Will large water change stress new fish?

missyplu

Hi!

So after approx a month of doing a fishless cycle with pure ammonia, I finally got the long awaited reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 160ppm on 2/13/15! Just to make sure it was cycled, I added another dose of ammonia on 2/13 to bring it to 4ppm and on 2/14/15 I got the same readings, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 160ppm nitrate. I did a huge water change, 90%, on 2/14; checked the pH which was and still is 8.2 and the temperature is 83 (a few months down the road I want to get discus, so that's why my water is so warm). Instead of using the API Stress Coat that I have, I added 30mL of the Tetra Safestart as a water conditioner per instructions on the bottle ( I purchased this bottle last month when I thought the pure ammonia wasn't working out, since I stuck with the pure ammonia, I never ended up using the TSS to cycle the tank). On 2/14 I purchased 4 sterbaI corydora catfish( I wanted 6, but they only had 4). They're currently in the tank, swimming all around. I checked my water parameters yesterday, 2/15, and it read ammonia 0.25, 0 nitrite and 80-160 nitrate. Since I was nervous about the high nitrates, I only fed them once yesterday, 4 sinking shrimp pellets, and I haven't fed them yet today. This morning I checked my parameters again and it reads 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 80-160ppm nitrates. If I did such a large water change on 2/14, why are my nitrates so high? I must admit in error, I forgot to check my readings immediately after I did the water change on 2/14, but I assumed since it was that much of a WC, that it should have lowered it drastically. Also, I don't have nitrates in my tap water.
I know my nitrates should at least be below 40ppm and ideally at or below 20ppm. Can I do another water change or is it too soon? Will it hurt/stress my fish? Is the TSS altering my readings? If I do a water change should I use the Stress Coat as the water conditioner or the TSS or both? Last thing, I've been checking the fish and they don't seem to be acting weird. They've been swimming all around the tank. Please help, I don't want them to die!
 

Danjamesdixon

Changing your water will stress your fish a lot less than Nitrate levels that high - you need to get them down as soon as you can. Are you using a liquid test kit? Strips are so woefully inaccurate I wouldn't even bother using them. I would suggest you do back to back 30-40% water changes until they get to levels below 40ppm, as you know that is where they are safe.

Condition your water as you would do normally when doing water changes, and keep doing water changes until they get down to below 40. Test after every change to monitor your progress.



Keep us updated, good luck!
 

Yorg

HI missyplu:

No, I'd say a water change would be unlikely to stress your fish. As Danjamesdixon wrote, your high nitrates are probably a lot more stressful to them right (they're in the toxic range). In fact, a series of water changes to reduce the nitrates is probably a good idea right now.

Keep in mind that Tetra SafeStart is not a water conditioner; it is a bacterial additive. It will not remove chlorine or chloramine from your tap water, and both substances are harmful to beneficial bacteria as well as to fish. Stress Coat, on the other hand, is a water conditioner and removes both chlorine and chloramine. If your tap water has either substance in it, you'll need to continue using the Stress Coat or a similar product for your water changes.

-Yorg

Hi!

So after approx a month of doing a fishless cycle with pure ammonia, I finally got the long awaited reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 160ppm on 2/13/15! Just to make sure it was cycled, I added another dose of ammonia on 2/13 to bring it to 4ppm and on 2/14/15 I got the same readings, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 160ppm nitrate. I did a huge water change, 90%, on 2/14; checked the pH which was and still is 8.2 and the temperature is 83 (a few months down the road I want to get discus, so that's why my water is so warm). Instead of using the API Stress Coat that I have, I added 30mL of the Tetra Safestart as a water conditioner per instructions on the bottle ( I purchased this bottle last month when I thought the pure ammonia wasn't working out, since I stuck with the pure ammonia, I never ended up using the TSS to cycle the tank). On 2/14 I purchased 4 sterbaI corydora catfish( I wanted 6, but they only had 4). They're currently in the tank, swimming all around. I checked my water parameters yesterday, 2/15, and it read ammonia 0.25, 0 nitrite and 80-160 nitrate. Since I was nervous about the high nitrates, I only fed them once yesterday, 4 sinking shrimp pellets, and I haven't fed them yet today. This morning I checked my parameters again and it reads 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 80-160ppm nitrates. If I did such a large water change on 2/14, why are my nitrates so high? I must admit in error, I forgot to check my readings immediately after I did the water change on 2/14, but I assumed since it was that much of a WC, that it should have lowered it drastically. Also, I don't have nitrates in my tap water.
I know my nitrates should at least be below 40ppm and ideally at or below 20ppm. Can I do another water change or is it too soon? Will it hurt/stress my fish? Is the TSS altering my readings? If I do a water change should I use the Stress Coat as the water conditioner or the TSS or both? Last thing, I've been checking the fish and they don't seem to be acting weird. They've been swimming all around the tank. Please help, I don't want them to die!
 

CindiL

Hi, agree with the others, you can do a very large water change as long as you match temperature and your ph difference between tank and tap is not greater than .5.

My "guess" is that your nitrates from your fishless cycle were in the super high range before you did the water change and it probably lowered them significantly but still left them high.

Here is a good link on water changes:


I would pick up a bottle of prime from you local fish store as your go to water conditioner. Stress coat has additives in it that I wouldn't want to use all the time. Prime will detoxify your water (thus keeping your fish safe )of ammonia and nitrites up to 1.0 for 24-48 hours.
 

hampalong

Match the temperature and pH, as said, and you will not stress fish with a water change. Quite the opposite in fact.

Oxygenate it first though (if it has stood), especially if it's a big change.

 

missyplu

Thank you all for your advice! I did a water change about 45% and I added 30mL of the Stress Coat. I don't know if it was too soon, but I checked all the levels again within the hour of doing the water change and got the following results:
pH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm

I thought it was kind of strange for 1 water change to get the nitrate down from 80-160ppm to 20ppm (I even took the tubes outside to get natural light), but I'll take it... I was thinking maybe I did something wrong when I tested it the first time and got the high readings, but I tested it twice (on the 15th and 16th) and got the same results, the dark red. Like I said I'm definitely happy and relieved if it is at 20ppm, but I'm definitely going to check them again later on this evening and again tomorrow and everyday thereafter .

Last thing, yes, Danjamesdixon, I'm using the API liquid master test kit. Thank you so much for your help
 

hampalong

You can get accurate test results straight after the water change (unless you use strips, which are not accurate at all, and imo contravene the trades descriptions act(?) ). You don't need to wait.
 

CindiL

Just wanted to mention the nitrate test is often done incorrectly as it has special instructions and the others don't. So just in case...........you shake bottle #2 for 30 seconds vigorously, then you add your drops from bottle #1, and bottle #2, then you shake the tube for a full minute, then wait 5 minutes to read it.
 

hampalong

With nitrate tests you need to bang bottle 2 on a table, or similar, before shaking. The ingredients precipitate out on the bottom, and need to be dislodged, to get an accurate reading.

 

madmaniakid

A lot of tap water contains an amount of nitrates, my local supplier has, I use a nitrate filter to remove it before adding the water to the tank. Contract you're water supplier and ask for a water report to see what the levels are.
 

Danjamesdixon

Contract you're water supplier and ask for a water report to see what the levels are.

Or simply test your water out of the tap
 

hampalong

(In the uk) you can get all this info on your water supplier's website.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
5
Views
304
dl_schneider
  • Question
Replies
4
Views
247
jdhef
  • Question
Replies
2
Views
235
Bettatakeover
Replies
7
Views
968
C6Silver
Replies
10
Views
439
Piaelliott

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom