High nitrate.

Sarah1230ox

Member
Hi so my tank is cycled I've had it nearly three years. Its 170 litres which I upgraded recently. My ammonia is 0 my nitrite is 0 pH 8 kh and gh are are good, now in my old tank my nitrate was at about 20....i tested yesterday and it was more very very dark orange maybe reddish... So obviously higher maybe 40-80 so its higher I'm going to guess its from over feeding... I've not added any fish, or anything so that's not caused the increase. So I'm gonna cut back food, but I know other things can help keep nitrates low like plants but how many plants would I need? I don't want a heavily planted tank as goldfish just destroy them haha. Would moss balls work? It's not neglect either, I always do at least one water change a week sometimes two! Can nitrates cause flashing? I've wrote about on going flashing that I've treated for flukes and parasites and it hasn't made a difference so could the rise in nitrate csuse it? Thanks!
 

Leeman75

Member
Are your nitrates numbers soon after a WC or days later? There's some sort of spike for sure, I'm guessing the overfeeding may be the culprit. Do you vacuum your substrate? I used to have very high nitrates and then got them much more into check by vacuuming my substrate relatively regularly.

I'm not sure about the flashing or the moss balls, so I'm following this to see what responses you get too.
 

AvalancheDave

Member
No, nitrate can't cause flashing.

If you read the section on flukes in Noga's book it basically says there are no reliable treatments.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
Leeman75 said:
Are your nitrates numbers soon after a WC or days later? There's some sort of spike for sure, I'm guessing the overfeeding may be the culprit. Do you vacuum your substrate? I used to have very high nitrates and then got them much more into check by vacuuming my substrate relatively regularly.

I'm not sure about the flashing or the moss balls, so I'm following this to see what responses you get too.
I did do a water change the day before I tested? I am terrible some days I look and think OK just another pinch of food... So I definitely think it's probably my issue,!
I have sand so usually just hoover over the top! Otherwise my sand is sucked out haha.

AvalancheDave said:
No, nitrate can't cause flashing.

If you read the section on flukes in Noga's book it basically says there are no reliable treatments.
OK thanks. Didnt know if the change in chemistry could irritate the fish.
I don't know they definitely have flukes.... They show no sign of anything other than flashing I treated for flukes and parasites incase it was on of them.
 

Leeman75

Member
Sarah1230ox said:
I did do a water change the day before I tested? I am terrible some days I look and think OK just another pinch of food... So I definitely think it's probably my issue,!
I have sand so usually just hoover over the top! Otherwise my sand is sucked out haha.
Fish overfeeders unite!! I am horrible with overfeeding and that's how I know how to deal with things. I also have sand. I have found that I can still gravel vac with the sand, I just remove the tube from the substrate before it starts going in the line to the bucket. The size of your vac may be key too. I have a fairly good sized one, so the sand can accumulate in there and then I let it sift back down while the particles float into the line.

There's a good video that Aquarium Coop did on it. Check this out:

 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
Leeman75 said:
Fish overfeeders unite!! I am horrible with overfeeding and that's how I know how to deal with things. I also have sand. I have found that I can still gravel vac with the sand, I just remove the tube from the substrate before it starts going in the line to the bucket. The size of your vac may be key too. I have a fairly good sized one, so the sand can accumulate in there and then I let it sift back down while the particles float into the line.

There's a good video that Aquarium Coop did on it. Check this out:

I am too haha. I will give it a go! Thank you! I know nitrates aren't toxic unless really high for a long period! So are my fish at high risk?
 

AvalancheDave

Member
Sarah1230ox said:
OK thanks. Didnt know if the change in chemistry could irritate the fish.
I don't know they definitely have flukes.... They show no sign of anything other than flashing I treated for flukes and parasites incase it was on of them.
It could be that the parasite treatment didn't work either. Ich treatments do fail somewhat often but not as often as fluke treatments.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
AvalancheDave said:
It could be that the parasite treatment didn't work either. Ich treatments do fail somewhat often but not as often as fluke treatments.
True. But it's been at least three months. Would I have not lost fish by now? I'm not willing to keep throwing treatments in without knowing what I need, both times my danios have gone crazy when I added medication! :/
 

Twinklingtea

Member
Don't know about the nitrates, but your goldfish will *probably* eat moss balls. Mine destroyed them. It was good fun for the goldfish, though.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
Twinklingtea said:
Don't know about the nitrates, but your goldfish will *probably* eat moss balls. Mine destroyed them. It was good fun for the goldfish, though.
Yeah, they do! But they tend to last a little longer than other plants haha! Plants get expensive!
 

RayClem

Member
How many goldfish do you have in your tank? I do not believe you ever mentioned the number or the type. A 170 liter tank is large enough for two fancy goldfish, but not even one comet as they get quite large and are very active. If your tank is overstocked, you might have been OK the first couple of years while the goldfish were young, but as they have grown, the waste output grows with them, especially if you have a tendency to overfeed.

You really have only two options. 1. Purchase a tank large enough to house the fish you keep (20 gallons per fancy goldfish plus 50 gallons per comet) or 2. Do large, frequent water changes to keep the nitrate levels below 20 ppm.

By the way, if your nitrate level are so high that getting a good color match is difficult, you can always dilute your water sample with distilled water before testing. For example, if you are using a test kit that requires 5 ml of test solution, you can add 1.25 ml aquarium water ( 1/4 teaspoon) and 3.75 ml (3/4 teaspoon) to the sample vial and then test. Multiply the result by a factor or four to get the actual nitrate concentration. Of course, you can use any dilution ratio you wish. Just make sure you multiply by the correct value when you are through.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
RayClem said:
How many goldfish do you have in your tank? I do not believe you ever mentioned the number or the type. A 170 liter tank is large enough for two fancy goldfish, but not even one comet as they get quite large and are very active. If your tank is overstocked, you might have been OK the first couple of years while the goldfish were young, but as they have grown, the waste output grows with them, especially if you have a tendency to overfeed.

You really have only two options. 1. Purchase a tank large enough to house the fish you keep (20 gallons per fancy goldfish plus 50 gallons per comet) or 2. Do large, frequent water changes to keep the nitrate levels below 20 ppm.

By the way, if your nitrate level are so high that getting a good color match is difficult, you can always dilute your water sample with distilled water before testing. For example, if you are using a test kit that requires 5 ml of test solution, you can add 1.25 ml aquarium water ( 1/4 teaspoon) and 3.75 ml (3/4 teaspoon) to the sample vial and then test. Multiply the result by a factor or four to get the actual nitrate concentration. Of course, you can use any dilution ratio you wish. Just make sure you multiply by the correct value when you are through.
My tank is large enough i have two fantail golsfish. And even in the smaller 130 litre tank my levels were fine. I have three filters going that isn't my issue but thank you.


I'm gonna feed less and get plants/moss balls
 

AvalancheDave

Member
Sarah1230ox said:
True. But it's been at least three months. Would I have not lost fish by now? I'm not willing to keep throwing treatments in without knowing what I need, both times my danios have gone crazy when I added medication! :/
No, if your fish are relatively healthy they can be infected but not die.

A lot of the old school ich treatments are nasty chemicals so it's no surprise the fish don't like them. I prefer metronidazole in food or UV. They have their drawbacks but toxicity isn't one of them.
 
  • Thread Starter

Sarah1230ox

Member
AvalancheDave said:
No, if your fish are relatively healthy they can be infected but not die.

A lot of the old school ich treatments are nasty chemicals so it's no surprise the fish don't like them. I prefer metronidazole in food or UV. They have their drawbacks but toxicity isn't one of them.
I see. Maybe I will try another treatment!
 

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