Zero Ammonia, Zero Nitrite, But Very High Nitrate?! Important

  1. nmfsd1 Initiate Member

    I replaced our filters about a week ago, could it be because the old ones had the good bacteria and the tank is cycling itself again? We've had the tank for a little over a month so we're still quite new at this. It is currently stocked with plants and community fish. How will the high nitrates affect them and how do I bring it down? I'm confused because all other water parameters are normal (Ammonia 0, ph 7, nitrite 0, temp 78)
     
  2. FlutterFish Well Known Member Member

    Water changes take out nitrates. Do a 50% water change and see where it brings you.

    By taking out your filters, you have lost all of your beneficial bacteria. You must cycle the tank again. A further note, you should never replace your filters unless they are completely falling apart.

    We need your exact water parameters. Low nitrite means it is not 0ppm, meaning that it is still toxic to your fish. Dose Prime so your fish is safe for now.
     

  3. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    Yes, if you replace your filters (or media) then you will for sure lose your cycle. You can do water changes to lower your nitrates. Your filters (or rather your filter media ) hold your BB (beneficial bacteria) if you replace your filters it is recommended that you run both filters on the tank to "seed" the new filter. Since you didn't do this, I recommend that you buy some prime (if you don't have any right now) and dose it if your nitites or ammonia are very high and do water changes to get your nitrates to an acceptable level. Also, test your water parameters everyday

    If ammonia + nitrite = less than 1 ppm dose prime for the full volume of the tank

    If ammonia + nitrite = more than 1 ppm do a water change an dose prime.

    If your nitrates are at a unsafe level then do a water change
     
  4. nmfsd1 Initiate Member

    Okay I posted the exact parameters.. I replaced the filters because the box they came in says to replace them every month? The brand is Tetra Bio-Bag. Thank you though, I'll do a water change ASAP!
     

  5. fishfanatic15 Member Member

    What are you using to test the water. We all recommend the api master liquid test kit. It is more money up front but will last a lot longer and is much more accurate than strips. If you are using the strips I would get the master kit as soon as you can yo get accurate parameters.

    I know the box says to replace the filter cartridges every month but this is not entirely accurate. If you replace the cartridges then you get rid of your BB. The reason the company puts that on the box is because the cartridges have activated carbon in them. The activated carbon losses it's effectiveness after about a month. Here is a link to a post about the benefits of activated are carbon
    Activated Carbon for the Aquarium
    You have three choices...

    1. Change the cartridges every month and have to re-cycle the tank every time (this is highly not recommended)

    2. Just leave the cartridges in the filter and lose the benefits of the activated carbon (this option is perfectly fine, just not the most ideal)

    3. Every month, in a bucket with some tank water, take apart the cartridge, dump out the activated carbon, fill it with more activated carbon, and then put the cartridges back together. (This is the most ideal option - if you chose this option you will have to buy more activated carbon, they sell it basically everywhere [Petco has it] in big bulk containers - I can tell you how to take apart the cartridge if you want, just message me).