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Old 12-25-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Nitrate help?

My tank is a 45gal. with 6 threadfin rainbows, 3 Celebes rainbows, 1 swordtail, 1 Betta, 1 bristlenose pleco, 5 white cloud minnows, and 1 American-flag fish. There are also numerous pond snails I've been trying to get rid of. It's got several real plants. The substrate is about 2-3 inches thick- gravel. Penguin 350 h.o.b. filter.

Ammonia= 0, nitrite=0, but nitrates are always around 40. I've been doing 2-3 50% pwcs/week. I vacuum the gravel 1-2 times/week. After each water change the nitrates go down some but quickly rise again. No nitrates in tap. I try to not over feed.

Am I over stocked? Are the snails contributing to this? Should I remove some gravel? Suggestions?
Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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How often do you clean the filter? If not cleaned often they become nitrate factories.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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I've only cleaned one filter pad once and that started a mini cycle. It's been set up since mid October. Do you mean cleaning the housing of the filter? I haven't done that.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hholly
I've only cleaned one filter pad once and that started a mini cycle. It's been set up since mid October. Do you mean cleaning the housing of the filter? I haven't done that.
Could be. I remember reading once that sometimes excess nitrates come from the filters because people mis-interpret that you don't clean the filter in tap water means you don't clean it at all, and that's why there is so many nitrates.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:47 AM   #5
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I clean my filters with tap water every month. Pads and all.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
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I've been afraid to rinse the filter media since that one rinse caused the mini cycle. But maybe I'll rinse out the housing. and after the bb are better established, I'll rinse the media again.

Do you all think the gravel or snails could be part of the problem?
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hholly
I've been afraid to rinse the filter media since that one rinse caused the mini cycle. But maybe I'll rinse out the housing. and after the bb are better established, I'll rinse the media again.

Do you all think the gravel or snails could be part of the problem?
Don't rinse in tap water!!

Rinse in old tank water during the PWC, the chlorine and chloromines will kill your BB if you use tap water.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Nitrate Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hholly View Post
My tank is a 45gal. with 6 threadfin rainbows, 3 Celebes rainbows, 1 swordtail, 1 Betta, 1 bristlenose pleco, 5 white cloud minnows, and 1 American-flag fish. There are also numerous pond snails I've been trying to get rid of. It's got several real plants. The substrate is about 2-3 inches thick- gravel. Penguin 350 h.o.b. filter.

Ammonia= 0, nitrite=0, but nitrates are always around 40. I've been doing 2-3 50% pwcs/week. I vacuum the gravel 1-2 times/week. After each water change the nitrates go down some but quickly rise again. No nitrates in tap. I try to not over feed.

Am I over stocked? Are the snails contributing to this? Should I remove some gravel? Suggestions?
Thanks!
Hello H...

Your nitrates aren't bad and I don't think you're overstocked. Nitrates at 40 ppm isn't going to harm your fish, even long term. A lot of tank keepers would like to have your problem. Snails are a welcomed addition to my planted tanks. They're the best natural algae controllers available. I say keep them and you won't have any visible algae problems.

I'd suggest the following: Back off on the water changes to a little more than half the tank volume once a week. Pollutants take time to build up and doing a large water change once a week won't allow any harmful dissolved substances to accumulate. This will keep the water conditions very stable.

Plants will take up the extra nitrates in the water, so next water change when the water level is low, plant some fast growing stem plants, like Water wisteria and Pennywort. These grow equally well planted in the substrate or floated. I attach them to floating driftwood with black sewing thread. Close to the light source, these plants literally thrive.

The nitrate issue isn't serious, so don't worry about it.

B
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Scouser;1710096]Don't rinse in tap water!!

Rinse in old tank water during the PWC, the chlorine and chloromines will kill your BB if you use tap water.[/

this will get the particulate matter off the filter media which could be part of the cause for quickly rising nitrates.

I'm pretty new here and no subject matter expert by any means but my experience in my 5 gallon (2 baby mollies and 6 neons) has been that i need to do 2 50% PWCs per week keep the nitrates under 40ppm (This is a royal pain for me in a 5 gallon so i can only imagine 2-3 pwcs per week you do in a 45 gallon!). In my case I believe that my overstocking is definitely the issue - I am in the process of moving the fishies over to a 26 gallon with the expectation that nitrates will climb a lot slower and I will be able to do just 1 PWC per week...so would encourage you to check with other folks here more knowledgable than I about stocking levels and see if that is likely one of your issues too.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scouser

Don't rinse in tap water!!

Rinse in old tank water during the PWC, the chlorine and chloromines will kill your BB if you use tap water.
No I haven't used tap water, just rinsed in tank water. Thanks!
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