Wow Nitrates 10 Gallon Tank 

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proudtobeafarmgirl

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Okay, have not done a water change in 10 gallon shrimp tank for 4 days. Came home to find one older female shrimp dead, everyone else was fine and active as usual.

I decided to do a nitrate test just to see what was going on as I have problems with those. Far as I can tell by comparing the charts, they were testing at least at 160ppm! I tested my ugly tap water which I dilute half and half with RO water, it tested about 5 ppm.

This tank has been running for everybit of 7 years and has camboma, duckweek, hornwort and java moss in it. I do small water changes ( 10-15%_ 2-3 times/week. Have not lost any shrimp until the one today ( who knows what she died of)

Anyway, I freaked out as these shrimp are my most valued pets and did a 50% water change. I tested the water again when I was done just to see if any thing changed and it did not seem to change very much. I plan to do water changes daily for the next several days and see is it helps. Meanwhile I stole most of the live plants from my guppy tank and added them to the shrimp tank and all the shrimp seem happy and are playing, fighting and eating as normal.

Any other ideas? I have a Aqau Clear 20 filter with a sponge, zeo carb and charcoal filter.
 

catsma_97504

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How many shrimp are in the tank? Are there any other inhabitants? If you are doing multiple water changes in a week, something is causing the high nitrates in addition to having nitrates in your tap. What test kit are you using? How are the nitrates in your other tanks?
 

Shawnie

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aww im sorry for the loss of your shrimp
with those readings, and only having shrimp with that many plants, im guessing you are using test strips to test with maybe? and are you still using the product cycle? the nitrates in your tap, are so very low , and shrimp bioload is also very low, theres some inaccuracy's going on somewhere..have you tested for ammonia/nitrites as well?
 
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proudtobeafarmgirl

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Hi, My shrimp tank has a little over 100 shrimp in it, one cory catfish, three baby guppies that I can not catch ( too many plants get in the way) a few remaining pond snails and at least one assassin snail. I try not to overfeed (tried to feed just a little bit once a day but the guppies and the catfish were not happy with that so I feed a tiny pinch of food twice daily, put it right in the flow from the filter so it is pushed down for my cory. Shrimp come from everywhere to battle it out for the scraps. Kind of funny as they get in some good argunments with each other.

I used the API master kit and do have trouble finding the exact color match or variable in between on thier color chart but my nitrate result was definitly dark red/maroon. I tested both tanks today two days later and 10 gallon was 0 for nitrite and nitrate was 40ppm. Will do another water change today to try to get it lower. I did abuse the 2nd bottle of test solution (by banging on the counter) as I guess it is hard to mix up, where as before I just shook it very well.

I tested the 20 gallon guppy tank before it's weekly water change and the nitrites were not at 0 but not quite at .25. The nitrates were over 40 ppm, fish are acting normal. I did a 35% plus water change and cleaned the filter, and will test again later today.

I have been using Cycle and thought it was a good product as it came with my 10 gallon starter kit 7 or 8 years ago and being a total newbie back then I did not know any better and thought that it was a must for fish keeping. Now researching here I find that it is not such a good product but how do I stop using it without causing a disaster? My guppies are pretty tough but my shrimp are a bit touchy and I do not want to kill them. Please help.
 

catsma_97504

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I may be wrong here, but 100 ghost shrimp in a 10 gallon tank seems to me that it's overstocked. This might explain your excessive nitrate levels. Hopefully, someone with more experience with them will chime in.
 

jetajockey

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your nitrate level is the end result of the amount of stock in the tank. As far as using Cycle, i've tried it and it didn't do anything that I know of, but if you think its sustaining your nitrogen cycle then I suggest to wean off of it, reducing your standard dosage slightly every time until you aren't using it anymore.

Your most effective method of keeping nitrates low is to stock less. Plants help lower nitrates also, but they can only do so much. My 33 gallon bowfront is moderately stocked with about 10 or so livebearers and some various shrimp, and planted with quite a bit of anacharis, hornwort, and java moss. I do a 25% water change weekly but I have gone for 2 -3 weeks just to watch the nitrate levels and it always stays a steady 5ppm no matter when I test it. So technically the way it is set up now it is self sustaining but I still have to do water changes routinely to keep fresh water coming in and getting some of the waste cleaned up.
 
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proudtobeafarmgirl

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I give up, tested both tanks for nitrates this morning and they are still at 40 ppm. I will just keep doing water changes and hope it helps, fish and shrimp are acting normal. I was told that a ten gallon would be fine for 108 shrimp, they do not seem overcrowded, lots of room for swimming, eating, playing, fighting and pestering the catfish.

I think my problems stem from my lack of regular schedule for Cycle I have not stuck to a strict schedule of once a week or every water change - now I know it is bad I am weaning off it slowly and hope to pitch the bottle out real soon.

Another thing that may have unsettled the system is that I cleared the guppies out of the 10 gal to make a shrimp only tank, going from alot of bio load/ammonia source to almost none must have caused a major disruption. Now I realize I messed with the 20 gall parameters by selling off 80 plus guppies as they were getting over crowded (and I needed the money). Another shock and decrease in ammonia/bioload. Will very regular water changes help us get back to normal again? What else can I do?
 

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how do you get your api liquid kit to go to 160 ppm ? mine only goes to 80 (I think as I dont compare seems after so much time, knowing the red/orange is easy lol) ?
and if you have 0 for ammonia/nitrites, I doubt its from removing fish ....stop using the product cycle, as im sure thats interfearing also..have some prime or amquel+ on hand in case you go into a mini cycle.....whats the lot #s on your test kit? ..and water changes are about all you can do for now ...goodluck!..
 

jetajockey

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proudtobeafarmgirl said:
I give up, tested both tanks for nitrates this morning and they are still at 40 ppm. I will just keep doing water changes and hope it helps, fish and shrimp are acting normal. I was told that a ten gallon would be fine for 108 shrimp, they do not seem overcrowded, lots of room for swimming, eating, playing, fighting and pestering the catfish.

I think my problems stem from my lack of regular schedule for Cycle I have not stuck to a strict schedule of once a week or every water change - now I know it is bad I am weaning off it slowly and hope to pitch the bottle out real soon.

Another thing that may have unsettled the system is that I cleared the guppies out of the 10 gal to make a shrimp only tank, going from alot of bio load/ammonia source to almost none must have caused a major disruption. Now I realize I messed with the 20 gall parameters by selling off 80 plus guppies as they were getting over crowded (and I needed the money). Another shock and decrease in ammonia/bioload. Will very regular water changes help us get back to normal again? What else can I do?
Going down in bioload shouldn't be causing an issue. Remember that nitrates are the end result of the nitrogen cycle, so the "Cycle" product shouldn't have a bearing on that. There's only a few ways to reduce nitrates, water changes, plants, and a few different kind of materials/chemicals ( i have no experience on these so no suggestion).

My personal guideline is that if I am testing over 20ppm at my weekly water change then my tank is overstocked, so I reduce stock until I get around that 20ppm mark weekly, OR I start doing water changes more frequently.
 

mosin360

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Shawnie said:
how do you get your api liquid kit to go to 160 ppm ? mine only goes to 80
I'm not at home but I did a quick google and I see pictures of the nitrate card going to 160. Maybe the updated it since you bought yours?

And I can't tell the difference between 40 and 80 so if its blood/dark red then I know I got a issue.
 

jetajockey

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mosin360 said:
I'm not at home but I did a quick google and I see pictures of the nitrate card going to 160. Maybe the updated it since you bought yours?

And I can't tell the difference between 40 and 80 so if its blood/dark red then I know I got a issue.
mine goes to 160 and its about 4 or 5 months since purchased.
 

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To Shawnie:Mine goes to 160 as well, about 3 months old.

My personal guideline is that if I am testing over 20ppm at my weekly water change then my tank is overstocked, so I reduce stock until I get around that 20ppm mark weekly, OR I start doing water changes more frequently.
I agree with this completely. Do you have another tank laying around?Maybe you can half the shrimp and try testing again in a few days?

I think you said you did a change and went from 160 to 40 in 2 days? You may just need to do changes more often if you dropped that much. Also remember to shake that bottle/bang it on a counter like crazy for about a minute to make sure your readings are accurate. If you don't mix the bottle well while doin a nitrate test your numbers will be way off.
 
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