Orandas tank in need of water change question

ButtercuptheOranda

Ok no hate please so backstory I love buttercup my oranda to death and give her the best food and treats etc.
Well I usually keep up with weekly water changes in her 20 gal but for a good solid month I haven’t changed her water once, it’s because my mental health issues got very bad but now I’m ok and ready to do what I can to fix things.
She’s a pretty big fish how is she not well... dead? From nitrates.
By the way I am planning on doing a water change tomorrow and vacuuming the sand. (The sand appears clean)
I feel bad and want only her to thrive and I will guarantee this will not happen again.
Another question, there’s no risk to cleaning The sand right it’s a pretty thin layer I just don’t want to stir up bad stuff.
Thank you
Nitrates are between 40-80 ppm I can’t tell sorry
 

BigManAquatics

I always vac sand jist a bit above the surface, just close enough to pick up the crud. And how high are the nitrates? A lot of fish can do like 200-300ppm without being affected too badly by it. I know, i know, everyone thinks their fish is going to die if it creeps above 40...it is still definitely a "the lower, the better" type of deal.
 

ButtercuptheOranda

I always vac sand jist a bit above the surface, just close enough to pick up the crud. And how high are the nitrates? A lot of fish can do like 200-300ppm without being affected too badly by it. I know, i know, everyone thinks their fish is going to die if it creeps above 40...it is still definitely a "the lower, the better" type of deal.
Nitrates are between 40 and 80 I can’t tell between the colors
 

TheFishFella

Ok no hate please so backstory I love buttercup my oranda to death and give her the best food and treats etc well I usually keep up with weekly water changes in her 20 gal but for a good solid month I haven’t changed her water once it’s because my mental health issues got very bad but now I’m ok and ready to do what I can to fix things. She’s a pretty big fish how is she not well... dead? From nitrates. By the way I am planning on doing a water change tomorrow and vacuuming the sand. (The sand appears clean) I feel bad and want only her to thrive and I will guarantee this will not happen again. Another question, there’s no risk to cleaning The sand right it’s a pretty thin layer I just don’t want to stir up bad stuff. Thank you
Nitrates are between 40-80 ppm I can’t tell sorry
Totally understand not being able to do things do due mental health issues, as long as you get it done eventually I always say that’s a win in my book!! I know that goldfish are pretty hardy fellas, so it makes since why she has been fine for a month. Of course it’s best to do water changes weekly, but sometimes life just gets in the way and that’s ok!! As for vacuuming sand, I personally haven’t used that substrate, but I know people usually recommend only skimming the top. If it’s stirred sometimes dirt/poop/debri will get under it and that can cause a very dangerous gas pocket. As long as you’re careful vacuuming the sand though you should be good!! Best of luck!
 

jtjgg

nitrates have a low toxicity and have a slow long term negative effect on fish. ammonia and nitrite on the other hand have a high toxicity and can kill fish within a few days.

you'll want to lower the nitrate slowly. do a 50% water change. then wait about 3 days and do another 50% water change. this should bring you down to around 30-40ppm. then continue with the weekly water changes.
 

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