testing water and settign up new tanks

  1. A

    Andy N kat New Member Member

    Love the site first of all, glad I have found people with the same sickness (addiction )
    I have always love aquariums and took pride in my 45 gallon freshwater. I have had the same bio in it for over 15 years, never had any issues with anything other than some algae here and there, but got it under control removing it from window. I would do a 1/3 water change about every few months for the first few years, having live plants I think really helped, I got deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 6 times so I neglected my tank, but she never failed me. sad to say that I didn't do a water change in over 4 years, just add evaporated water back in. no issues no fish loss I was happy. After my injury and dealing with divorce and moving around here and there I recently have really been focusing on the wellbeing of my fish and tank. I never really tested water and started wanting to get more into learning all that I can. I recently have got a nice fathers day present - 125 gallon tank, im so excited about it, it was an older tank but never used and got a great deal on it with stand and 2 lights. along with that for my birthday I got a 180 acrylic tank and nice oak stand with outdated lights and a dry underneath tank. I will have more questions on these later also. Okay with all that said I have been testing the water and I noticed that it said my:
    1) nitrates and nitrites was in the danger zone high
    I tried to do research and from what I gathered it can be a good thing maybe (I could be wrong but the bio and the whole filtration in my tank is doing what it needs to) maybe I was worried as it said it was at a dangerous level and could harm fish. 14 years I haven't don't anything new and never lost any fish other than old age or a feline incident, so I went to a legit place and they said do a 1/2 water change and add this to it. well cant remember what it was right off hand but it seemed strong on cap did like 50 gallon, and said the smell of sulfur was normal. im at work and don't have the the bottle with me right now. but I did it once and tested that evening and then waited 2 days and retested. nothing the trates and trites was at super high level again????? there isn't any signs of craziness in my livestock so im lost , bad kit? any clue has it been that high for all of those years?
    2) ammonia level was zero
    3) the ph was lower than what is recommended and after I did the change it raise just under normal cant remember right off hand, but I have noticed the fish seem to be more active and brighter also, maybe its where I read that but they seem to be
    4) hardness was at the top of the high scale
    5) chlorine none

    the reason im wanting to really focus on this is that I'm wanting to on one of my bigger tanks do a fresh water discus tank with some live plants, and I know that it is a little more work and keeping an eye on the h2o specs and how they like the higher temp and more stable conditions.
    the 45 gallon is a glass tank and has now 2 instead of 1 hang on filter for a up to 60 gallon each - I had a fluval 400 series for years and when it died with under gravel- Its a planted tank with community fish- angels that's over 8 years old and other fish

    any tips on how to get everything where I need to be would be great. how to lower or raise things. does it really hurt when its high as it is?

    any clues tips let me know
  2. peregrine

    peregrine Valued Member Member

    Welcome to the forums.

    Just curious what are you using to test your water? And what exactly were the results for nitrites and nitrates...

    Also did you just change your filtration? ((confused about that))

    I can guess by your explanation of "might smell like sulfur" that is likely Seachem prime, hwich is a water prep product. What you would need is Seachem Stability which is the Bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrites into nitrates. If you just switched out your filters your tank is going through a cycle. Sounds like you have over the years learned abou tteh nitrogen cycle inadvertently but if you click on the words it should take you to a full explination.