Metal leaching & Nitrate spikes

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MikeNTX

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I picked up some fake plants at my LFS. They are HUGE and have a thick pliable base with metal wires inside. Im wanting to clip it into smaller bunches and scatter throughout my tank. My concern though is the metal will leach into my tank and wreck shop. Could I seal the ends that I cut with aquarium glue?

Ive also recently added light defusers to the bottom of my tank to build my caves on top of. I do a weekly water change and do my best to suck the gravel out of all of the holes, but Im wonderin about the ones that are under the caves? Am I a hefty feeding away from a nitrate spike? Any thoughts/suggestion out there in the world wide web? (pic doesnt include plants in question)


Happy Hump Day!
 

Jrobber

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I am not sure about your questions MikeNTX, so I'll leave those to the more experienced fish keepers.

I just wanted to say I really like the look of your tank. This fish right in the middle is very pretty and I really like all the caves you have setup with your rock formations. Very nice in my opinion.
 

MikeNTX

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Many thanks to you! Maybe its just me being new to the hobby, but it takes me FOREVER to be happy with the placement and cave set up. I think that out of all the times I have arranged and rearranged, pulled out, put back in, changed rocks, and plants..this is the first time I am truly happy and will prolly keep this set up for sometime...hance my question about the nitrate spike.

If the orange fish in the middle is the one you are lookin at that is a Aulonocara "German Red."

Thanks again.
 

Jrobber

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I think you could buy a small gravel vacuum in order to get into those caves a little better, or even just use some airline tubing to suck out any lose food/fish waste that accumulates in there.
 

Nutter

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Yes you could seal the wire in using an aquarium suitable silicone, hot glue or perhaps even a lighter to melt the plastic around the wire.

I don't worry too much about cleaning right inside the caves. I just clean what I can get to & don't worry too much about the rest. So long as your getting the majority of the gravel clean then you shouldn't have any great problems. Over feeding is never good, even in the cleanest of tanks.

It took me about 2 weeks & 30+ tries to arrange the rocks in my 180gal rift lake tank to get something solid, functional & that I was happy looking at. It's all part of the fun.
 

MikeNTX

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I try not to ever over feed, but I've come home and the feeding has already been done and I can see some resting on the bottom. Speakin of nitrates. What is acceptable? They are normally in the 20-40ppm range. That's with a weekly water change of at least 20%. I've read that it's nothing to worry over until they are past 120ppm.
 

Nutter

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Who told you 120ppm? At nitrate levels like that your fish would be either dead or extremely sick. Especially rift lake cichlids which are rather sensitive to nitates in the water. 40ppm would be considered extemely high. Levels under 20ppm are better & ideally you would aim to keep nitrates at 5-10ppm.

I suggest increasing the size or the frequency of your water changes slowly until you never see nitrate readings above 20ppm. 50% weekly water changes once or twice a week are the norm for rift lake tanks.
 

MikeNTX

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I feel guilty saying this after reading so much on here...but my LFS said that nitrates need to be watched, but its the nitrites that will kill your fish. Ive read on another fish forum that nitrates can stay around the 40-80 range and I should be fine. However this would help explain why some of my fellers arent lookin in peak condition.

So Im off to home depot to get a large sealable trash can..If Im gonna be doing 45 gallons of water I think I am just gonna treat 45 gallons of water and get a cheap pump instead of doing it the 5 gallon jugs I have now..that would take FOREVER! How long will treated water last if sealed up?
 

Nutter

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Ammonia, nitrite & nitrate can all kill fish. It's just that nirate is not a harmfull & so can be tolerated in higher levels than ammonia & nitrite can. High nitrate levels definitely effect the overall health & vitality of your fish.

I don't know what you mean by "sealed up". Do you just mean with a lid over the top of it? If so then it could last indefinitely so long as there is some circulation from an air stone or pump. If it is just left still, I would say no more than 3 days.

If the tub you get is made of plastic, be sure to wash it very well with hot water before use to remove any mold release agents still on the plastic. DO NOT WASH WITH DETERGENTS. It would a be a good idea to add a cheap aquarium heater to the tub so you can pre-heat the water to tank temp & avoid temperature shock. When plumbing the pump to the tank, install a 2 way valve so that you can pump the water up to the tank or divert it back to the tub. That will give you circulation in the tub to evenly heat the water & prevent it from stagnating.
 

MikeNTX

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I picked up a 50 gallon trash can with lid, a hand truck to haul it through my house on, some thick heavy clear hose, and Rio hyper flow 8HF water pump.

I do have a spare heater and air pump I will throw in to make sure I have good temps and some movment.

I dont think I have time to get to the water change tonight, however I'll get the pump put together(hopefully..Im a noob and have NO clue what I am doing), clean the container out and get my hose measured.

Nutter..Super snaps to you pal! I have read a lof of stuff on this site and you always have quality information and a pleasant delivery. Thanks again for the information homey! I'll let ya know how it all works out...hopefully not all on my new wood floors!
 

Nutter

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Thanks mate. If that's a metal trash can, be sure to use a couple of heavy duty trash bags to line the inside of it. You don't want your water sitting around in metal containers for any length of time.
 
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