Question Nitrates In My Tank

ccoons

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We have been moving quite a bit lately and I haven't gotten to water changes on my 30-gallon fish tank. It has lots of little adult guppies two big adult guppies 6 tetras and a large pleco. There aren't have any plants except for a teensy bit of algae. I have no idea how it can possibly have 0 nitrates with that many fish in that size of tank especially since I haven't done water changes in like a month and a half! How is this even possible?
I will post some pictures of my tank soon so you can see how packed with fish it is.
 

Momgoose56

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ccoons said:
We have been moving quite a bit lately and I haven't gotten to water changes on my 30-gallon fish tank. It has lots of little adult guppies two big adult guppies 6 tetras and a large pleco. There aren't have any plants except for a teensy bit of algae. I have no idea how it can possibly have 0 nitrates with that many fish in that size of tank especially since I haven't done water changes in like a month and a half! How is this even possible?
I will post some pictures of my tank soon so you can see how packed with fish it is.
What test kit are you using? If it's strips, expired or corrupted strips can make that possible, if it's an API Liquid test kit, not shaking the Nitrate testing solution bottle#2 for 1 minute immediately before adding or not shaking the test tube itself after test solutions are added can give you a false reading...
 
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ccoons

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I use the API Liquid test kit and it has always worked fine for me. I always shake it well if it says I should.
 

Momgoose56

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ccoons said:
I use the API Liquid test kit and it has always worked fine for me. I always shake it well if it says I should.
#2 For the full 60 seconds, then the test tube after both solutions are added for another 60 seconds THEN start your 5 minute timer...?
 
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ccoons

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I will try testing it again tonight and see if I might not have shaken it well enough.
 
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ccoons

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I have heard of how unreliable the testing strips are otherwise I might have done those for testing instead of the API freshwater master test kit.
 
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ccoons

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omg, my tank has 180ppm!ops: Why are the fish still alive? In fact, they have all been acting perfectly normal for a long time and not one has gotten sick or died. Do I need to start doing daily water changes?
 

JamieLu

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Theyre prob used to the high nitrates but u def need to get them down. Daily pwc, yes, but I wouldnt do too big of water changes tho as the sudden change can cause them harm. I had the same issue when I bought a used tank with fish in it thar wasn't cared for.
 
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ccoons

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I actually bought the tank off of craigslist and the nitrates were sky high but I threw out almost all the water and restarted. (That was when I wasn't testing the nitrates properly so it was probably even higher than that.)
I have heard that it is really bad to do huge water changes as it stresses out the fish. Should I do like 25% water changes? I do use a water vacuum. I thought the tank was fine all this time! I guess I wasn't testing the nitrates properly.
 

imba

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You can go ahead and do a 50% water change now, and keep doing 50% everyday until you get your nitrates down to an acceptable 20ppm.
 
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ccoons

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Ok, thank you I think that was all my questions.
 

Momgoose56

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ccoons said:
Ok, thank you I think that was all my questions.
Just curious, you used the same API test solutions right? Your nitrates resulted positive because you had to dislocate your elbow shaking the #2 solution and test tube?
 

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