Nitrates through the roof even after water change?

lauracory

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Hi,
New aquarium owner here. My nitrates are through the roof when I tested this morning. I did about a 40% water change and tested again and they are still extremely high. Can I do another 50% water change later today? I may have been feeding my fish too much, thats my guess after reading.
 

flyinGourami

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How high? I don't really see a problem doing another one today, but I would try to avoid multiple daily water changes in the long run. Are there nitrates in your water source?
 
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lauracory

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before water change 160 ppm (the highest it goes). If the color is darker than the darkest on these pH test does that mean that it is probably higher than the highest listed?

Everything else is normal, except the pH seems high (7.6)
10 days ago when I last tested the water everything was normal except nitrate was 5.0 and pH was (7.6+)

After water change, 80ppm

The nitrate level of my tap water seems to be 5.0...the color looks a little bit in between that of 0 and 5
 

Chanyi

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lauracory said:
before water change 160 ppm (the highest it goes). If the color is darker than the darkest on these pH test does that mean that it is probably higher than the highest listed?

Everything else is normal, except the pH seems high (7.6)
10 days ago when I last tested the water everything was normal except nitrate was 5.0 and pH was (7.6+)

After water change, 80ppm

The nitrate level of my tap water seems to be 5.0...the color looks a little bit in between that of 0 and 5
7.6 for pH is not high at all.

5 out of the tap is manageable.

I would go ahead with another 50% today, and then start to reconsider your feeding amount and water change schedule.

Too much waste = high NO3
Too little water changes for your tank's stock level = high NO3
 

Sorg67

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lauracory said:
10 days ago when I last tested the water everything was normal except nitrate was 5.0 and pH was (7.6+)
10 days ago nitrates were only 5? And went all the way to 160 in only 10 days? Could that be?

I would guess the test 10 days ago was wrong. Either way water changes make sense. I would just be careful of too much water changing too fast. I believe that it is best to ease into bigger water changes over time.
 

Argos

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If your tap water is indeed 5ppm; then your assumptions are probably correct. You are overfeeding the fish or are very overstocked.

What is your tank stocked with? (We can probably deduce that it is indeed overfeeding if your stocking looks appropriate)
 
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lauracory

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I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 cory cats, 2 angelfish, and 3 cardinal tetras. I bought this stocked tank from someone on a craiglist type website about 3 weeks ago. Two cardinal tetras died when I was transporting it and the man I bought it from had 10 additional fish in the tank!!! I got rid of 10 fish and these are the fish remaining.
 

flyinGourami

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I'm sorry if I missed it, but when is the last time you did a water change? And about how much are you feeding? That's a big increase in nitrates. Nothing seems really strange to me; you did a water change, nitrates dropped, so from now I would increase water changes and reduce feedings to an appropriate amount.
 
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lauracory

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.....I would like to add 2 more tetras when my water parameters are stabilized. The tetras have eaten for several days. They seem like sensitive fish...maybe they were not eating because they were stressed with the high nitrate levels??

A little additional info which I don't know if it relates, I added another filter because I didn't think the one I had was doing a good job. I left the old one also. Earlier this week, there was an electrical problem and the filter wasn't running for maybe up to 15 hours before I recognized it.
 

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