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cmclien

At what levels does a water change have to be done?

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I've been doing almost daily 50% WC on my partially cycled tank but am confused when I should be alarmed with nitrates and do another one, My WC have been keeping my ammonia around .25, they raise up to .50 and then I do another one. My nitrities are 0.

My nitrates after today's WC are at about 30. Are they stressed at 40? or ?

Should I do another 50% WC today? or am I ok at this level knowing they might go up to 40 or 50 before I do a WC on Thursday, I was hoping to not have to do one tomorrow with it being the 4th and everything.

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I would do one now. I always prefer the nitrates to stay below 20ppm if possible. :)

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If you are doing "almost daily" 50% water changes, it's strange that you should have such high nitrate readings. Are you heavily stocked or feeding a lot?

If you don't want to change tomorrow, why not do a 100% change today?

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40 ppm is the max. However, like Fang said it is best to keep nitrates under 20 ppm as some fish can be particularly sensitive to nitrates higher than this.

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40 ppm is the max. However, like Fang said it is best to keep nitrates under 20 ppm as some fish can be particularly sensitive to nitrates higher than this.

If you are doing "almost daily" 50% water changes, it's strange that you should have such high nitrate readings. Are you heavily stocked or feeding a lot?

If you don't want to change tomorrow, why not do a 100% change today?

I would do one now. I always prefer the nitrates to stay below 20ppm if possible. :)

Oh my gosh, I feel disheartened, I just measured my tap water and its at 30ppm nitrates, I did the test twice and re-read the instructions to make sure I was doing it correctly and I am. I think this number fluctuates some but this week anyways thats where its at. I've been changing the water almost daily and ammonia goes down like it should and now I know why the nitrates don't!!!!

What should I do? What can I do? I am thinking the only thing that removes nitrates is water changes and I'm only adding them back in. Kinda sad :(

I don't over-feed, they get about 6 flakes and 4 little pellets twice a day and a little zucchini. Right now I have one in a 10g and one in a 20g. I am planning on putting them together, they are about 4 inches each and by September upgrade to a 36-45g tank.

This is following the discovery that my ph out of my tap is too low in comparison to the tank because of CO2. I finally figured my way around that with a thread here but now I don't know if there is a way around this.

Edited by cmclien

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It's not unusual for some tap to have nitrates, up to the regulatory limit of 45ppm. While this is clearly not the ideal, you could also adapt that as your tank limit before doing a WC.

There are tons of ways that you can do to help control the nitrates, such as plants and bog filters. There are some very good instructions and examples on this forum of these :)

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I have high nitrates in my tap as well, but I use lots of plants and they really help control them.

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I have high nitrates in my tap as well, but I use lots of plants and they really help control them.

Thanks :) Are there certain types that absorb more than others? i never thought about actually having "live" plants before. Do you put them in a pot with river rock to hold them down? Certain types of aquarium safe pots?

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It's not unusual for some tap to have nitrates, up to the regulatory limit of 45ppm. While this is clearly not the ideal, you could also adapt that as your tank limit before doing a WC.

There are tons of ways that you can do to help control the nitrates, such as plants and bog filters. There are some very good instructions and examples on this forum of these :)

Thanks, guess I will give up on the ideal and think about plants which I've never thought about before. Seemed like one more factor to take into consideration.

I do have to remind myself that they were alive for months and months in this same water when my daughter had them doing only 20% WC every 2 weeks. I am doing 50% 2 or 3 times a week right now and they're super active.

Do you know the first signs of nitrate poisoning vs ammonia or nitrites I would look for?

Edited by cmclien

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I have high nitrates in my tap as well, but I use lots of plants and they really help control them.

Thanks :) Are there certain types that absorb more than others? i never thought about actually having "live" plants before. Do you put them in a pot with river rock to hold them down? Certain types of aquarium safe pots?

I would suggest adding a pothos plant (or two) to your tank to help with nitrates (just the roots of the plant go in the water). Fang wrote a great article about this: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/aquatic-plants/the-amazing-pothos-r267

For nitrate control you want to choose fast growing plants (slow growing plants like anubias won't do much). Anacharis or pennywort would be a good choice (although the anacharis tends to be a favorite snack for goldfish :P). Swords might be a good choice too and moss balls (although those may get eaten too.... only way to find out if your fish have a taste for certain plants is to try!). I'm sure others will have plant suggestions for you. Check out planted aquariums central site, many people here including myself have ordered from them and its a good site to learn about plants http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscentral.com/Live-Aquarium-Plants_c6.htm

If you have a bare bottom tank you can use small glass or terracotta pots to plant plants. I use glass pots from craft stores that are sold as votive or candle holders. Some plants can be tied to rocks or driftwood, such as anubias or java fern. Other plants such as swords or vallisinaria need to be planted in substrate. Some plants, like anacharis or pennywort can be either planted or floated.

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A bog filter is great for handling nitrates (as well as other wastes). I made a mini bog filter for an outdoor tank. http://www.kokosgold...container-pond/ When I decide to set up an indoor tank again, I will make one for that, with the same plan, just using a nice flowerpot as a container rather than a tote.

You can use a bog filter two ways -- as the filter for your tank, which also serves as a flowerpot full of healthy houseplants; or you can use it outdoors to pretreat your tap water. In the latter case, You need a tank or barrel at least as large as your fish tank (bigger is better) for the water you are treating. You fill it and pump the water through the bog filter. A very small pump is adequate for this job. When you need to make a water change, use this filtered water and replace it with tap water. The plants should consume all of the nitrate between water changes.

Here's a great way to put plants in the top of your aquarium. http://www.aquaticec...cs--Hydroponics . They have little "net pots" that fit in the holes. You can put the bare roots of the plants in the pots. Here's one floating in an outdoor tank.

IMG_0788-1.jpg

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I have become a great fan of non-aquatic plants to use for nitrate control. All my goldfish tanks have some pothos on them now, and even just a few pieces already make a difference. I also seem to be luckier with these plants, as most of my fish will mercilessly destroy any aquatic plants.

The links shakaho provided are very very helpful! :)

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Thanks for all of the information everyone! Really appreciate it, looked at all the links. I think since I have to age my well water to let the CO2 out and the PH rise, I might as well put some plants into that 10g aquarium where I'm aging the water to reduce the nitrates before it ever goes into my main tank. I can put a couple into my main tank too. I like the idea of the pots so I can move them around as needed and if they tend to eat one I can move it to the empty tank :)

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I picked up some plants today: 2 sword plants, 2 anubis, 2 wisteria and put them all in my water aging tank which is in a room that has a window. . Thats alright since the main point was to lower the nitrates in the aging water that I use to do WC's with. The wisteria and sword plants the directions said to put them in substrate so I put them in little pots (thank you Tithra!) with gravel. I wasn't sure on the anubis so I put them in pots but just have them loosely held down by some smallish river rock so the roots are not buried. Is that what to do with those?

A couple more questions though:

1. I got some fertilizer but thought maybe I don't need CO2 since thats why I have to age the water in the first place (CO2 is in it). Do I need to buy liquid CO2 in addition to the CO2 that comes out of my well?

2. The lights on the hood of my regular 20g tank are LCD and I am assuming are not bright enough to have plants in that tank? Do you know of any super low light plants that I could consider for my main 20g tank? Its in a fairly bright location but not very near a window or anything.

Thanks for all the replies to this thread, it has been helpful :)

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The anubias would be best tied to a larger rock or piece of wood. The most important thing is to leave the rhizome (horizontal stem) exposed. CO2 is only necessary in high light, high tech heavily planted tanks... at this point it's not necessary. As for the light... I'm assuming you mean LED right? LEDs are fine for planted tanks and a lot of people use them. Whether they are bright enough really depends on the type of plants, the watts, the par etc. You can just go by trial and error - anubias is very low light and wisteria and low light. I'm not sure what type of sword it is but most are low-medium light. If you really want to get technical with the light you can check out this interesting thread.

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Calluna, Thanks for the answers. That link was technical :) wow

When I do a WC in a few days I will put a couple of them in the tank and leave on my LED lights for part of the day (yes thats what I meant, oops). I will start with the anubis and maybe try the smaller of the two swords. The wisteria is too fragile right now, am hoping it grabs and holds once its roots have started growing. In the evening I switch to the LED blue lights for a few hours before turning them off altogether but I am assuming 8 hrs of the bright ones should be ok.

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