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Old 03-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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High Nitrates

My tank is slightly overstocked with mbuna cichlids so I understand that my nitrates may be high. I was wondering when I could check my nitrates again after a water change to see if it decreased significantly. Before doing my water change my nitrates were between 40-80ppm (liquid API test). I tested my tap water and it shows 0ppm. I know that prime can give me distorted results so any suggestions?

I squeeze out my filter floss in my tank water to get out all the gunk. I also have a lot of anubias nana but they don't seem to help. I have an aquaclear 110 and an eheim 2217 running.

My current stock is
4 yellow tailed acei (4inches)
7 yellow labs (ranges from 1 inch to 4 inch)
5 Afra cobues (3 inches)
5 small srt hongi. (1 inches)

That is another problem, some of the fish grows exponentially faster than others. All the yellow labs were .5 inches when I got them but now the spread is just ridiculous.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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If your nitrates are 40 ppm, and you change half the water they will be 20.If you change 75% they will be 10. Don't be afraid to change water. Just be sure to add the Prime before adding the new water, enough for the whole tank.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
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If your nitrates are 40 ppm, and you change half the water they will be 20.If you change 75% they will be 10. Don't be afraid to change water. Just be sure to add the Prime before adding the new water, enough for the whole tank.
But when can I check to be safe?

Also what are some other nitrate farms I should look out for? Besides poop, stuff in my filter, dead leaves?
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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It's fine to check after the new water has sufficient time to circulate. 10-15 minutes is usually enough. Prime wont effect nitrate readings. It can produce small ammonia readings if you have chloramine in your tap water. Mulm can build up under rockwork so its a good idea to aim the syphon while filling the tank or tip a bucket of water through the rockwork to dislodge any waste. A power head aimed under the rocks can help keep it clear of waste too.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
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It's fine to check after the new water has sufficient time to circulate. 10-15 minutes is usually enough. Prime wont effect nitrate readings. It can produce small ammonia readings if you have chloramine in your tap water. Mulm can build up under rockwork so its a good idea to aim the syphon while filling the tank or tip a bucket of water through the rockwork to dislodge any waste. A power head aimed under the rocks can help keep it clear of waste too.
Would the power head stir up my sand substrate? I'm worried it may affect my hob and canister
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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It would if you aim it directly at the sand. If the water flow is parallel to the sand it won't move the sand much, just the waste. What kind of sand you you have? If its fine particles there could be a problem with them flying about.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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It would if you aim it directly at the sand. If the water flow is parallel to the sand it won't move the sand much, just the waste. What kind of sand you you have? If its fine particles there could be a problem with them flying about.
Using pool filter sand, it usually stays on the bottom
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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That'll be fine. That's what I use and I've got a power head set up like I stated above.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Do you have a picture to show how I can set it up by any chance?
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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I'll get one when the lights flick on. It's 7:30am here

Edit:
I thought I could get a picture but I couldn't.


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Here is the power head. It's usually like this but on the other side of the rockwork. It provides good water flow around the bottom of the tank helping keep any waste from settling.
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