Nitrate level fluctuation

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Jrobber

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During the course of a week between water changes, my nitrates go from 10 to 20. After a water change they are 10, and right before a water change they are 20. I do weekly water changes every Sunday, usually between 6-8 gallons with a good gravel vacuum each time. None of my other water parameters change at all, just the nitrates.

While the nitrates are still in the safe range, I noticed one fish acting strangely. My Cremecicle Mollie has been hanging out in one corner of the bottom of the tank and chasing others off that come near her. After I did the water change she is back to normal swimming throughout the tank.

I'm not sure what or why she is claiming the bottom corner as her, but am wondering if the raising nitrates throughout the week maybe upsetting her or something?

Any thoughts?
 

Algae Eater

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Your tank readings are perfectly normal. Nitrates will rise naturally over time. They are part of the nitrogen cycle. The fish release ammonia, which is turned into nitrites, which is then turned into nitrates by your beneficial bacteria. The best way to lower the nitrates is through water changes. Plants also use up nitrates.

Your Molly may be pregnant and ready to give birth, I think during that time they become sluggish and territorial. If that isn't the case and it is the nitrate level then try doing larger weekly water changes.
 

funkman262

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What other water parameters are you referring to? If your ammonia and nitrite are already zero, doing a water change won't decrease them further (although ammonia may INCREASE if it's in the tap water). And as Algae Eater stated, your nitrates will build up over time which is one of the reasons why we do our weekly water changes.
 
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Jrobber

Jrobber

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My pH and, ammonia, and nitrite levels are all steady at 8.2, 0 and 0. Thanks for the information, I wasn't aware that nitrate levels rose between water changes, I thought they stayed steady like ammonia and nitrite levels do.

I was wondering if she was pregnant too. She doesn't look pregnant, but she came from the LFS about two months ago, so its a possibility. She is also the biggest Mollie in the tank, so she could just be laying claim to that area of the tank, but it has only been happening recently.
 
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