Help! High nitrates!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Dawn, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. DawnNew MemberMember

    hello i really hope someone can help me i keep getting very high nitrate readings between 80-120 i keep doing water changes still not helping i have already lost my discus. my fish are fed mainly on frozen bloodworms & some flakes they are not over fed and the filters get cleaned when suposed to i have a sponge background which come with my 120ltr tank which makes me wonder if that is the problem. my tank has only about 15 fish in it mostly small ones like neons so i cant see that being the problem. could you please help.
  2. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Dawn!  Welcome to FishLore!!  We need to know more about your tank to help you!  What is the size of your tank?  Have you tested your tap water for nitrates?  What are all the fish you have in the tank?  Please post your readings of ammonia, and nitrites.  Also, let us know how long the tank has been set up.  All these answers will help up get your tank where it should be.  It's great to have you with us!   ;)
  3. AnnieNew MemberMember

    ;)Another question to add to Gunnies is "what is you nitrate reading" OUT OF THE TAP?
  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Your tank converts to just over 30Gallons which is a little small for Discus to begin with. How long has your tank been set up? and what all is in it? How are you cleaning your filters?
    Your feedings may be a bit rich for your fishes diet and may be producing more waste.
  5. JonWell Known MemberMember

    i have read that if you feed discus too many bloodworms and such they get bacterial infections in there intestines or something... this may be but im not sure...
  6. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Blood worms are a good, nutritious source of protein. Commonly they are used for treats once or twice a week. They can also be used to condition fish for spawning and when used in this way can be fed more often. BUT... any uneaten blood worms can foul the water in a tank fast.

    As far as causing bacterial infections, don't know about that. If they are kept frozen and only thawed to be fed they should be perfectly safe.
  7. JonWell Known MemberMember

    the guy that told me that prolly just thought it cuz his fish were unhealthy and he didnt know what to attribute it to... i have heard of people that feed flakes + bloodworms daily... is that ok? i just give em some frozen bloodworms once a week or maybe a bit more than that
  8. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    a friend of mine does that with brine shrimp and his fish have lived 5+ years his tank is south American themed its really cool looking tank
  9. ShortyValued MemberMember

    First, relax and don't panic :) Try a 30% water change - test the nitrates from the tap it could be that yours are high from there to start with, decholrinate the water and change it, do a 30% now and then leave it a day and do it again. You may have lost the discus through natural causes or internal parasites etc.. so long as the other fish look ok, it is unlikely (but not impossible though) to be the nitrates (I am not familiar with discus so I don't know how sensitive they are), test the water daily, make sure you wash the filter in tank water, NEVER tap water cause that kills all your good bacteria, and that is not good :( Reduce your feeding ovre this period and only feed a little tiny bit twice a day, make sure none of it is left over - keep this up for a few days and get back to us :) But really please don't panic, you are doing everything you can and we all go through water crisis every now and again.

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  10. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Our community has the doubtful water quality of having Nitrates of over 40 right out of the tap.  The heart patients here are asked to buy drinking water as it is unsafe for them to drink the tap water on a regular basis.  I have been through a lot trying to keep my tanks under the livable levels of Nitrate.  The final solution for me was 50% tap water/50% Reverse Osmosis water (Drinking water from the store in the gallon jugs) - not distilled water.  Use Amquel+ (has to be the + one) (Thanks, Gunnie).  I slowly got the levels down using this remedy, but you have to Measure The Water Never Guess! 

    Hope this helps!

  11. kerryveValued MemberMember

    Looks like you got some pretty good advice already, but im sorry to hear about your discus!
  12. Frank01MustangNew MemberMember

    When i had this problem in my 55 gallon, I got a Nitra Zorb pouch and it solved my problem, my tanks all have them and I never had a problem since!
  13. GuppieLoverNew MemberMember

    Hi there,

    I once had a problem of elevated Nitrates and did a 30% water change, adding a product called "Prime" to the water I changed (don't do that directly in the tank) I let it go for a day, then did a 20% change and added a product called "Cycle" to that water. That took care of the problem pretty quickly.
    "Prime" detoxifies tap water ; whiles "Cycle" adds benefecial bacteria back into the tank ;)

    Some people disagree with using chemicals in a tank, as it apparently stresses the fish. If you feel this way, there is a good website I recently found that gives a natural option (using the "Cycle" product, which is not a chemical) for tank emergencies. Used it myself when I had a recent emergency and it was good. Here's the URL if you want to check it out:  

    Just go to the bottom of that page and look at the "If you have an emergency" section :)
  14. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    The bacteria in Cycle is basically a different bacteria than the one usually cultivated in cycled tanks and they keep it that way for a reason. If you do not keep using their product the "cycle" falls apart (or so they tell you). It is generally considered to be not a good product in most experienced fish-keepers opinions but you won't do harm by adding it, except to your pocketbook.