Nitrates - what levels are safe?

Bill
Member
Hi,

That's a question I haven't been able to find a definitive answer on. Some people say to keep the nitrates below 20, others below 40, live plant owners prefer less....

My nitrates have risen to 10ppm from 7.5ppm in 5 days (during which 24 fish have been added), even after cycling they were only 7.5ppm (It think it's my plants that help keep the levels down). I'm guessing this is a pretty safe level for the fish, but what levels do I need to look out for which will actually make the fish unhappy? It looks like at the rate my nitrates rise, if I do 25% water changes weekly, the nitrates will be kept well below 20ppm. I suppose that water changes are good, not only for keeping nitrates down but vacuuming all the waste up, so I think I'll stick with 25% weekly to keep my fish completely happy, even if it's not completely necessary.

Is this a good way to maintain my tank?

Any other opinions on nitrate levels?

Cheers

~Bill
 
Callum The Cat
Member
that should about do it u don't need to do anything extra

Peace Out Callum!
 
Butterfly
Member
25% water changes each week are a really good idea. Water changes not only lower Nitrates but lowers Total Dissolved Solids(TDS- fish poop and excess food). Plants need nitrates to grow so 20 is pretty reasonable. Water changes also replenish the minerals your fish and plants need.
Carol
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
Cool, thanks guys. I think it'll be about 15ppm when I do my water change, so I think that should be a fairly good compromise between ?bersafety for the fish and supplies for the plants' growth
 
Callum The Cat
Member
well the next waterchange should be about when its due I do a WC once a week

Peace Out Callum!
 
armadillo
Member
15ppm sounds really really really reasonable. I let it go higher, so I think you should be fine.
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
Thanks, you've put my mind at ease now I think it will probably go higher in one week when I add my dwarf gourami and blue ram, and when I can get my bristlenose pleco to eat something Neons and livebearers are all small and slim, low wasters, whereas the ram and gourami and BN are all hefty and need more food

Cheers

~Bill
 
armadillo
Member
Ooooh, am going to be in trouble now with the other members who are more diligent than I am.

One small thing, though. Some livebearers (my mollies at least) are huuuuuuge waste producers. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

I do use a conditionner that detoxifies nitrites/ammonia/nitrates, though, so that also puts my mind at ease. But honestly, 15ppm sounds reasonable to me. It just depends on what kind of fish you have in there, but 15ppm is considered quite low by most people I would say.
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
Yeah, I want to keep my water quality as good as possible to keep my ram happy, they are quite sensitive
 
Callum The Cat
Member
one thing is the rams are wild caught they like there water soft and acidic sort of like dicus and wild caught angels

Peace Out Callum!
 
armadillo
Member
Oh I see. Then I can't say what's reasonable or not, sorry. I don't have any experience with these fish. I was just saying for my mollies (I don't want to be causing your fish discomfort!)
Bill said:
Yeah, I want to keep my water quality as good as possible to keep my ram happy, they are quite sensitive
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
lol I think I'll be fine (well, the fish will anyway 8) )

Here is a link about rams, I like reading from other people's experiences:
http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_German_Blue_Ram_Mikrogeophagus_ramirezi.php

The water here in Leicester is pH 7.6 and medium hard (enough to get kettles a bit limescaled anyway). I asked the guys at my lfs and they said all the tanks in the shop are same conditions as mine, so the rams should be well-acclimatised already
 
armadillo
Member
So you've got high pH too? Our is 8.0 out of the tap. What a pain.

You're in Leicester? Isn't that close to some pretty bad flood areas?
 
Callum The Cat
Member
ohh german ramsn I love rams I wanna put about half a dozen in my 7 gallon

Peace Out Callum!
 
Butterfly
Member
Callum Bass Masta said:
ohh german ramsn I love rams I wanna put about half a dozen in my 7 gallon

Peace Out Callum!
Sorry 6 is too many for your seven gallon tank since the get about two inches but they are beautiful fish.
Bill- you've got quite a few fish that swim at the same level/area of the tank, any way to forget the Dwarf Gourami and add a couple more Rams instead? The Gourami will most likel eat your Livebearer fry anyway.
Carol
 
Callum The Cat
Member
ohh well I don't mind how many I have but I'll just have to convince my mum we should swap our neons buppys and platies for some rams

Peace Out Callum!
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
Armadillo: well, everywhere in England is pretty close to some bad flood areas at the moment Luckily no flooding at all here though.

Butterfly: I got 2 dwarf gouramis today, a male/female pair :-/ (the lfs only sells them in pairs). I might have to forget the rams for a while. Are you saying they'd be happier in a group?
 
Butterfly
Member
Bill said:
Butterfly: I got 2 dwarf gouramis today, a male/female pair :-/ (the lfs only sells them in pairs). I might have to forget the rams for a while. Are you saying they'd be happier in a group?
I was just saying that most of your fish swim at the same level of the tank and those levels are getting crowded so suggested you get something for the bottom instead.
rams do display their colors better in trios(1M, 2F)
I wouldn't get anymore fish now as your tank is getting close/or is overstocked (this is the 160L/40G right?)
Carol
 
  • Thread Starter
Bill
Member
Yeah, I see what you mean. The tank is technically overstocked now (or will be when the fish are fully grown, the BN plec for example still has about 3 inches to go). I think I can get away with it though, because 18" of y space quota is made up of neons, which are very small and low-wasters It's probably better to get rams later on anyway, because they are so sensitive. Maybe if one of my larger fish passes away.
 

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