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 Post subject: Nitrates are HIGH!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:30 pm
Posts: 2
Hey tank was running well for while. just recently got a little cloudy so i tested the water and the nitrates were off the chart and the ph was low :shock: fish are doing well but its real cloudy. I also took some water to the LFS and had then test it and it cme out the same the guy was shocked the fish weren't dead. I got the Fuval Nitrate remover and i have it in the filter now( penguin 200Bio wheel) still cloudy and im on my second 3rd 25% water change( started SUN) My question is,,, How long do i run the Nitrate remover beofre i have to recharge it, how long does it stay in the filter?? :? any help would be great

tank: 40B w/ sand and some plant not many and 5 small fish

 Post subject: Re: Nitrates are HIGH!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:59 pm 
Former BAS Board
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:05 pm
Posts: 1062
Location: Boston
First question - how long has the tank been setup ?
2nd -- how often were you changing water (before it crashed) ?

Over time, without water changes, pH naturally drops (and nitrates go up).
the lower the pH goes, the less effective the filter bacteria become - so the ammonia goes way up.
which often shows up in cloudy water
At the same time, ammonia is less toxic at pH levels below 7, so the fish can survive it, especially as the pH drops below 6.

So - Don't bring your pH up to fast -- keep doing 25% changes every day or two.
I would plan on doing at least 5 or six of these small water changes - they are bringing down the nitrates but they are also removing dissolved organics (which you can't test for) as well as slowly bringing the pH back to where you want it.
Nitrates aren't just the problem
You didn't indicate exactly how high the nitrates are - but lets pick 200 ppm as an example.
If you change 10g of water, you'll remove about 50ppm of nitrate - so now your at 150 ppm.
it may go up slightly between that water change and the next - so lets say its now 160 ppm, and you do your 2nd water change - that takes out 40 ppm and you are now at 120ppm. Your 3rd water change bumps it to about 90-100 ppm. (Lets use 100 because it makes the math neat)
Your 4th water change brings the nitrate to 75ppm, lets say it goes up 5ppm to 80 by the time you do the next change.
Your 5th water change brings it down to 60 ppm.
Your 6th brings it down around 45 ppm.
(I like to shoot for a nitrate value in the 40's)

Personally, I don't find the nitrate remover to make a big enough difference to be worth the effort -- water changes provide more benefit to the fish for much less $ --- which is why I don't sell nitrate remover. I do find that it makes a nice biological filter media (its very porous) but with a bio-wheel that's not really needed.

Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)

 Post subject: Re: Nitrates are HIGH!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:30 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the fast response. I don't remember what the exact number it was when he tested it at the store but all I know that when he looked at me and said" wow your way off", then said how many fish did you loose" .. so I took it aas it was high. Luckily I haven't lost any and they seam to be doing fine. I'm on my 3rd 25% change with the remover in the filter just to help out, water is still a little cloudy. I use prime as a de-chlorinated metal remover for the tap, got the temp st 80 even with the bubblers on high to help circulate. Tank has been set up for about 2 months but all the fish and decor and sand were from my smaller hex tank, I needed to go bigger.

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