2 tanks weird readings....???

teddybear22482

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I have 2 tanks a 10 gal that has been set up for a year or more and a 29 gal. that has been cycling for 2 weeks. here are the readings...
29 gal....
PH- 7.8
Ammonia-0.50
NitrAte- 0
Nitrite- 0

10 gal...
PH - 6.0
Ammonia - 0.25
Nitrite - 2.0
NitrAte- 160ppm !!!!

Our tap is used with both of these waters and its PH is 8.8. How does this happen? How do I get my nitrAtes down? And whats going on with my 29 gal?
 

Gunnie

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What is your maintenance schedule? How often and how much do vacuum the gravel? As a tank ages, other toxins besides nitrates can build up in a tank slowly, causing the ph to slowly drop. You must vacuum your gravel including under decorations at least every month or so. This will eliminate any pockets of poisonous gases in your tank. So you don't upset the bacterial balance in your tank, vacuum 1/4 or 1/2 of the gravel each time you do a water change. Some folks never vacuum their gravel because they have a heavily planted tank. Their root systems are supposed to keep the substrate aerated to prevent these pockets. Others have malaysian trumpet snails in their tanks that constantly turn the soil or gravel looking for food. Or you can simply use a knitting need or some kind of similar object to poke through the substrate to allow better circulation. Since your 10 gal. tanks have been up for a year, take it very slowly, you run the risk of releasing these toxins all at once.
 
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teddybear22482

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Do you think an undergravel filter may be the culprit with the 10 gallon? I decided not to put one in the 29 gallon...I dont really like them. But i do have 2 10 gallon filters running in the 10 gallon tank. I didnt have a use for oneof the 2 I had so I figured it wouldnt hurt to have two.
 

ncje

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Your 29 gallin readings are fine for a two week old cycle. The 10 gallon sounds like it has old tank syndrome.... doesnt always mean its an old tank, but stuff has built up in places and now is blowing out the nitrates.
 

Gunnie

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Undergravel filters are not normally recommended by hobbyists on these forums. Most hobbyists consider them old technology and outdated. They are also not a good choice if you have live plants in the tank with root systems in the gravel or substrate. All the nutrients get sucked down before the plants have a chance to absorb them. What you could do though is to reverse the flow. So instead of sucking the water down under the plates, your blow it up from down below. You would have to completely take down your tank and start over to do this though. The waste accumulated under those plates would poison your fish once it started to come into the water table.
 
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teddybear22482

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EWWW!!! OK I really dont want to break this tank down... :'( So IM gonna keep changing the water and see if that helps anymore. So far my OH has gone up a little and my ammonia is at 0 in my 10 gallon. Nitrites have gone down a bit and nitrates are the same.

Of course in my 29 gal my ammonia has steadily risen...cycling...
 
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