PH and Nitrate Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by nyjets420, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. nyjets420New MemberMember

    Hi Everyone,

    Kinda new to this so sorry if I what I am saying is amateur -

    I have a 2 month old 29 gallon tank with 3 jack dempseys

    (mated pair)
    Male 4"
    Female 5"

    Male 3.5"

    I have divided the tank due to the female taking over egg care. Eggs just appeared yesterday and the female is in her own 1/3 of the tank with a cave that she is tending the eggs in. The males are chillin in the other part and for the most part leaving each other alone. The female keeps attacking the divider vigerously and im worried she will assume a threat and eat the eggs... any ideas?

    Anyway -
    Just bought the API freshwater master test kit and my levels are as such -
    PH - 8.0
    Ammonia - 0ppm
    Nitrite - between 2.0ppm and 5.0ppm
    Nitrate - 20ppm

    Please let me know if these levels are adequate and if not how to fix them and where they should be.

    Thank you so much!

  2. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    hey welcome to fishlore! im a noob myself so i really hope somebody has more intellegent stuff to say than myself, lol
    it says under your name that you dont understand the nitrogen cycle? definantly somthing you want to read into, you can find it in the new freshwater tank section of the forum.
    as for your numbers, you have had the tank for 2 months which is typically enough time to finish cycling, you want your numbers to be close to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrate. your numbers are pretty good, a little bit of nitrite which isnt good for the fish but i dont think its an immediate threat. as for the PH level it is a little alkaline, have you checked the PH of your tap water? different areas have a higher or lower alkelenity* level. my tap water is around 7.6 PH you should also look into what range your fish prefer. if they like it around 8 then your good to go, if not you may have to take steps to lower it.

    lowering your aquarium PH level: here is a information page that may be of use to you, it talks about lowering/ raising ph at the bottem  

    good luck!

    and im not sure about the egg question sorry

  3. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    As your tank is uncycled you need to do a back to back water change now. After completing a 75% change immediately turn around and do another 75% water change.

    Then retest the nitrites. If the nitrite is not under 1ppm, do another large water change.

    Once this level has been brought down you will need to do daily water changes. I'd think 50% should help to keep the nitrites down.

    You will need to continue with daily water changes until there is no measurable ammonia or nitrite.

    For the greatest success raising fry you will need another tank. The tank you have now is too small for the adults.

    Good luck
  4. nyjets420New MemberMember

    I have no problem doin all those water changes, but is that okay for the eggs? seems stressful. I'll try it and post the results :)
  5. nyjets420New MemberMember

    okay just did a 60-70% water change (i have heavy rocks so i couldnt risk going lower without moving everything again) -

    PH - Down to 8 from 8.2!
    Ammonia - very low ... a little more green than 0 but barely
    Nitrites -on the lighter side of .50ppm down from 5!
    Nitrates - 10 ppm down from 20 ppm

    hopefully this trend continues...

    I also bought some stress zyme+ from the LPS and the guy said to put it in every day with water change. thanks for the help!
  6. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    if you use too much meds it will also put stress on your fish so be careful but im happy to hear that the water changes helped!
  7. nyjets420New MemberMember

    yea so far so good :) I just put 1/3 of a dose of stress enzyme in with the filter turned off for about 30 minutes. I'll run a test again tomorrow to see if it helped without spiking the ammonia. What is worse for the eggs, more ammonia or nitrites?
  8. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    nyjets520 - I haven't had the opportunity to welcome you to Fishlore yet. Welcome.

    You have one other issue you really must address. JD's are carniverous and require constant feeding of shrimp and other meaty based products. Because of this there waste is particularily dirty. The miniumum requirement for one JD is a 30 gallon tank. The minimum requirement for a pair is a 60 gallon tank. You have three in a divided tank. I do not think that it is healthy for the three JD's to be in a 30 gallon, divided tank. If nothing else, it is going to be hard to keep water quality where it needs to be... pristine. You should be doing constant water changes everyday whether or not the tank is cycled or not. You REALLY need to upgrade your tank size. You do know that those JD's are going to grow to over 12 inches long each? Eventually they will outgrow that tank physically anyway. The sooner you upgrade it the better.

  9. nyjets420New MemberMember

    Thanks for the info... I am getting a hex 55 for free that I am setting up for the two males for now and leaving the female to tend to fry in the 30. I am also thinking about getting a 55 long to have more dempseys. Should I go bigger? If so, what size?
  10. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    You've already done your water changes, but I wanted to let you know that you can change as much of the water as needed without stressing your fish. By doing daily water changes you are helping your fish to survive the toxic environment.

    I'm glad you were able to get your levels down! Your fish will thank you for that.

    A word of caution using StressZyme. While bacterial additives will improve your test results, they also out compete the true aquatic bacterias. These types of products must be constantly used and never allow the tank to stabilize. You are better off not using bacterial additives and doing daily water changes. Stores love to push these products because you must constantly use it; must make more purchases of either the bacteria or to replace fish.

    As Wendy has already stated, JDs need a much larger tank. And if you intend to raise their fry, you will need additional tanks.

    Here's some info on JDs to help give you an idea of how to care for them:

    Good luck!
  11. escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    Great info given by other members above.

    Another thing that has not really been mentioned -- I wouldn't mess with pH right now. Just tackle the ammonia and nitrites part.

    Glad to hear you will be getting a larger aquarium for the males too. :) That will help out.

    Hang in there!
  12. nyjets420New MemberMember

    so woke up this morning - saw the eggs hatched and a few fuzzy things were in the rocks. Left, came back 30 min later and all gone?

    Female was the only one with access. Seems weird that she let them hatch then ate them?

    by the way levels are getting great!!!

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