Help! Water Change Query... *updated*

andiuk

Member
Hey guys, how is everyone?

Just a question, coz I'm stumped...

I did a standered (30%) water change the other evening as the nitrates had peaked, everything was as is normal, anyways, I did all of my normal routine, but when I tested the water again today - the nitrate wasn't much lower than when I changed it!

I checked and all the other parameters are the same - zero nitrate etc etc... I definitely dechlorinated the water, I've not added any new fish - but I'm really stumped! Any ideas!?

I vaccumed the gravel again to pick up any excess debris, but dunno what to do now really!

The fish all seem fine, but I just dunno why the Nitrate hasn't gone down... or can that sometimes take a few days and I've just never noticed before!?

Andy
 

Luniyn

Member
Re: Help! Water Change Query...

If you have an excessive peak in nitrate then one water change sometimes won't do the trick. You will need to do a few to really start seeing a good decline. I would do 20% changes for the next few days until it gets under control. Then start to space them out more until you get back to your regular schedule, though you might want to up it a bit so this build up doesn't occur again.
 
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andiuk

Member
Re: Help! Water Change Query...

Luniyn said:
If you have an excessive peak in nitrate then one water change sometimes won't do the trick. You will need to do a few to really start seeing a good decline. I would do 20% changes for the next few days until it gets under control. Then start to space them out more until you get back to your regular schedule, though you might want to up it a bit so this build up doesn't occur again.
cheers me dear!

like I said - I'm not doing anything (that I'm aware of) any differently... but I'll do the water changes and hope that helps! thanks!
 

Jimold

Member
Re: Help! Water Change Query...

I would also get some "Prime". It does a great job detoxing nitrites so it doesn't hurt your fish until you get a handle on it
 
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andiuk

Member
Okay guys!

Help.... I've been doing partial water changes every single day now, but for some reason the Nitrates are just not reducing afterwards... why!?

Help!

Andy
 
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andiuk

Member
okay guys - someone please figure out what the **** is going on, coz i'm really, really stumped!

I just did another big water change this time (50%) to try and lower the nitrates, and the test results are exactly the same after the change as they were before!
 

simpleton

Member
What are your Nitrate readings? And what type of test kit do you have? It may or may not make a difference but if you're looking for accuracy on your reading levels, I've found the test strips aren't that accurate at all. You should look inot a Master test kit if you don't already have one. I'd slo continue with the water changes.
 

sgould

Member
Are you testing the water immediately after the change, or waiting a while? If you are testing immediately, you may be getting false readings...try waiting a few hours.
 
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andiuk

Member
sgould said:
Are you testing the water immediately after the change, or waiting a while?  If you are testing immediately, you may be getting false readings...try waiting a few hours.
hey guys... well... okay, yes, I do use test strips, but that's soley because ive found them to be cheaper, and about as accurate as the test tube version I used before!

also - i've tested the water right after, and seen no change, and left it until the following day and also seen no change! so I'm totally clueless!

any help would be appreciated... my fish are fine for now, but I don't wanna loose any of the little guys coz of something that's messed up!
 

simpleton

Member
Do the test strips show a nitrate level of "stress"? What are the levels according to the strip. I occaisionally use strips for a quick reading. I mean, are we talking about levels of 80+?
 
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andiuk

Member
simpleton said:
Do the test strips show a nitrate level of "stress"?  What are the levels according to the strip.   I occaisionally use strips for a quick reading.  I mean, are we talking about levels of 80+?
after 4 water changes the levels have gone from 100+ to around about 70-100 - so, yes, stress - although the fish do all seem perfectly fine!

I just don't get it! I've done nothing different! As far as I know there hasn't been any problems with our towns water supply or anything like that, so I'm totally clueless!
 
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andiuk

Member
anybody got any other ideas coz the water changes are still not making any difference!
 

sgould

Member
Water changes are the only way to control nitrate, so you are doing the right thing. Several different sizes of water changes were mentioned in the thread, so I am not sure where you are now, but I would do 50% water changes every day, religiously. You mentioned that your tests had gone from 100+ down to the 70-100 range, so it is working, it is just slow.

How big is this tank, and what fish are in it?
 

Luniyn

Member
I don't know what happened to several of my posts I made last night but I replied to this post a second time last night. In any event, the water changes will work. If you want to try doing a double water change you might see some better results. Do a 25% water change, run your filter for a few minutes to churn things up and then immediately do another 25% water change. Try this for the next few days and you should really see some results. Nitrates are the hardest to get rid of effectively and water changes are the best way to do that. However, if you want to try some chemicals, some people on here have had some good results using . One member had 25ppm nitrate right out of his tap, and using this he was able to get it down to around 7 just in the first few days. So it's worth a shot. If you have live plants then it will work great, if you do not then you will need aeration because this actually produces CO2.
 
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andiuk

Member
Luniyn said:
I don't know what happened to several of my posts I made last night but I replied to this post a second time last night. In any event, the water changes will work. If you want to try doing a double water change you might see some better results. Do a 25% water change, run your filter for a few minutes to churn things up and then immediately do another 25% water change. Try this for the next few days and you should really see some results. Nitrates are the hardest to get rid of effectively and water changes are the best way to do that. However, if you want to try some chemicals, some people on here have had some good results using . One member had 25ppm nitrate right out of his tap, and using this he was able to get it down to around 7 just in the first few days. So it's worth a shot. If you have live plants then it will work great, if you do not then you will need aeration because this actually produces CO2.
hey! yeah, I did see your post the other night - I even replied, and thought maybe id dreamt it when I woke up and it'd gone this morning! ****!

well, GOOD NEWS GUYS (well, for me anyways, you lot probably aren't interested), but -

I went to my pet store and bought some of the Easy Balance stuff (well, their equivilant), I also added 3 new small plants, I also did a 30% water change.

The nitrates overnight have gone from 100+ to approx 70, which is good, they're definitely comin' down and I'll keep attacking 'til they're all gone! So thanks for all the help everyone!

Like I said thou, no idea why this all happened coz I'd done nothing different to usual! Oh well!
 

Luniyn

Member
Hey they are coming down that's all that matters. That's good news. Will take a bit of elbow grease but it will be worth it. Hey if it wasn't for maintenance of the tank and wanting to keep it in the best of condition, I might get bored and find something else to do ;D.
 
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andiuk

Member
okay, well, - now some bad news... it'd appear that the nitrates are again on their way back up!!! I have no idea why, coz the tap water is still testing fairly low!

i've now done 30% water changes for about 9 days in a row, and nothing has changed! I'm just clueless as to why!
 

Luniyn

Member
Do any of the pet stores around you use liquid test kits to do the in house tests? Not that I'm saying you are doing anything wrong, but I'm wondering just how accurate your test strips really are. It doesn't sound right that with 30% water changes every day for 9 days, that you would actually have rising nitrates. It's certainly not impossible, but unless you've substantially increased the bio-load during this process there isn't a reason why it should.
 
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andiuk

Member
Luniyn said:
Do any of the pet stores around you use liquid test kits to do the in house tests? Not that I'm saying you are doing anything wrong, but I'm wondering just how accurate your test strips really are. It doesn't sound right that with 30% water changes every day for 9 days, that you would actually have rising nitrates. It's certainly not impossible, but unless you've substantially increased the bio-load during this process there isn't a reason why it should.
I haven't done anything! Thou I am getting worried, coz one of my mollies just died!
 

Luniyn

Member
No I was referring to the way you are using the test strips, in other words I just don't trust them enough to believe that your nitrates are actually going up.

However, if you are now losing fish then it's time to get a little drastic. It might be time for a 70% water change to see if we can't get them down a bit. Then back to the 30% changes until it's under control. A 70% change can be stressful but I want to do it while the fish for the most part are healthier. The longer they are in those high nitrates the weaker they will become and doing a 70% change might be too much for them. I'm not sure it won't be for one or two of them now, but better to lose 1 then all. Also you might want to look into that EasyBalance I mentioned above. It might help get the nitrates under control at least temporarily until you can balance out the system with water changes. I don't know that I would use it permanently but at least while your nitrates are so high it might help.
 
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andiuk

Member
Luniyan... you're a star!

Well, I bought some of that stuff you were on about just incase, however - I also got a "test tube" testing kit... as if by magic the Nitrate has gone from 100ppm this morning to 10ppm now!

Yes, that's right a decrease of 90ppm - all because (as it turn out, and as everyone says) the test strips are **** **** **** **** ****! lol

Phew! *wipes brow* - I'm certainly less worried about my other fish now... I'm guess maybe it was just 'time' for my molly to go! The other fish all look great - the betta I rescued from the store the other day (now called Jupiter) is now an almost neon red colour, with lovely purple/blue stripes, and his body is a nice deep maroon colour in his mane (which, in retrospect should have been a clue that the water wasn't so bad).

So I'll be looking forward to when he can go in his own tank!

Which brings me to my next dilema... when I move him and his tank mates (3 bandit corys) to their new home... there's a vacancy for some new fish....

I can't decide between two Dwarf Honey Gouramis, or another Betta... ho-hum...
 

Gwenz

Member
congrats. lol. shows how much the test strips are wrong. well, I'm sure your fish appreciated all the water changes anyway! lol

Gwenz
 

Luniyn

Member
Oh what a crisis! lol. I love my dwarf gourami, but you can't do 2 male dwarf gouramis as they will pick on each other. If you were able to find a female to go along with the 1 male it would be a **** shoot as to if they would get along or not. It's usually recommended to get 2 females per 1 male, but if they are young enough or were raised in the same tank then the changes of just the 1 male to 1 female working go up. However, they only get to be 2" (some sites say 3" but more of them say 2" so I'm going with that ) in which case you could easily fit 1 male and 2 females considering you are moving both the betta and 3 corys. By the way, the color of the dwarf gouramI doesn't mean they are different species, they have just been bread to be different colors. So you can actually get any female that you can find no matter the color to go along with the color male of your choice. Or on the filp side, you could get 1 male non-dwarf gouramI which gets to 5"-6" and just have that one star in the tank. Just an option.
 
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andiuk

Member
Luniyn said:
Oh what a crisis! lol. I love my dwarf gourami, but you can't do 2 male dwarf gouramis as they will pick on each other. If you were able to find a female to go along with the 1 male it would be a **** shoot as to if they would get along or not. It's usually recommended to get 2 females per 1 male, but if they are young enough or were raised in the same tank then the changes of just the 1 male to 1 female working go up. However, they only get to be 2" (some sites say 3" but more of them say 2" so I'm going with that ) in which case you could easily fit 1 male and 2 females considering you are moving both the betta and 3 corys. By the way, the color of the dwarf gouramI doesn't mean they are different species, they have just been bread to be different colors. So you can actually get any female that you can find no matter the color to go along with the color male of your choice. Or on the filp side, you could get 1 male non-dwarf gouramI which gets to 5"-6" and just have that one star in the tank. Just an option.
hello, yeah, well, I'm often confused with advice on gouramis, coz at my local LFS they often have many (12+) males in a tank together, and they seem to pretty much ignore each other... and ive had two pairs before, and again, they mostly just ignored each other! I personally think male gouramis are much more docile than people give them credit for...

At the moment in that larger tank I have 1 male dwarf neon blue, 1 female dwarf neon blue and 1 female "honey" gourami... they're my favourite fish!

I dunno what to do thou... I'm actually thinking of maybe going for another type of fish altogther, just not sure what!
 

griffin

Member
and soon you'll be needing another tank!
 
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andiuk

Member
griffin said:
and soon you'll be needing another tank!
I already have 3
 

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