Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

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colmanthegreat1 created the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

Hi there OscarLovers.

I have 1 x 4 month old Oscar, (5") 2 x Juvenile Geophagus Surinmensis (3-4") 1X Pleco (12") 2 x 5 month old Redfinned Barbs (2-3") and 1 x Pimalodus (7") in a established 55Gl. I have a 6ft by 2ft by 2ft currently being built that is roughly 4 weeks away (can not wait) :)

I am running a All Pond Solutions 2000EFX UV Canister plus a Fluval 306 canister and an internal powerhead filter of 1200lph and an airpump. I buy high quality media and do regular scheduled water changes i stop at nothing for my fish. On my day off Sunday i will do a 50% water change and have been known to also repeat this 2, sometimes 3 times a week due to high nitrate levels of around 80ppm.

I have 5 fish tanks all together from planted aquariums to nursery tank and nano tank. So like to think like i know something. Fish after my family are my life and i do nothing but research and try to educate myself on this great hobby (obsession) lol.

The nitrate levels are winning and i am losing. I admit that i have been over enthusiastic to feed my Oscar what he wants from Hikari Gold, Earthworms, Peas,Shrimp,Meal worm,Cucumber, woodlouse,scallops,Mussels etc... And try to do this in moderation but these frickin nitrate levels are ALWAYS high.

Currently on my 4th water change on my 55Gl in just 9 days. Any advice from anyone would be fantastic and gratefully appreciated. All other water parameters are fine Ph normal Nitrite normal, Ammonia nonexistent. Thank you in advance for any rely folks :)
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DRACO replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

if the picture in your profile is the oscar you are referring to... it is quite fat LOL!
are you sure you are not overfeeding them? high nitrate is the rsult of too much ammonia and nitrite
being processed by your filter... the only to remove it is via large water change... until you've got that
big tank set up... 3x a week water change is a must...
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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

The tank has lots of space atm. But yes more water volume will surely equal less nitrates. LOL that pic was of the Oscar (Mr Doom) just after he fed but yes i think you are right i need to quell my eagerness to limit the amount he is eating. One of the problems i find is he snatches all the pellet and the others do not get the time or speed to eat so i end up dropping pellet or whatever on different sides of the tank. But the little bugger ends up eating 90% of everything.

Thanks for your input i DO listen and will up my game i will do more WC 2 -3 times a week until the 180Gl gets here.

Water is always crystal clear and there's not much obvious debris but it's the stuff you cant see thats the danger i suppose.

Thanks again :)
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

hello and welcome to OFL. Draco has you covered in that nitrate management is directly related to tank stock, feeding and water changes. You must realize something else... while a 180g will be a very welcome addition for your fish, your fish all have the potential to reach a foot in length, and depending on pleco species, it may well approach 18ins. Your fish as adults will max out a 180 and you will find nitrate will still have a substantial creep. You will need a 75% water change every 4-5 days, possibly sooner. I urge you to NOT consider adding any more fish to your incoming 180. You may also want to add at least 2 Aquaclear 110 hob filters to provide some mechanical assistance. Big pleco and big Oscar in the same water make a lot of waste.


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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

Suprd71 Thanks for the reply. I will get a HOB filter too, they are quite cheap so hopefully that helps with the mech side. Is it possible to over filter a tank. I did have another canister maybe i will set that up too when the tank arrives late next month. Everyone tells me that iv'e gone a tad mad with the filtration but surely with large fish like Oscars the more the merrier? 75% water change every 4-5 days. roger that! Thanks again:)
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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

Also i would like to know nitrate levels what others have to deal with on here. I did have it down to 20ppm for a few weeks but the weather has been a lot warmer where i live and the temp of the water has gone up from 26C to 28.6C . I have taken the heater out because i'm fed up with it flashing red.
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OFL replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

I have relocated this topic to the water chemistry category

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Suprd71 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

20ppm is the level where a large water change is in order. I personally strive to keep my tanks closer to 10. There is more in the water than nitrate to manage. Phosphates, silicates, dissolved metabolites. What it comes down to with sensitive cichlids, is the cleaner water, the healthier they are. You can never do too many or too much volume of water changes. Quite easy to do too little. As for filtration, your bioload is already quite high, will only multiply as fish grow. You can obviously go overboard with filters, pick a number,lol, . Example from one of my tanks.. 180g with 2 adult Oscars, not monsters, around a foot long each. Fluval FX5, API Filstar XPXL and a pair of Aquaclear 110's. Thats not excessive. If I lost either canister, tank would still be well covered.On a 125g with a single very big Oscar, 14+ins, I run same system, minus the FX5. All my tanks get large water changes every 4-5 days, regardless of stock or filtration. Never underestimate the power of clean water, its the single most important factor in cichlid keeping


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colmanthegreat1 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

Thanks for the advice. I'll be sure to take it. I remember years ago lots of fishkeepers particularly community tropical set ups people used to prefer more 'mature' water and had undergravel air pumps that sucked the debris into the substrate and not change or clean the gravel for months on end. Sometimes very successfully (although i'm sure the poor fish suffered more with burning gills and lived shorter lives) I know that was generally smaller fish with much smaller bioloads but still..
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Nitrate, nitrate, NITRATES!

lol, I hear ya. I am in my 5th decade of fishkeeping, and when I look waaay back at some of the things I used to do.... eeeek! I got my first Oscar in the late 1960's. Tank was a good size, but filter was next to nothing and water changes were when you couldnt see in any more. And shockingly enough, the tough old bugger lived 14yrs! Do that now and fish would be down in a matter of months.


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