did a water check for my 2yr old 55g planted tank. My ammonia is 1ppm nitrite 0ppm and nitrate is 15ppm. Are these parameters ok? And how do I increase my bb to decrease my ammonia?

Recently I've discovered that I've been cleaning my filter wrong. I just replace my carbon cartridges every 3 weeks and rinse my foam pads. Is this ok? Or should I just get rid of the carbon. Isn't there enough bb in the tanks surfaces?

Also I have a tropical tank and my ph is 7.8. Is this okay and how would I fix this ?

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You can look here to find out if your ammonia levels are dangerous based on your tested ammonia levels, ph and temperature. I'd look it up for you I don't have your tank temperature. At 1.0 ppm ammonia and a ph of 7.8 if your temp is anything over 68f then you are in the warning zone.

I don't know what kind of filter you have but I'd take the carbon out. The only thing I use carbon for is to remove medicine from the tank. This is a good article which talks about using carbon media in your aquarium. I see that your nitrites are zero and you are showing nitrates at 15pmm so that makes me wonder if you have too heavy of a bio-load for your filtration to handle. It's obviously working but perhaps not quickly enough.

I'd be curious as to what type of filter you are using and I also wanted to share one more article about filter media types and what order they should go inside your filter. Not long and very informative.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 05:31 PM
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Your ammonia reading is probably wrong. It should be zero. And your nitrate and nitrite levels indicate you probably have low hmmonia levels. Ideally, ammonia should be zero, introite 0, and nitrate should be kept between 5 and 20ppm. Retest and check for any thing dead in the tank.

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Recently I've discovered that I've been cleaning my filter wrong. I just replace my carbon cartridges every 3 weeks and rinse my foam pads.
There is nothing wrong with how you clean your filter. The beneficial bacteria consume ammonia and nitrite. They live everywhere in your aquaium in addition to your filter. Even if you kill all the bacteria in your filter they will quickly recolonize it.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 05:43 PM
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Test your source water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.



As far as having a tropical tank and the pH level of it, well, that really depends on what you are stocking the tank with, and what they require. In order to know how to change it, you need to know your GH and KH levels as well.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Esteban Colberto View Post
You can look here to find out if your ammonia levels are dangerous based on your tested ammonia levels, ph and temperature. I'd look it up for you I don't have your tank temperature. At 1.0 ppm ammonia and a ph of 7.8 if your temp is anything over 68f then you are in the warning zone.

I don't know what kind of filter you have but I'd take the carbon out. The only thing I use carbon for is to remove medicine from the tank. This is a good article which talks about using carbon media in your aquarium. I see that your nitrites are zero and you are showing nitrates at 15pmm so that makes me wonder if you have too heavy of a bio-load for your filtration to handle. It's obviously working but perhaps not quickly enough.

I'd be curious as to what type of filter you are using and I also wanted to share one more article about filter media types and what order they should go inside your filter. Not long and very informative.

Good luck!
Thanks man!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Your ammonia reading is probably wrong. It should be zero. And your nitrate and nitrite levels indicate you probably have low hmmonia levels. Ideally, ammonia should be zero, introite 0, and nitrate should be kept between 5 and 20ppm. Retest and check for any thing dead in the tank.



There is nothing wrong with how you clean your filter. The beneficial bacteria consume ammonia and nitrite. They live everywhere in your aquaium in addition to your filter. Even if you kill all the bacteria in your filter they will quickly recolonize it.
Well - you should not rinse your filter pads with tap water that has not been dechlorinated. There are bacteria everywhere, but a lot of it lives in your foam pads and bio media. Rinsing with tap water will kill them off and can spark tank cycles.
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