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Nitrate levels and pregnant female fish

Byron

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Any advice on what I can do please?
I would confirm the tap water test result with the water authority. Test strips can be erroneous.

If you really have nitrate that high in the tap water, we have members here who have dealt with this. @AbbeysDad is one I know, and I think maybe @seangee. Probably others too.
 

seangee

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As I mentioned before DON'T PANIC. (Those were meant to be large friendly letters :fish: )

Those tetra strips continue to change colour after a minute - so be sure to take the photo after exactly 60 seconds and hold it against the scale on the tube. Preferably do this in sunlight or under an LED light. The good news is that if your fish are breeding they are essentially healthy.

I kept fish in very hard water with high nitrates for over 10 years before I realised that this was an issue. Your fish already have an advantage over mine because I had soft water fish - at least you have the right type of fish. The result of this was that my fish did not live as long as they could have, which I only discovered by accident speaking to a fishkeeper who kept similar fish to me. The fish simply died of old age and I never had any disease outbreaks. This is achievable if you keep up with regular maintenance: Water changes, cleaning filters, not overfeeding and having lots of plants. Now one advantage of keeping livebearers / hard water fish is that you can expect a constant supply of new fish. My tetras would not breed in that water so every 2-3 years I had to buy lots of fish as my stocks gradually diminished. So do nothing is an option.

I do not say this because I am callous. The issue is solveable but is likely to be both expensive and time consuming. If you can provide the right conditions your fish will live "normal" lives, but just shorter than they could have done. These would still be better off than:
  • those being kept in soft water tanks (and many people do this)
  • those kept in badly maintained tanks (and many people do this)
Like it or not your local fish store is going to keep selling them and they will end up in water just like yours. At least you are making the effort to understand their needs and providing the best environment you can.

So lets get the numbers, and right now don't do anything other than good maintenance. We don't want to stress your expectant mothers by changing their environment right now. Once your fry have been safely delivered and grown big enough not to be eaten you can look at options if you choose to - and you confirm that your water does have high nitrates.
 
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Jdel27

Jdel27

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As I mentioned before DON'T PANIC. (Those were meant to be large friendly letters :fish: )

Those tetra strips continue to change colour after a minute - so be sure to take the photo after exactly 60 seconds and hold it against the scale on the tube. Preferably do this in sunlight or under an LED light. The good news is that if your fish are breeding they are essentially healthy.

I kept fish in very hard water with high nitrates for over 10 years before I realised that this was an issue. Your fish already have an advantage over mine because I had soft water fish - at least you have the right type of fish. The result of this was that my fish did not live as long as they could have, which I only discovered by accident speaking to a fishkeeper who kept similar fish to me. The fish simply died of old age and I never had any disease outbreaks. This is achievable if you keep up with regular maintenance: Water changes, cleaning filters, not overfeeding and having lots of plants. Now one advantage of keeping livebearers / hard water fish is that you can expect a constant supply of new fish. My tetras would not breed in that water so every 2-3 years I had to buy lots of fish as my stocks gradually diminished. So do nothing is an option.

I do not say this because I am callous. The issue is solveable but is likely to be both expensive and time consuming. If you can provide the right conditions your fish will live "normal" lives, but just shorter than they could have done. These would still be better off than:
  • those being kept in soft water tanks (and many people do this)
  • those kept in badly maintained tanks (and many people do this)
Like it or not your local fish store is going to keep selling them and they will end up in water just like yours. At least you are making the effort to understand their needs and providing the best environment you can.

So lets get the numbers, and right now don't do anything other than good maintenance. We don't want to stress your expectant mothers by changing their environment right now. Once your fry have been safely delivered and grown big enough not to be eaten you can look at options if you choose to - and you confirm that your water does have high nitrates.
Thank you so much and if your based in London fancy some baby fry as I know I will have too many. Your more than welcome
 
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Jdel27

Jdel27

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Thank you so much and if your based in London fancy some baby fry as I know I will have too many. Your more than welcome.
I’m really trying my best in caring for my fishes. It saddens me when things go wrong with my tank.
I really want to succeed in learning about tropical fish and the other stuff that comes with it. Il get into that later on .
I used to own goldfish but because they out grew my 125litres I gave them to a lovely lady who took them for her pond.
They grew up to 22cm including my pleco which has now gone to another home.
I really appreciate your kind help x
Thank you
 

seangee

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Thank you so much and if your based in London fancy some baby fry as I know I will have too many. Your more than welcome
All my tanks have very soft water (I do use tap water in my pond where the smallest goldfish is over 20").
I stopped keeping livebearers many years ago because I got fed up with the weekly trips to the fish shop with bags of fish ;)
 
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Jdel27

Jdel27

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Hi guys, thought id let you know, I did the dip stick test - 60seconds the test showed NO3 nitrate - 40. After the 60 seconds it started to get darker
 

seangee

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Assuming that's tap water go back and read post #17 before making any decisions.

The easiest way I found to deal with this is with a pozzani filter. https://www.pozzani.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=185
IIRC the cartridge was good for 500-600 liters with my tap water at 50ppm and replacement cartridges are around £13. You always need a spare because they don't gradually fail, one day your nitrates will be zero and the next they will be the same as the tap water once the cartridge is exhausted, with no prior warning. You also need to filter the water at around 2 litres per minute so it takes an hour to make around 100 litres . Then you need to store it and make sure you have enough spare water in case you need to do an emergency change. In theory the cartridges can be recharged but I never succeeded in this.

Now I'm not trying to put you off, but you should know the good and the bad because (and this is just IMO) switching the fish to clean water and then back to tap water (if you decide not to keep it up) will probably do more harm than carrying on with tap water. I tried several other products that claimed miracle results - turns out that this kind of miracle does not exist.

Another option is to buy or make RO water. For your livebearers you will need to re-mineralise it. I use salty shrimp GH/KH+ for this but there are other products. My local Maidenhead Aquatics sells RO at £3.50 for 25 litres and remineralised RO at £4.50 for 25 litres (may have gone up as I have been making my own for almost a year). The downside of this is weekly trips to the LFS and lugging the water back home. At the time I was changing around 100 litres per week. Now I have more tanks its 200 :).

Today I have 2 soft water tanks that use straight RO. I do remineralise the water for the 3rd tank which has shrimp and fish that need harder water - but not as hard as your livebearers. Its not without its downsides. I still need to filter and store the water and it takes me 2 days to replace the 200 litres I use every weekend. I am happy with the current setup but as long as I stay in the current region it means a lifetime commitment.
 
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Jdel27

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I will go aquatics shop with water samples to test
 
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Jdel27

Jdel27

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Hi seangee,

I did my water change, tank water is so much better N03 from aquarium is under 20. Tap is under 20. Ammonia levels is fantastic
Plants are in and female guppies are becoming bigger .
Females are currently trying to hide from the males H*r*ny boys
Thank you again


92417677-7D4E-4E7A-A293-983F2F986673.jpeg
 

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