Why Are My Nitrates Rising So Quickly?

Discussion in 'Advanced Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by therehere3, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. therehere3New MemberMember

    Hello everyone!
    I am here with a bit of a problem.....
    I am fighting nitrates for awhile now...........

    55g tank
    1 pleco, 4 baby cory cats, 1 peacock eel, and 4 mollies.
    3 HOB tetra filters
    76()F temp constatly
    7.2pH constatnly
    0ammonia and 0nitries constantly (im cycled very well)

    I have been getting high nitrates from 5ppm to 40ppm in a matter of 2 days........... ??
    So I cleaned out all of my built-up fish waste/food in my filter housings. and did an entire water change now bringing the tank to 0ppm-5ppm nitrate again.
    Another 48 hours passes, and my nitrates are like 30-40ppm again..............

    My load isnt too high for my 55g.
    1 pleco, 4 baby cory cats, 1 peacock eel, and 4 mollies.

    Of course, I have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, (i've been a cycled tank for awhile now).

    I'm not sure why my nitrates just going so high so quickly!!!
    Any ideas of what I can do?

    p.s: I do not over-feed. I under-feed by a lot now since I am trying to lower nitrates.
    p.s: I use API master kit test
    p.s: my tap is about 0ppm-5ppm nitrate
  2. the guyValued MemberMember

    have you tried testing the water from your source? also do you have any real plants?

  3. therehere3New MemberMember

    Like I stated in my original post, I have tested my tap which is very low 0-5ppm. (not the problem here :/ )

    Also, no I do not have any live plants; nor do I want any (i know they can consume nitrates) However, that isn't solving the problem. Just would be hiding it :p

  4. the guyValued MemberMember

  5. therehere3New MemberMember

    It's an extremely think layer of sand.
    I do stir it around pretty often to make sure it never traps any gas.
  6. the guyValued MemberMember

    how new is your tank? have you noticed a brown film on anything in your tank?
  7. therehere3New MemberMember

    My tank isnt new. I've had this cycle for a few months now.
    Also, brown film??? Not sure what you mean?
    I've had brownish tanish buildup in filter housings, however, I cleaned it all out. (that was fish waste/food )
  8. the guyValued MemberMember

    tanks that are under the 6 month mark typically have problems with diatom algae for 4 months or more. They can cause ammonia and nitrate spikes. It can be very subtle and hard to see in its beginning stages
  9. therehere3New MemberMember

    Ok so "diatom algae" ?
    What does this look like? And should I be getting rid of it??
    All I know about algae is that it would be beneficial because it consumes nitrates. (just like other living plants do)
  10. the guyValued MemberMember

    algae isn't terribly harmful unless it blooms and then dies in which case it will cause nitrate spikes.    
    that's what they look like. But from what you're describing maybe that's not it. Maybe your cycle wasn't completely finished before you added fish or your tank is going through mini cycles?
  11. vinWell Known MemberMember

    My thoughts - Tank/filter isn't being cleaned often enough. The huge water change could have shocked your beneficial bacteria causing a mini cycle. Has the ammonia stayed in check the entire time?

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