Does any one think there is something wrong with my water?

  • #1
My aquarium has be set up for 2 months. There is 25 fish in the tank neons, black tetras, red tetras, female bettas, mollies red eye tetras, panda tetras, pelco. and guppies. The water is 7.6 ph, 0 ammonium, 0 nitrites ,0 natrates. Also there are a lot of live plants. I change 3.6 gal water every week. Does any one think there is something wrong with my water. temp 81.4 Thanks
  • #2
81 seems a little warm. I'd go for about 78. I'd also change about twice as much water. Is there a reason you think there is something wrong with the water?
  • #3
welcome to the forum

0 nitrates is a problem...
  • #4
Welcome to Fishlore!
Not sure if there's something wrong with your water, but there's likely something wrong with the test you're using. You shouldn't have 0 nitrates. In fact, with that many fish, I would expect the nitrogen readings to be ultra-high.
  • #5
What are you testing with?
  • #6
Welcome to Fishlore!!

According to your profile, you are using the API Master Test Kit. Bottle #2 of the nitrate test is a tricky little bottle. You need to bang that bottle up really well. I smack it as hard as I can stand on the palm of my hand or on the floor (without breaking the bottle that is) for 1 full minute before I test. The testing solution in this bottle tends to chrystalize and to break up these chrystals there are tiny little beads inside that are suppose to help do the job, but like I said, it can be a little stubborn, so bang the bottle up really well, and let us know if that gives you a reading for your nitrates.

I will also recommend larger weekly water changes to help keep your tank in healthy condition. Between 10 and (preferably) 15 gallon water changes every week would be more in line for your size of tank, to help keep your tank healthy for the long term.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks to all who replied to my form. I thought there was something wrong with 0 nitrates. Toosie told me what was wrong.I shake all the bottles but the nitrate 2nd bottle not enough. I shook it and hit it for 1 min. and than took my readings.I let all of them sit for more than 5 min. This is what I got. ph 7.6, ammonium 0, nitrite 1, nitrate 40. This makes sense. I'll lower the temp to 78 and will change the water to make up 15 gal a week. Once again thanks to all.
  • #8
Re test your nitrites. I'm a little concerned because if you really have 1ppm of nitrites present you will need to do a 50% water change ASAP. Nitrites are quite lethal to your fish. If you can get some Seachem Prime or Kordon Amquel+ it will detoxify the remaining nitrites for a 24 hour period at which time you should really do another 50% water change and redose the product in an amount to treat the whole tank again. Test the water before each water change, when the 24 hour period is up. Testing sooner can lead to false test results.

I think part of what may be happening in your tank is you are using Nutrafin Cycle. This product has to be added regularily to keep putting enough of this type of bacteria into your tank to keep ammonia and nitrite levels down. A naturally cycled tank produces it's own bacteria, that colonizes the filter material and keeps reproducing to keep your aquarium healthy, and it really doesn't need any additional bacteria added to it. The cycle product can hinder the natural bacteria's development by consuming the available ammonia and nitrites that the natural bacteria needs as a source of food, thereby limiting the amount of natural bacteria that can develop in your tank. So.... long story short, stop using the Cycle product, and let your natural bacteria develop in your tank.

While this is going on, extra water changes and the use of one of the products I mentioned before will be very beneficial to keep your fish safe.

EDIT: Using Prime or Amquel+ will detoxify levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for a 24 hour period. It will also remove chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals, so you won't need to use any other water conditioner when you use one of these products.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I typed the wrong amount for the nitrite. It should have been 0 not 1. I use Nutrafin Cycle with there Tap Water Conditioner when I change water. Today I changed 6 gal of water using those products. Using those products every water change gets expensive. I want to know how experienced keepers like yourself keep fish healthy. If I stop using Cycle will I have to go through the water cycle all over or will natural cycling take over. Do you use any products for your plants? I use Grow from Nutratfin. My plants are growing and green.
  • #10
Ok, thank you, that's a relief to know it was a typo.

It's a bit hard to predict how much natural beneficial bacteria has managed to colonize the filter material, so it's hard to tell you exactly what to expect, or at least to what degree to expect it in, but I would stop using the Cycle product. You can continue to use the AquaPlus water conditioner if you choose to, but if you get an ammonia or nitrite spike, you may want to look at getting one of the other products to help you manage it. You will need to monitor your levels daily, and perform extra water changes if any spikes do occur at the very least. I would expect your cycle to be set back some due to the discontinuation of the cycle product, I just can't say with any certainty how much. Best case scenerio you may have a small spike and have things get right back on track. At worst I would think you may have to put in a couple of weeks or so of monitoring and extra water changes until the natural bacteria has time to catch up. I don't believe it will be a case that you have absolutely no natural bacteria built up in the system though, so it shouldn't be a case of having to do a complete re-cycle of the tank.

Most experienced fish keepers will tell you that their secret to success is large weekly water changes usually with the help of a gravel vac to suck up excess waste and debris, especially in areas that contain no plants. Nothing beats lots of fresh clean water for your fish. A good water conditioner that removes chlorine and chloramine and heavy metals is beneficial, as well as a good quality food. NLS (New Life Source), Omega 1, and Aqueon are typically viewed as the best commercial fish foods, with NLS leading the pack. Soaking your fish food in garlic juice is also helpful because it helps boost the fish's immune system, and helps them fight off stress and disease. The fish food I've mentioned all has garlic as part of the ingredients, so adding any more to the diet is a personal choice as far as I'm concerned, but if you aren't using one of these products, soaking the food would certainly be beneficial.

Good filtration with a good water circulation is also important in maintaining a healthy tank. Keeping your cycle intact by not unnecessarily changing filter media, and just rinsing it occasionally in a bucket of used tank water to get the gunk out is another good tip. It really doesn't need to be changed unless it is falling apart inspite of manufacture claims, which saves money too, so big bonus there. When you do have to change filter media, try to leave some of the old media in to seed the new media for at least a couple of weeks. The more you can leave in, the better. Activated carbon is the only media that should be changed every 3 to 4 weeks, but since you are using nutrients in your tank for your plants, I'd remove any activated carbon you may have, because it will remove the nutrients as you add them, costing you more money trying to keep up with the needs of the plants.

As far as the plants go, I actually like the Nutrafin Plant Gro Iron Enriched, although truthfully it is more expensive to use than buying the Seachem Iron and trace mineral separately. The biggest difference is in the amount of the product used. Also if you are into testing the iron content, the Plant Gro will show up on the test kit, but from my experience Seachem's Iron won't, nor do you want it to because that would indicate too much iron. The reason one shows up on the test and one doesn't is Plant Gro uses Chelated Iron, and Seachem uses Non Chelated so the amounts that are safe to have in a fish tank are different and do require 2 different tests. For your tank size though the Plant Gro will be easier to dose, so I would stick to that.

Depending on type of lighting and amount of lighting you have, and what type of plants you have, just using the Nutrafin Plant Gro may be enough for your plants. I know you have LED's but unfortunately I don't know enough about that type of lighting to know if it provides a low, medium, or high light situation for your tank. Medium and high light tanks benefit from the use of CO2 and a few additional nutrients to keep things in balance for excellent plant growth, and algae control.

Well I think I have successfully given you Hopefully at least some of it is what you were hoping for.

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