High Nitrates !

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Burbano created the topic: High Nitrates !

Hello there!

I have a 55 g tank, with one Oscar (3 1/2 Inches), one male Jack Dempsey (3 1/2 inches), one female Jack Dempsey (3 inches), one red finned tiger (3 1/2) and one pleco fish (3 inches).

I am having trouble with my Nitrates levels, out of nowhere they went up to 40-80 ppm and I cant manage to bring those levels back down. I have been making daily water changes for the last week, bought some plants and still the levels are very high! The ammonia and nitrite levels are perfect!

I keep my tank at 78 F and the Ph is 7.6.

Please help

Moved topic to proper thread.

Thank you much!
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  • OFL
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OFL replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Hi there and welcome to our little community.

Okay, it won't be long before your tank is overstocked, so unfortunately you're going to have to think about re-homing some fish, unless of course you can get a much bigger tank.

What happens if you carry out a 50% water change and then check the nitrate levels two or three hours later? if they are 80 ppm and you replace half of the water, then you should reduce them down to at least 40 ppm. What type of filtration are you using? Also, what sort of water test kits are you using? Silly question, but are you following the instructions properly? The liquid nitrate test can give false readings if it's not done properly.

It's probably a good idea that you test the water from the tap for nitrates as well. Occasionally you can get very high levels coming out of the tap which is obviously not good.

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Burbano replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Thanks for your prompt response.

I am getting a new fish thank soon, 120 G!

I did a 35% water change the firs day and it didn't really changed the readings; the following day I did a 5% wc and I have been doing a daily 5% wc for a week already.

I am using a penguin bio wheel 350. I am also using the liquid nitrate test and I think I am following the directions properly, nevertheless I am going to get the strip test kid just to double check!
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Burbano replied the topic: High Nitrates !

I meant to say a 10% (5 g) water change.
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CalebZachary replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Your filtration is severely lacking. For those fish you need at least two filters running, and I'd recommend a canister filter, fluval, eheim, rena. A large one at that, and a aquaclear 110 or the penguin. Also, you'll need bigger than a 120 for those fish, a 180 would be better. Get another filter ASAP and start using it on the tank. Pack it full of good quality media. Are you using a proper water conditioner? (Seachem Prime)
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CalebZachary replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Also, do a 50% WC today, and test after as OFL suggested.
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Burbano replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Thanks for your observations, I will keep them in mind. I forgot to mention that I also have an under-gravel filter; what do you think about that?

Sorry about all my questions I am new at fish keeping!
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Suprd71 replied the topic: High Nitrates !

Hello and welcome, everyone quite right, overstocked, under filtered and too small of w/c. Also, to get an accurate nitrate test, you must shake the hell out of bottle 2, vigorous for at least 30 seconds. I also concur with Caleb, a 120 is still too small for your current stock, you would need a 6ft 180g and LOADS of filtration. You looking at a 4ft tall or 5ft 120? 5 is better, would be a good home for O and JD, nothing else. Or maybe the JD pair, maybe get some babies some day.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: High Nitrates !

There is no amount of filtration that can compensate for overstock and lack of w/c. There is a stress issue when crowding cichlids. Immune systems become compromised and its all down hill from there. You need to cut your stock way down and upgrade tank size asap.


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Burbano replied the topic: High Nitrates !

wow, I really thought I had read enough before getting into this! Thanks for your help though.
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