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Nitrate pls explain

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Al1ce, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Al1ce

    Al1ce New Member

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    Not sure where to post this but I recently did a water test I use tetra strips and I provided results, but can anyone explain what I need to do to bring this down, as I have baby guppies seperate from other fish so want to keep the water perfect, I only did a water change last week 30% and treated it with aqua safe, but I did notice some algae on some ornaments which I’ve removed to scrub off, I did also add some JBL ph raise because my water is very soft, do I need to do another change? I have aquarium salt would this help? They all seem happy and there is no poop as I have sand and suction it out with a turkey baster on a daily basis, all plants are fresh and been cleaned, but I do get some build up on glass which I wiped off, how accurate are these tests I’m not sure. I can say though that on the tetra strip the green square always has a blue dye colour running through it pls see pic
     

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  2. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Most people change at least 50% of their water every week. I personally change 75%. You should do a 75% change to reduce your nitrates and nitrites. Nitrites should always be 0 so that does need to be addressed. Also please test your tap water, nitrates are the thing we care about here. We expect nitrates to rise in the tank but not by much - that is one of the reasons why we do regular water changes.

    If JBL ph raise is the same as JBL ph plus it is not what you need. This raises the KH (and pH), neither of which are a problem for your guppies. What other fish are in the tank? Guppies do need a higher GH than your water contains but it is important that we know what else is in the tank before suggesting you raise that, or by how much.
     
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  3. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Yes, definitely test your source water as you may have high nitrates there as well. Although test strips are not as accurate as liquid tests, they should still work. As @seangee points out, increasing the volume/frequency of your water changes, along with routine filter maintenance should do the trick.
    ONLY use salt in very special cases (like treating ich or brackish tanks) and never in a planted tank. In spite of old school myths and rumors, fresh water fish don't need salt in the water.
    As for hardness, a product like Seachem Equilibrium may help if really needed.
     
  4. Al1ce

    Al1ce New Member

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    thanks I just done a 50% water change and cleaned tank, just done another test and it’s all good only the carbonate hardiness is a little high, not sure what to use to bring it down, but everything else seems fine, I also did a liquid water test pls see picture, tap water on left is green neutral, and tank water on right is 8 a bit more alkaline.
     

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  5. seangee

    seangee Member

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    The water change has reduced your nitrites and nitrates nicely which is good and suggests there are no problems with your tap water. Both are still a little high but another 50% water change should get that right, followed by weekly 50% changes.

    There is nothing wrong with your carbonate hardness or pH, so do not try to change them. Unfortunately the good / bad ranges given on the tests really just mean compared to average and don't take into account the needs of your particular fish. You haven't said what your other fish are. You mentioned tetras in abnother thread and guppies in this one. Is there anything else?
     
  6. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    In the first post you ask if aquarium salt would be OK, and it seems that you were asking would the aquarium salt be OK to raise pH. The answer is no, it would do nothing. And it won't increase hardness either because salt is sodium chloride and hardness does not include sodium.

    If you have soft water and guppies, you need to increase GH and pH will follow. This can be done by adding Rift Lake salts (these are not the same as aquarium salt) or by using something like crushed dolomite in the filter. But if you do have tetras in the same tank, you can't do this as they are soft water fish. The ideal solution would be 2 tanks - one with soft tap water for the soft water fish and the other with 'hardened' water for the guppies.



    As for the test results, as seangee said, there is not good or bad range for pH, or GH and KH either. Yes, there are good and bad ranges for ammonia and nitrite (zero is good, anything else is bad) and nitrate (up to 20 is good, over 20 is bad). But for pH, GH and KH it depends on the fish. For soft water fish, low pH and GH is good while high pH and GH is bad; for hard water fish the opposite is true.
     

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