Water Changes?


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dawnearly

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I have a 38 gal tank. It is stocked with 4 guppies, 3 zebra danios, 2 bristlenose pleco's, one neon, and 2 dwarf frogs. I think it was pushing limits before the frogs !! I have no live plants. My cycle is done, and my levels are as follows. Ammonia 0, nitrates 20-40, Ph 7, Nitrites 0. That is according to my Master test kit from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. I have been doing 20 gal water changes and a good gravel vacuum every two weeks. I add Amquel + to the water also. I am wondering if I should switch to once a week, and if I do that will I need to feed the pleco's algae wafers? I am asking because I used to change once a week before them. I have lost 2 guppies in the last month. I am wondering if it is because I am not doing the once a week changes? I test the water every couple of days, and my levels haven't changed...but on the 14th day usually the ammonia is up to 0.25. Any advice will be greatly appreciated !!! ;D
 

vin

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You're probably losing fish because the nitrates are on the high side...You really want them below 20....Preferably in the <10 range....You accomplish this by doing regular water changes. In order to get them down, I would step up the frequency of the water changes to maybe 30%, 2-3 times a week for one week. You really don't need to change more than 30% when doing your regular changes and even that is on the high side....Test the water each time before testing just to make sure you are making progress. Once the nitrates get down to the preferable range you should be fine and can resume the regular weekly or every other week schedule.....Provided the nitrates and other chemicals are within range.

Your stocking appears to be within the range......though I don't know if the frogs like to eat fish.......
 

chickadee

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Water changes never hurt. You might also try to check the Nitrate level of the tap water straight out of the tap. I know the Nitrate levels seem high but is it because of a problem in the tank or is your community (like mine) just one of those lucky communities that happen to have water that has a high Nitrate level. You need to know what the tap water level of Nitrates is so you know what to do to fix the problem. If your city water is High Nitrate, then you are going to have to do more than just change water more often as the Nitrates are already there. I know there are some who say to NEVER use Reverse Osmosis water in a tank and I would never use it straight, but I do mix 50% tap water/50% Reverse Osmosis Water (measured not guessed - always) and use Amquel+ (has to be the +) and that is the only way the water levels come down for me. Trust me, our water has so many Nitrates that heart patients here are advised not to drink the water as it is dangerous for them!! Sometimes a mixture is the only answer.

I hope this is helpful.

Rose
 

vin

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If your filter uses activated carbon filled bags, this too can help lower the nitrates. You just may have to change it a little more often than what they recommend.....

Typically, city water will not have high levels of nitrate as the water treatment facilities help to keep them in check. You would find higher levels of nitrates in well water or in some rural areas.
 

Butterfly

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Do test your water from the tap for Nitrates because it does happen that it is high. since you have no live plants your nitrates need to be lower and like Vin said water changes are the way to go. Since your seeing some ammonia that is another indication to up your water changes to a regular 25-30% each week. Bristlenose like most plecos are poo machines and need more frequent water changes than your doing.
Carol
 

vin

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Butterfly is right. I did test my water for everything right from the start just to know where the readings stood and for a base reading....It helped later on during the cycle knowing what all of the readings were and what the water was doing.
 

Butterfly

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Yes it helps to know from the start what your working with. I believe chickadee has a Nitrate problem from the tap.
Carol
 

chickadee

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Butterfly said:
Yes it helps to know from the start what your working with. I believe chickadee has a Nitrate problem from the tap.
Carol
yes, our water will register from 40 - 80 right out of the tap depending on the time of year.  I think the concensus is that the groundwater around here has been affected by the chemicals that some of the agricultural fertizers and weed control products use.  I am sure the water treatment plant here does what it can but since it is constant in all the water around here, it is a little hard to find any options.  The rural folks have a much higher level and problem than we do.

and, Butterfly is very correct, frequent water changes do help but it is a good idea to know where you are starting from. Even though the levels are high here, I do very frequent water changes. (hardly a day goes by that one or two of my tanks isn't getting a small 25%-30% water change) I would say that my tanks get at least 2 x weekliy or more changes in each tank and all but one of the tanks is pretty well planted with real plants, that helped.


Rose
 
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