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A Question About Nitrates

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Akasha72, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    Hi,

    My fish have been hiding in the plants all day which isn't normal for them so I did a water test. PH, Ammonia and Nitrite were all as normal (6.8-7. 0ppm 0ppm) but my Nitrate were quite high - between 40 and 60ppm

    I guessed this could be why the fish were behaving differently (my Nitrates are normally around 10) so I'm currently doing a water change - about 25-30 litres.

    So, the only things to have changed recently. I added the anti hair algae treatment - although that said it was harmless to fish, water and filter.

    I've also checked my Juwel book and the Nitrate sponge should be changed every 2 months - it's been in 4 months. Now we all know the changing filter sponge reccomendations from the companies is about making money but could it be that in this instance I do need to follow their guidelines?

    I rinsed the sponges just last week and they were all pretty gunked up.

    I'm wondering what everyone else thinks and I wondered if there is anyone else here with a Juwel filter that's had the same issue and might be able to advise me.

    Also - can someone just remind me what the harmful level of Nitrate is? I had it in my head that anything above 40 needs action but I'm not absolutely certain that's right. The fish have now come out of hiding and the tank has nearly finished syphoning clean water back in

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. N0body Of The Goat

    N0body Of The Goat Oddball and African riverine fish keeper

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    For most fish, nitrate levels become toxic ~300mg/l.

    Of the basic tests we do on our tanks, the nitrate test is by far the least reliable. You need to bang the [blank] out of the bottom of the test bottles for minutes, to try and get some of the test compounds back into solution and even then you result may not be a true reflection.

    The Juwel nitrate removing pad has not got a great reputation from what I've read, basically it is to be treated like just another bacterial colony sponge, as you would if you left an active carbon pad in their for more than a few days.
     
  3. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    Okay, so I'd be wasting my cash replacing as well as potentially cause my filter to start re-cycling (which nobody wants lol)

    Hmm ... so either my test kit has given me a false reading (although judging by the fishes behaviour it may not have) or that algae treatment has done something to my Nitrates.

    Has anyone else used it? It's Interpet Anti-hair algae.
     
  4. soybean

    soybean Member

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    That hair algae stuff didn't work at all for me, load of rubbish, I don't recall it having an effect on the nitrate levels though. You need Excel, I bung a bit of that in every few days and it seems to be controlling it.

    Don't bother replacing the nitrate sponge, it's just a sponge now and probably doing more use now than when it had magic powers.

    If your fish have perked up after a water change, problem solved. I wouldn't class 40-60 as dangerous in any way but maybe the beginnings of uncomfortable for some.
     
  5. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    thanks Soybean, at least my mind is at rest. This Excel stuff ... I've never seen it. Do you know where I can get it? And what exactly am I looking for? I don't want to get the wrong stuff.

    I did think the interpet stuff might be rubbish but I was so sick of the black hairy stuff making my plants look horrible that I had to do something.
    I posted in the plant section about it but was told to increase my co2 and my water flow. My filter flow is fixed so I can't do that and I don't know how to increase co2 as I don't know how I get it into my tank. Isn't co2 what comes out of my car exhaust? ... maybe I could drag a pipe up the car park and into the flat and dump it in the tank ... :lol:
     
  6. soybean

    soybean Member

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    I add flourish excel rather than having a co2 set up, which I cannot be bothered to do. It's basically liquid carbon. Pretty common, made by seachem, available online if no shops near you have it. Not a miracle cure but cheaper than messing about with canisters, fair play to those who can be bothered.

    There are others available too like EasyCarbo.

    http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/FlourishExcel.html

    Do you add any ferts either?
     
  7. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    I do add ferts too. I got some stuff by Denerle from my lfs. It's got rid of the brown spots on my amazon swords and made them look really healthy which is why I wanted rid of the hairy stuff. I am wondering if that's altering my nitrates now ... hmm could be a thought
     
  8. soybean

    soybean Member

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    Basically if you have an out of balance combination of light, ferts and co2, you get algae.

    Good luck working out the magic combination. I've given up. I just scrub it off!
     
  9. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    *groan* if someone with far more experience than me can't get rid of it I've no chance ...
     
  10. KISSfn

    KISSfn Member

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    I've also given up and scrub the algae off!
     
  11. soybean

    soybean Member

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    I'm sure I could get my head round it if I tried, but I can't be bothered. My plants grow and look good, that's what matters to me. Just don't look too closely, or at the glass...!

    Still, keeps the otos fat.
     
  12. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    so basicly, what your all saying is give up and leave it to the oto's to eat some of it! Will the snail eat the hairy stuff aswell?


    Meanwhile, I'll carry on with my squirt a week of ferts, try and get some of this excel stuff, chuck the interpet stuff in the bin and not look too closely at my plants... oh and keep an eye on the nitrates ... and not forgetting playing midwife to one batch of babies after another lol ... :lol:

    And there was me thinking fish keeping would be fairly easy
     
  13. soybean

    soybean Member

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    I've never seen an oto eat anything hairy, same with the snails, they're all over the thick green stuff all over the glass :crazy:

    I saw guppys take the occasional nibble of the hairy stuff but I think they got bored of that quickly enough too.

    Nothing easy about this hobby :lol:
     
  14. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    okay, thanks :)
     

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