Cant control nitrates

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Suprd71 created the topic: Cant control nitrates

I have a severe nitrate problem in my 120g African tank. No problem with 8 other SA/CA cichlid tanks, but I cant get a handle on my Af tank. Tank holds about 25 assorted fish on average 3-4ins. I dont do the amount of heavy w/c that I do on my other tanks, but it still gets 40-50% every 4 days on average. My fear is that disrupting the steady 8.2 ph with the neutral 7 from the tap will shock the fish. Ammonia and nitrite are always 0, but I just did a test and nitrates were way over 50, maybe close to 100! Last change was Jan3. Is it safe to up the w/c to say 75% maybe every 3 days? Any other control measures? Havent lost any fish and they all look good, but these steady high levels are a concern.


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tehmole replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

is your setup stocked with rocks? maybe there's a chance a lot of CRAP is stuck between the rocks? and MUST get it vac out? lower your feeding schedule. i don't have an african tank...but i would say doing extra WC shouldn't affect your tank's chemistry.
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OFL replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

How many times a day do you feed? 25 fish at 3-4 inches is quite a lot, I would imagine that this is why the nitrates are building quickly. You are correct, you wouldn't want to change the pH to much in such a short time. I suspect that 75% water change will make a considerable difference to the pH. Have you considered using some kind of nitrate control? You can get sachets that go in the filtration, these can reduce the nitrates. It's either that, or reduce the amount of fish you've got.

www.fish-fish-fish.com/seachem-de-nitrate-250ml-2056-p.asp?gclid=CNb5zriE6rsCFZPItAodWBIA4g

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tehmole replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

adding to what penn mentioned: if you have an HOB ... add some lucky bamboo or pathos to lower some nitrates
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

@tehmole.. I do a good vac each change, yes a lot of coral and deco, but I do remove everything from time to time and clean extra thorough. Just did that over Xmas, and wasnt too bad.
Penn.. I feed these guys once a day, as I do have at least a dozen well under 2ins. Biggest is a Blue Bumblebee around 6ins and a couple Peacocks around 4-5. I dont think I am overstocked in a 5ft 120g, but agreed, 25 fish adds up to considerable bio-load. I have had over 30 in there without issue, this nitrate thing is relatively new problem.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

tehmole wrote: adding to what penn mentioned: if you have an HOB ... add some lucky bamboo or pathos to lower some nitrates[/quote
Tank has 2 AC 110's. Sponge and ceramics. They are full up. Would have to sacrifice some of either to make room for plants. Would any live plants help, and would they grow in crushed coral?



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Rocksor replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

Clean the filters.

Do you put something in the water to raise the pH?

Fish in planted tanks go through a ph swing of at least 1 ph when CO2 is turned off during the night. As long as the TDS levels are close between your tank and tap, ph is not an issue. PH shock is a myth.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

Thx Rock, I do keep filters clean, every 2 weeks or so. Dont have a TDS meter, but I suppose I should get one. I am assuming that the crushed coral keeps the ph up? I dont add anything else. You think I am ok to up the w/c volume and frequency then? Live plants aint gonna work anyways, some of these guys are direct descendants of John Deere, they are serious excavators.


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Rocksor replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

The way PH changes is not linear, so if you have a PH of 8.2 and PH of 7, and mix 50/50 of each, the PH won't be 7.6.

You could put 1 gallon of tap water and mix 1 gallon of your aquarium and see what the ph turns out.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Cant control nitrates

Dave,
Could you fit a Whisper HOB in there? The newer ones come w/ a foam insert that plants easily attach to......maybe a smaller HOB?.......but adding Pothos somewhere in the equation is the way to go.

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WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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