50 Gallon Tank What do you think of my readings? How can I improve them?

e_watson09

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Well I did a water change last night and then I tested the water then I did another water change today (as well as rehome a couple fish) and my levels improved but they're still off. I did about a little more than a 25% water change each time.

Here's my readings from last night....
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0.5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 40 ppm

Then here's my readings from just now....
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm

What could have caused the spike in ammonia and nitrates? I had a pretty consistant time and I havn't added fish for over a month.

But I took out 3 pretty big severms today and ended up coming home with three rainbows (they gave me a deal I couldn't pass up)

What can I do to make the test better?
 

AlyeskaGirl

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How much do you feed your fish? You keep the substrate somewhat free of waste and excess food? Plecos are huge waste producers as is so make sure you are keeping up on the gravel vacs.

good luck!
 

Meenu

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You can feed a bit less, do bigger water changes, more frequent water changes, add more filtration...
 

Jaysee

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I believe she is feeding 4x a day (4 small feedings = 2 big ones)
 
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e_watson09

e_watson09

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Jaysee said:
Hmmm, what do you have for filtration?
I have two filters on the tank currently they are....
-Penguin Biowheel 125
-Tetra Whisper 10-30i

AlyeskaGirl said:
How much do you feed your fish? You keep the substrate somewhat free of waste and excess food? Plecos are huge waste producers as is so make sure you are keeping up on the gravel vacs.

good luck!
I feed 3-4 times a day depending on how busy I am. I'm not sure what the second question you are asking. And yes I know my pleco is a big waste producer he loves the seaweed algae stuff I put in for him so he hangs out by the clip waiting for me the majority of the day so that side of the tank always has big poo on the top of the gravel. When I do water changes I start out by getting all that off the top so I don't bury it.

Meenu said:
You can feed a bit less, do bigger water changes, more frequent water changes, add more filtration...
I already have two filters on the tank already. I will be cutting back a bit on the food. How much should I change? 50% or somewhere between 50% and the 25% that I'm already doing?

Jaysee said:
I believe she is feeding 4x a day
3-4 small feedings.
 

Meenu

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I would do 50-60% changes and 2-3 small feedings (if not just 1) until the parameters are under control. After you have it steady and cycled for a few weeks and want to relax on a bit of it, you could try and see what happens with the parameters.
 
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e_watson09

e_watson09

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....okay I just researched the filters and found out that basically the first one I posted is made for up to 30 gal then the other is up to like 20 or so (it's not made anymore so I'm guessing) so I think I might be buying a new filter soon.....any reccomendations?
 
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e_watson09

e_watson09

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Eh I'm kind of against canister filters since this is my mother's tank and the money I put into it isn't staying with me. I just got off the phone with my boyfriend and he said he has an extra filter he can give me that is for up to 90 gallons....the only catch is I have to "clean it up" first so I'm kind of curious to find out how dirty it is.
 

Jaysee

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e_watson09 said:
Eh I'm kind of against canister filters since this is my mother's tank and the money I put into it isn't staying with me. I just got off the phone with my boyfriend and he said he has an extra filter he can give me that is for up to 90 gallons....the only catch is I have to "clean it up" first so I'm kind of curious to find out how dirty it is.
Cleaning it up is easy - take it!

IMO you are way short on filtration and that is why you are having trouble. Since you don't want to get a canister, you should look at a HOB filter in the 400-500 gph range.
 

Meenu

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I agree, a free filter is nothing to scoff at! I hear that the aquaclears are great, use loose media like a canister, and are way less expensive, by the way. Just in case the freebie doesn't work out. I know Jaysee likes the ACs (I don't have one myself).
 

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I've used several different kinds of HOBs and ACs are my favorite. They are hands down the quietest, but not as quiet as a canister. The other main reason they are so good is because the mechanical, chemical and biological medias are all seperate, so one can be changed while leaving the other two. This pretty much ensures you never lose the cycle. Piggybacking on this is the QT advantage. An extra bag of biomax (biomedia) in your main filter is all that's needed to give you an instant cycle when you set up the QT.
 
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e_watson09

e_watson09

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Jaysee said:
Cleaning it up is easy - take it!

IMO you are way short on filtration and that is why you are having trouble. Since you don't want to get a canister, you should look at a HOB filter in the 400-500 gph range.
I'm going to take this one for sure haha then I'm probably going to leave the tetra whisper on it as well just because it creates a bit of a current and gets more water moving. I'm not really sure how much it actually cleans. But I'm getting the new filter tonight.

What does HOB stand for?

Meenu said:
I agree, a free filter is nothing to scoff at! I hear that the aquaclears are great, use loose media like a canister, and are way less expensive, by the way. Just in case the freebie doesn't work out. I know Jaysee likes the ACs (I don't have one myself).
I love my aquaclear I have on on my 10 gallon in my room it is for sure my quitest filter. I love it, if I have to buy anything I'll buy another one of these. I'll probably buy one for my 29 gallon tank.

Jaysee said:
I've used several different kinds of HOBs and ACs are my favorite. They are hands down the quietest, but not as quiet as a canister. The other main reason they are so good is because the mechanical, chemical and biological medias are all seperate, so one can be changed while leaving the other two. This pretty much ensures you never lose the cycle. Piggybacking on this is the QT advantage. An extra bag of biomax (biomedia) in your main filter is all that's needed to give you an instant cycle when you set up the QT.
yeah I love the three different medias it makes life so much easier.
 

Jaysee

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e_watson09 said:
What does HOB stand for?

yeah I love the three different medias it makes life so much easier.
HOB - Hang on back - a traditional power filter that hangs on the rI'm of the tank, outside the tank. Internal filters hang on the rim, but the filter sits inside the tank.

It also makes starting new tanks a breeze
 

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