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Author Topic: Nitrate problems!  (Read 1290 times)
Nossie
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Nitrate problems!
« on: March 14, 2010, 01:07:11 PM »

I recently posted a thread about two of my fish hovering by the surface. They also seemed to have slight difficulties with maintaining their altitude in the water. In the earlier thread I was adviced to try to increase the oxygen in the tank, but that didn't help either. (Tried to make the surface area bigger and increase the air flow). I thought it could have something to do with constipation or swim bladder issues, so I fed them only sinking pellets yesterday (in case the floating food was the problem) and only peas today. Nothing helped.

Either way, today I saw on my white fish that she had some funny red streaks by the base of her dorsal fin, and I thought right away that it had to have something to do with the nitrate levels. And I was right. The crap was on 50ppm!!
I changed the water right away (about 30%) but I'm still a bit worried about my fishes' immune system. I will be testing it for nitrates again tomorrow afternoon to see if it got better.

There are plenty of plants and some algae in my tank, and I do weekly water changes on about 30% each time. Will I have to change it more often? Is there any other way to keep the nitrates low?

(Sorry, it was meant to be in health and illness. But I guess it counts as a water quality problem? d: )
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 02:53:33 PM »

Nossie,
You have 3 fish in an 8 gallon bowl.  The filtration system can only get rid of so many wastes.
To keep nitrate levels down you will have to do 10% water changes maybe everyday.  10% so as not to disrupt the bacteria in the ecosystem.  It is much harder to maintain good water quality in a small overcrowded container.
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Kull
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 03:09:04 PM »

One of the causes of high nitrate levels in the aquarium is a poorly maintained tank. Performing regular water changes will help to reduce nitrate levels in a mature tank, but you have to remember to clean the filter material and gravel on a regular basis also. Food, fish wastes, and decaying plant material in the gravel and filter can provide the raw material for the bacteria to pump out an excess amount of nitrate. Rinse the filter material with aquarium water, that way you remove the wastes but still keep most the Nitrifying bacteria.

I would also check the source of the water you used to fill the tank. Sometimes the nitrate levels in regular tap water can be as high as 30-40 ppm. If the nitrate level in regular tap water is too high, you will probably have to find another source to fill the tank.
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 03:38:32 PM »

Mindemae: I can't recall asking about my tank size and how many fish I have. How about stopping to complain about that every single time I ask for help? I said every time that I AM GOING TO GET A BIGGER TANK AS SOON AS I CAN AFFORD IT. I am terribly sorry for not having one of the fancy 100 gallon tanks already, but this is what I got for my birthday, and this is what I happen to have space and money for at the moment. Just wanted to get this out.
And I'll simply start doing more frequent water changes then, thank you (: Because even if it might not seem that way, I care very, very much for my fish.

Kull: I'm actually cleaning the gravel as well as I can every week when I change the water, and I also clean the filter sponge at the same time, in aquarium water from the tank (: But yeah, maybe I should take a peek at the tap water and see if that might be contributing to my problem?
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 03:53:38 PM »

Wow! Who's complaining?  Just stating the obvious cause for your high nitrate problem!
If you have overcrowding and not a big enough filtration system you are going to have water quality problems.
Isn't that what you advise other people?  How about taking your own advise then? Wink
And you don't need 100 gallons to house 3 goldfish. 
The only way you are going to keep on top of water quality problems which you will constantly be fighting is to do one of the following:

Get a bigger filter system for your biorb.
Lessen the number of fish in your orb.
Clean the biorb more often and the filter to keep up with the large amounts of wastes that goldfish produce, that 8 gallons cannot keep up with.
 Smiley
Doesn't this sound reasonable to you?
I love goldfish and want your fish to be their healthiest and happiest!


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Katarine
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 04:10:04 PM »

ALRIGHT! alright! Guys, seriously! No need to fight!

Both of you have very, VERY good points! Two people can be right:

Mindemae: You are right in suggesting a larger filter system. that seems to be the best course of action for Nossie as of right now.

Nossie: I understand that you have three goldfish in a.. 8 gallon? Kay. I understand what it's like to be short on funds. I know, I blew my entire paycheque on my aquarium. I would go and try to get and additional filter, perhaps that will weed out some of the pollutants.

Please! Let's not fight! Sad
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 04:35:56 PM »

Katarine,
No one is fighting....just suggesting and trying to answer a question.

Nossie,
You don't have to spend alot of $$$ on an aquarium.  Check out resale shops or ads at pet stores or in newspapers or online.  I got my 30 gallon with the stand for $50!  The guy I bought it from was upgrading to a bigger tank.  People are always upgrading.. Smiley
It's beautiful and I love it!  But I also have a filter system which pumps 398 gallons of water through it an hour so it keeps my aquarium extra clean.  I don't have to constantly battle high nitrates or water quality issues and it's less stressful to the fish.
Just trying to help, sorry if I ruffled your feathers. Undecided
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 04:38:18 PM by Mindemae » Logged
Katarine
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 04:42:50 PM »

myuuh.. Sorry.. I overeacted..
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 07:54:18 AM »

Hah, just about to say the same! xD (The "nobody's fighting" part)

Mindemae: Yeah, I know that (: I've been on a lookout lately, and I was really happy when I found a 63 liter (about 17 gallons) tank with filter and shit for only 60! It was used though, but I didn't get it because... well, I don't have much of space for it now.
I do know that 17 gallons aren't very good for three fish either, but I thought of it as an emergency situation. I'm sure it'd be better than only 8 at least! D:
But to be honest, my mom rather said that if I would get a tank later I should rather get as big as possible rather than spending money on this one now and having several of different sizes d: (Which would then be my 30 liter (8gallon) that 63 l one, and the bigger one.) I thought that the 63 liter would be a good quarantine tank later too for new/sick fish.
But if it's gonna be like this, I'm not so sure that I want to keep my fish there for another 3 months and I'd try to get that bloody tank... /: I do know for sure that it's rather impossible to exchange any filter system in the current home too! If I could, I would D: And one of my cousins has a like 5 gallon or something, small tank (normal shape) that I thought I could borrow too and keep maybe two fish in the orb and the other one in the second tank. But goddamnit, I still don't have space! D: It would be really cool if I knew anything useful about fish before I got that for birthday so I could at least have asked for the bigger one d: But that's not the case and I'm ranting so much! xD But shit, it said everywhere that this tank is supposed to hold 3 small fantail goldfish, that's what I have! D: And I noticed that it doesn't quite work that way.

Finally, should I maybe ask if they've still got that 63 liter tank and try to come up with some cool plan for where to keep it?
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salty-J
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 08:35:49 AM »

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Finally, should I maybe ask if they've still got that 63 liter tank and try to come up with some cool plan for where to keep it?
   I think you should do that.....you can figure out somewhere for the tank if you get creative. How about on top of a dresser?
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 08:43:44 AM »

Hi Nossie,
Glad things are ok with us! Kiss
Hey, you can only do what you can do. Wink
regarding the bigger tank, 16 gallon? Yeah, You could get that if it's cheap and use for a hospital tank later.
Also, you could just buy a bigger filter system for it.  My 16 gallon has a filter on it for a 30 gallon tank.
It currently is my quarantine tank, housing Thor my newest addition which I am also as a precaution, treating for parasites.
If the tank is gone, then I would wait, as another one is bound to come along very soon.
I feel your frustration...but your fish will be ok.  You might have to just do more often water changes and clean the gravel a bit more often.
I can't believe the biorb said it could house three goldfish!  They obviously do not know goldfish!  Now I can see three tropicals maybe living in there fine as they don't produce the amount of wastes goldfish do. Undecided
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 10:38:38 AM »

(Funny how the forum is censoring things I write even thought it's just excrement with a shorter word Cheesy)
salty-J: The problem is that we don't really have much furniture here... But the tank wasn't particularly wide, so it might just fit on the current stand (: (which is some thinner type of dresser)

Mindemae: The one problem is that the tank is about 100km away :''D And I have no idea when I would get there. Or, in three weeks we're intending to go (my parents live close) but then the tank might just be gone... so I don't know, maybe I should ask my parents to go check it out for me or something. I could get that bigger filter (if needed) then in those three weeks when I'll be there myself (:

<rant>The air pump is rather weak too, so the filter isn't working very fast... so I think that this thing is much, much better suited for tropicals or some smaller coldwater fish. Can you believe that they actually have some kind of "marine aquarium kit" or what they call it with some plastic anemones and stuff like that D: I doubt this thing would be very good for marine fish. </rant>
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Katarine
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 12:08:59 PM »

I HAVE A SOLUTION! Can you put it on a rug on the floor? like, just in a corner or something? Maybe that would work....hrmm.. its too bad you live so far away.. But 100km.. that would take about an hour or so wouldnt it? (Basing off of 100km/hr speed limit here)... I really hope you get that bigger tank haha
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 12:12:53 PM »

Actually, mom just called, and she said she'd ask my cousin if I could borrow her 40 liter (10.5 gallon) tank for a while (: I'd put Cream and Honey in there since these two are rather sensitive to nitrates... I swear, the Calico one hasn't shown a sign of being uncomfy in any way! xD He's so cool C:

Either way, I think that would help quite a lot (: It just hurts me a little that I'll have to separate them :'C
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 12:53:48 PM »

I know how you feel....I have all my orandas separate and it's driving me crazy but I just have to be patient.
Eventually they will be altogether. Smiley
Well at least you have a tank you can use right now for free until you can get something else.
Make sure you have a big enough filter in the 10 gallon tank.
Well look on the bright side you can have fun aquascaping your new tank. Wink
On the down side tho you'll have to clean 2 tanks. Undecided
I usually clean mine on the weekends but cleaned my 55 gallon today because we were busy.
The 30, 16, and 10 got cleaned yesterday. Omg I will be so happy when Thor is out of quarantine!!
That will be 1 less tank to clean.  And next month when the fish in the 55 gallon will go out to the pond.
Yay! then I will only have 1 tank in the house to clean and the pond.
Unless I find some other beautiful fish I just can't pass up, to fill it! Cheesy
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 01:55:11 PM »

The filter that's in it currently is rather shitty, even though it says on it that it's for 100 liters (about 26 gallons) we had it in the 100l tank at home, but it was very slow and got clogged right away. Hopefully it might just work for this small one. But if it's gonna give me too much of problems I'll buy a nicer filter later (:
I love setting up tanks *sparkle* But I don't think I'll buy any new plants or anything for the purpose, but I'll just take some tops of the ones I have already (: There's probably no gravel there either, so I'll buy some of that too. I can always use it for the bigger tank I'll have later Grin And two tanks ain't that bad! I had it at home before when I kept some guppies in my room (:

How nice! Cheesy I haven't ever seen a pond before. They do have something like it close by, but I don't know if there's anything else but ducks in it. So how big is yours and what does it look like? (:
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 02:52:05 PM »

Well, my pond is about 250 gallons and kidney shaped.  I have Flagstone around it and then grey stone around that.  Then I decorate it with a bunch of homemade stone figurines that I have collected from a local artist who makes them, along with some stepping stones that have various types of flowers on them, engraved in the stone.   Every year I add a new one or 2 to my collection.  I'll have to take pictures of it.  It's hard to decribe.
I have bog plants and water lillies which are so pretty when they bloom.  I have a stone bench but over on the patio area I have plastic chairs and a small table.  It's my small haven where I can sit in solitude and find some peace. Cheesy
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 03:02:42 PM »

Oh, how lovely! (: I started imagining those pics from the "Encyclopedia of aquarium & pond fish"! Cheesy

I changed the water just a while ago again (and cleaned the filter and partially the gravel), but they're still hovering occasionally. So I think it wouldn't really help changing a bucket every day after all :C And it might also be stressful for the fish to do it too often...
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Mindemae
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2010, 03:22:47 PM »

Seriously, I think the high nitrate levels are more stressful than water changes.
If your worried about doing so many water changes then just test the water and do one if the nitrates are high.
And another thought is most of the fish wastes are probably accumilating under the ceramic gravel so here's a thought:  Take out some water and put the fish in a bucket with their water and take out the ceramic gravel, in other words, yes tear the whole thing apart.  Keep your same filter and everything but try and get rid of all the wastes that are under the gravel.  I know it's a pain but it may help lower the nitrates. Undecided
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2010, 03:33:08 PM »

I did that only two weeks ago... :/ And it obviously didn't help even a bit! (But my fish did feel much better in that glass jar.)
I was thinking recently to remove it completely, that would make it easier for me to keep things clean at least! But now since I'll be getting that other tank, I thought I'd just clean this one out once again and keep only one fish in it for a while and see if it's any better.

I thought for half a second if it might be time to change the filter cartridge, but I don't know what that would help for d:
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Hanna
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2010, 07:04:16 AM »

Hey Nossie,

hope your little fish are doing better.
When I do the water change I always put Water Agar in first, to neutralise all chemicals in the tap water, then I get the pH right and also add Algae Control and last but not least the salt.

I hope for you all will be fine again
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2010, 07:24:40 AM »

Yes, I always do that too, and always have done. Thanks (:
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Hanna
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2010, 04:53:20 PM »

How is Cream, Honey and Calico going now?
Are they ok, and together again?
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2010, 01:54:50 AM »

They've been together all the time (: I still didn't get that tank and I don't know when I will. Honestly...
Anyway, I've limited the amount of food and feedings, and this seems to actually help! They've gotten much more playful again <3
So I'll just be changing the water along with less food, and then we'll see when I'll be able to start cycling the second tank! (: (That might take another while...) I'm pretty sure they'll be alright, now when I finally know the problem d:
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Hanna
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2010, 08:15:53 AM »

Nossie, it is so good to read that all is ok, your fishies are happy and you finally know what the problem was.
Yes we do grow so close to our little friends in no time, and we are worried as soon as something seems to
be or is different.

And I know it is so hard to resist when our little buddies are begging for food.
Tonight I need to smack my hands, because when I came home from work from the late shift
(Thursday late night shopping) our two fishies were crazy seeing me again and they were BEGGING,
( they seem to know all tricks under the sun to suck you in, lol)
so I gave them a very little snack  of flakes. Perhaps they do not know what's going on, because
normally this time of the night the lights are switched off, lol
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2010, 01:22:05 PM »

Aww (:
I usually had a rather strict schedule for when and how much to feed my fish, since I know that they would eat anything I'd put into the tank xD So maybe it could be good for you to have that too? (:
The thing was that before I fed them three times a day, but now I cut that down to only two, with slightly less food. And believe it or not, but already after two days of this, they aren't even showing signs of that weird behavior! I feel so delighted (:
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Hanna
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2010, 03:45:55 AM »

Certainly, Nossie

I fully agree with you, from now on, no extra snacks and a strict schedule.
Tomorrow it is time again to prepare the new water, to change it on Sunday.
Also there is need to clean the tank glass, as it starts to show algae growth.
My Elodea plant starts to get some brown leaves, so I think of cutting the "old"
branches off. It may be only algae too, will try to rinse it in water and see what
happens.
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Nossie
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Re: Nitrate problems!
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2010, 09:25:20 AM »

I changed the water today too (: Cleaning the glass and stuff... lately my fish are really mean to my smaller plant. They tear the leaves to shreds and then refuse to eat the pieces floating around xD So I have a few things to clean out... >>
Either way, maybe you should simply cut off the brown leaves? Elodeas have rather transparent leaves if I remember right, so if they're transparentish brown, then it's the leaves for sure! Grin
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