nitrate help please

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by mars, May 14, 2006.

  1. marsNew MemberMember

    hi  .. i have  a 4 foot  standard  tank  and  the  nitrate levels  are   high  according to my test kit  its about 10  ppm . water  hardness and carbonate hardness and Ph is   OK.   and  i lost some fish a couple of weeks ago .i am trying to bring the nitrate to  0  or close to .i have been feeding them everyday flake food and brine shrimp live  once a week  but i think IL cut down. the aquarium shop sold me some  ammo lock which says  it instantly detoxifies ammonia, but it seems to increase it slightly if anything  there are no dead fish  any  where  and i change about  10 - 15 %  every 7 to 10 days and  when i change the water  i mix  the conditioner and the blue hardening  crystall  before i put it in the tank  at  the same temperature   24-25  degrees  and  i have the hood\light on about 5 hours a day..  my fish include 5 barbs  4  silver sharks  5 Molly's  and 5 suckers and a couple of rose barbs..  and the barbs colors  are blotchy  ..i have a large piece if driftwood in the tank and plastic plants and undergravel filter. the tank  has been set up for a year now and i think i have adequate aeration in the uplift tubes  .i tested  the water for nitrate  straight from the tap  and  its  zero..please  help  as one of my barbs isn't looking  to flash  .. :'(
  2. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I would stop all chemicals except dechlorinator. Do you have any live plants? 10ppm Nitrate isn't a high reading. Could we have your Ammonia and Nitrite readings also please?
    How often do you do water changes? What kind of "suckers" do you have and what are you feeding them. Sorry for so many questions :)
    Welcome to FishLore!
  3. marsNew MemberMember

    I don't have any live plants just plastic . and the suckers are called Chinese algae eaters i think ..I use 3 test kits pH , gh/kh and nitrate .. The ph i try to keep it at 6.8 - 7.0 . g/h and k/h 4 drops=71.6 ppm and nitrate is showing 10ppm im going by what is the recommended levels provided by the test kits.. .I haven't been advised to use an ammonia test kit .I took a sample to the local pet shop last week and she said your nitrate is abit high but the Ph and hardness was OK . And i figured that the slightly high nitrate was the cause of the fish that died and the discoloration of the barbs and the sick barb i have now.. Do you think leaving the light on longer would reduce the nitrate?.. i also bought one of those green ammofree balls and put it in. I'm changing water 10 - 15 % every 7 to 10 days. im not using any earation besides the undergravel filter air lift tubes would that help do you think?. i have pics if needed .. thx
  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    We love pictures. Chemicals tend to confuse the test kits and at times give incorrect readings. Aquarium pharmaceuticals has an excellent water test kit with all you'll need in it. Dechlorinator is just about the only one that doesn't mess with testing.
    Fish will readily acclimate to just about any Ph as long as its steady. Ph adjusters tend to make it fluctuate and that can make your fish very sick. If your concerned about the 10ppm Nitrates a better way of bringing it down is with a floating plant even tho 10ppm isn't high, water changes are also a great way to lower Nitrates. You just can't do too many water changes ;)
    Your fish would appreciate a 12hr on/12hr off night cycle. This is more in rhytm with their bodies.
    The recommended amount of water to change is 25% once a week.
    While the underground filters are not my favorite I have used them in the past and had plants and fish do well. What I did find when I took it out was all kinds of gunk that had been pulled underneath. Just be sure and do thorough gravel vacuums to pull as much as possible out of your gravel and you can put the vacuum tube down the air lift tubes and get lots of stuff out that way also. I also recommend adding a hang on the back (HOB) filter.
    Hope I haven't confused you and have answered your questions :)

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