High Nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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High Nitrate

using liquid drop test:
PH about 6
ammonia 0-.25
nitrate 0
nitrate 160-ish deep red

I am overstocked with guppies but they are doing fine.
This week i saw tail rot on my gold white clouds.
New amano shrimp are barely moving. Nerite snails seem ok, but have only been in for a week.

This is after a 25% water change

Tons of plants.
Advice?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4nuofm2lhx...2014.28.26.jpg

Last edited by xev11; 07-04-2012 at 06:35 PM. Reason: pic
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 06:34 PM
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Right away, emergency solution:
100% water change.
Well, almost. Do not quite leave the animals flopping on the floor of the tank, but almost.
Followed by another such water change. (This is about two 90% water changes in succession)
Use a dechlor that locks up all the nitrogen products, such as Prime or Amquel Plus.
__________________________________________________ _______
Long term solutions:

Get a larger tank.

Divide your livestock into enough tanks so your water change schedule can keep the nitrates under 20 ppm.

Get rid of 3/4 of the livestock.

Do not feed so much. Most people overfeed. Cut it in half and monitor what the animals are doing. If they are eating each other return to more feeding.

Monitor the NO3. When it climbs to 20 ppm, do a 50% water change. When it climbs there again, do another 50% water change. Keep on doing this, even if you are doing daily water changes until it sinks in that your tank is overstocked and you cannot keep up with the nitrate production.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Honestly its been like this for quite a while, yet i noticed the fin rot just this week.

I will do the water change now. And get rid of a good portion of the guppies (but they're so colorful)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 06:55 PM
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Looks like "Old Tank Syndrome"

Dave

Wishing I had a pithy quote
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 07:01 PM
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Just keep up on your water changes. No need to flush the guppies if your biofilter can keep up.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 07:20 PM
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Is this a planted tank? Heavily planted? With enough light so the plants grow well?

I would never trust a nitrate test kit unless I calibrated it first.

Hoppy
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Tap water:
PH about 7
Ammonia 0 ish
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cu9dsq37mq...2015.19.51.jpg

Its heavily planted, but the light is a stock 15W. I cant have an open hood since its on my night table next to my bed.

Last edited by xev11; 07-04-2012 at 07:56 PM. Reason: pic
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:20 PM
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I would have gone at this just a bit more slowly and checked as I went. No ammonia or at least what might be a mistake in seeing the colors? That says the bio-filtering is working okay. But there is a question of how the nitrate got so high. Were you changing water on a regular schedule and doing any testing? Nitrates that high in a tank with tons of plants seems out of the norm. I might suspect a bad test more than readings that high with no fish deaths.
While there is need to find out what is going wrong, it is sometimes good not to rock the boat too hard. When the fish are not dying, gasping or showing definite signs of distress I like to go easy before making really large changes. Are the fish behaving normally now?
It may be a case of not changing enough water and not testing often enough rather than a case of being terribly overstocked. Overstocked and under maintained can be interchangeable at times.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:21 PM
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High Nitrates

Quote:
Originally Posted by xev11 View Post
using liquid drop test:
PH about 6
ammonia 0-.25
nitrate 0
nitrate 160-ish deep red

I am overstocked with guppies but they are doing fine.
This week i saw tail rot on my gold white clouds.
New amano shrimp are barely moving. Nerite snails seem ok, but have only been in for a week.

This is after a 25% water change

Tons of plants.
Advice?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4nuofm2lhx...2014.28.26.jpg
Hello x...

Small water changes do little to keep the water chemistry stable. You really need to remove and replace half the water in the tank. Even a trace of ammonia or nitrites is enough to injure or even kill even hardy fish like Guppies. Even nitrates above 40 ppm can give your fish a bad headache.

Start changing half the tank water every week. If you're going to the trouble of getting out the gear for a water change, take a few more minutes and remove 50 percent. If you do, you'll see a big difference in the health of your fish.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."

Last edited by BBradbury; 07-04-2012 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Revision
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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I had consistently high nitrates which would not go away even after weekly 50 percent water changes. I found an area where fish mulm was accumulating and vacuumed the area, then I gave the filter a good cleaning (it had been four months) now my levels are below 30ppm.

Last edited by brogan; 07-08-2012 at 11:21 PM. Reason: edit
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Ill do a few small changes and see what happens.
@brogan, that's a good idea but i dont feel like uprooting all my plants.

I might get a substrate cleaner such as http://www.amazon.com/Microbe-Lift-S.../dp/B00176AWNQ
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 05:36 AM
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Adding protein (fish food) to the tank adds nitrogen to the whole system.
It does not matter what bacteria or other microorganisms you add to 'clean' the tank, the nitrogen is still there.

Nitrogen can be incorporated into plants, then you harvest the plants (or at least remove dying leaves) and this removes nitrogen from the tank.

Certain microorganisms turn nitrate back into nitrogen gas, and this escapes into the air. But these are anaerobic organisms, and too many of them make the tank toxic.

The best way to remove nitrogen is as I suggested above:

1) Less import. Less fish food. Either because you have less fish, or because you simply stop feeding them so much.

2) More export: Do more water changes. Improve the growth of the plants, then be very diligent about trimming, especially weak or dying tissue.

3) Dilute the problem by adding more gallons of water. New tank, larger tank, sell or give away fish to other people's tanks.
A larger tank all by itself is not the total answer. The nitrate will still rise in this tank, too. Just not as fast, so you might be able to go longer between water changes without the NO3 getting so high. Just as I suggested above: Keep on testing and do a water change every time the NO3 hits 20 ppm.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:50 PM
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what substrate do you have?


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There are 2 types of people on this forum. Those that have algae, and those that lie and say they don't.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 04:35 PM
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I would get a water-sprite....they eat up Nitrates

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