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Old 11-26-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
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Nitrate levels low :( and other leves need opinions on :)

According to the Tetra Easy Strips

Ammonia - 0

Nitrate ( white and dark pink strip) - 160

Nitrate ( white and pale pink strip) - 0

Total Hardness - 150

Total Alkalinity - 80

Ph - 6.2


My tank is a 36 gallon bow front tank . It is a tropical community tank with lots of platys, guppys, dwarf gouramis, tetras, etc....
It is very cloudy, on Sunday night I did about 25% water Change and became very cloudy. So I waited 24 hours to see if it cleared up ( most of the time it dose) . But on Monday night it was still cloudy. I them put some Aquon water clarifier in and became even cloudier. So I took about 88oz out if the tank ( I read they might need more oxygen). So I am planing a trip to Petsmart tomorrow , so I was planning on trying some plants. Do you think that would be a good idea ?? Or do you have any other suggestions ??
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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Any aeration?
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #3
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I have an under gravel filter which leads to two bubbling columns that let out bubbles at the top.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camogirl28 View Post
According to the Tetra Easy Strips

Ammonia - 0

Nitrate ( white and dark pink strip) - 160

Nitrate ( white and pale pink strip) - 0

Total Hardness - 150

Total Alkalinity - 80

Ph - 6.2

My tank is a 36 gallon bow front tank . It is a tropical community tank with lots of platys, guppys, dwarf gouramis, tetras, etc....
It is very cloudy, on Sunday night I did about 25% water Change and became very cloudy. So I waited 24 hours to see if it cleared up ( most of the time it dose) . But on Monday night it was still cloudy. I them put some Aquon water clarifier in and became even cloudier. So I took about 88oz out if the tank ( I read they might need more oxygen). So I am planing a trip to Petsmart tomorrow , so I was planning on trying some plants. Do you think that would be a good idea ?? Or do you have any other suggestions ??
Hi, can you ask the store to check your tank ph? It seems low for bb. See article below under ph section. Also check for ammonia - I'm wondering if you get a bacterial bloom. Also I saw nitrate was quoted twice? If at 160, I'd also add plants and up water changes to gradually get it down to 40. Could be worth asking the store to check your tap water as well as I only find the strips good for ph.

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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The reason nitrate was listed twice was because the chart thar came with my test strips had tow nitrates the 160 saying dangerous and 0 saying it was fine . You fish have died but the water is cloudy, is that a effect of the nitrate and is there any store bought chemic to buy ??
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camogirl28 View Post
The reason nitrate was listed twice was because the chart thar came with my test strips had tow nitrates the 160 saying dangerous and 0 saying it was fine . You fish have died but the water is cloudy, is that a effect of the nitrate and is there any store bought chemic to buy ??
Sorry, I don't use these strips - do they list a value for nitrates? I'm not quite getting if it is ok or not?
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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Here is the strip next to the chart

Click image for larger version

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Old 11-26-2013, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camogirl28 View Post
Here is the strip next to the chart
Your nitrates are off the charts while your nitrites appear to be zero. Your ph is very low. What is normal water change schedule?

The cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom from excess dissolved organics. You may have ammonia as well. I would work on water changes to drop your nitrates down to a reasonable level (20ppm or less). I would consider investing in a liquid test kit such as the API fw master test kit. Please ask if you have questions!
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camogirl28 View Post
The reason nitrate was listed twice was because the chart thar came with my test strips had tow nitrates the 160 saying dangerous and 0 saying it was fine . You fish have died but the water is cloudy, is that a effect of the nitrate and is there any store bought chemic to buy ??
Agree with the other post. Bit tricky off the app!

If the cloudy water is every water change then I suspect tap ammonia / stirred up organics plus slow bb at low ph. Nitrate will have been high for a while so you would have been getting a bloom every day if that was cause. To me it looks like the water change - how much and how often do you do?

To really tell I'd get liquid tests of tap (after 24hrs standing) and tank ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The strips can be mis-leading.

If the tap water is fine, then water changes will bring it back to better levels. If the tap is low ph / high nitrate then a bit harder
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:36 PM   #10
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So when I set up my tank I put the prime stuff in but now when I fill up my tank about every two weeks with four gallons I don't treat it I go from the tap to the tank. So should I treat it ??? What should I do to prevent it becoming milky and cloudy every water change ?
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #11
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So when I set up my tank I put the prime stuff in but now when I fill up my tank about every two weeks with four gallons I don't treat it I go from the tap to the tank. So should I treat it ??? What should I do to prevent it becoming milky and cloudy every water change ?
Perhaps I am misunderstanding your post so please correct me if I am wrong. Your only adding a few gallons of untreated tap every few weeks? Is this due to evaporation or are you actually vacuuming the substrate and removing old water?

Lack of actual weekly water changes and substrate vacs along with adding untreated water would explain your issues with excess nitrate, excess organics, low ph and low mineral content. Tanks require weekly (if not not more frequent) water changes and maintenance. Water changes should be done with properly conditioned, temperature matched water.

How long has your tank been running with fish? Sudden big changes will not be a good idea if this has been routine for awhile. Changes will need to be made gradually in order to not shock your fish but with some commitment on your behalf, you will be able to get your tank back to a healthy state.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:48 AM   #12
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You may want to consider getting an API test kit. You will get more accurate results. The test strips will cause your brain to hurt when you get different results after testing twice 10 minutes apart.

Like someone else said, you may want to test your tap water. If your tap water is high, then that is your cause and you might want to look into reverse osmosis.

I didn't see a post stating how long that tank has been running so I am going to post a few things just as additional information, don't be offended if you already know. If it is new aquarium, it could be possible that something is going on in the tank to cause it to not finish the cycle. I have never experienced this, but I have read posts on here of people who have and ended up having to use some type of bacteria additive. Some people say they work and some say they don't. Its your choice what you believe but I will say if you do decide to use it, try to find one that is refrigerated. It could also be just poor tank conditions, as jlk stated above. You could also add extra Prime(the brand), that type of conditioner will help zap some of the nitrates for you as a temp solution until you figure out what is going on. You should only be adding around 4 small fish per week and 1-2 large fish per week (depending on their sizes that is) in order to give the good bacteria time to adjust. And always retest prior to adding more fish, it may take longer than a week.
I hope you figure out what is going on!
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:17 AM   #13
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I have an under gravel filter which leads to two bubbling columns that let out bubbles at the top.
Hi again, looks like we're making good progress on this . Just wondering what other filtration you have? Does the ugf run all the time and how deep is the gravel bed?
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camogirl28 View Post
So when I set up my tank I put the prime stuff in but now when I fill up my tank about every two weeks with four gallons I don't treat it I go from the tap to the tank. So should I treat it ??? What should I do to prevent it becoming milky and cloudy every water change ?
The reason for Prime is that it removes Chlorine and Chloramine from the water. These are chemicals that are very, very bad for your tank. They will can harm your fish, and they also harm the beneficial bacteria that processes the water to keep it safe for your fish.

You should add the right amount of prime to the water whenever you do a water change, or whenever you add water to the tank unless your water source is from a well that does not contain Chlorine or Chloramine.

This might be contributing to the milky cloudiness, but it's much more than an aesthetic problem, this could be harming your fish.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:55 AM   #15
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So what I need to do right now is vaccine
the gravel , add Prime, and add a live plant

In the future vaccine gravel often and of water changes weekly, and add treated tap water.

P. S- I will testy tap water, I live in the city where they but harmful chemicals to treat the water
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:23 AM   #16
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Yes, this will all help reduce the tank going cloudy.

I would do the following (if I can be corrected/added where wrong):
1> Find out your tap and tank water specs. Most fish shops will do it here and it's a handy cross-check to your own test.
2> Get a liquid based test kit (API master kit does ph, ammonia, nitrite & nitrate).
3> Check your filtration is adequate and correctly maintained. UGF's can have issues if not maintained. Gravel vacs will help and remove debris. I do the front section of my tank and leave the planted back section alone. I do water changes with gravel vacs as gravel vacs can stir up debris a bit.
4> Do a weekly water change of between 25 to 50% to keep nitrate at 20-40ppm. As mentioned increase water change to this gradually so as not to stress fish. What would others recommend is a gradual increase? As Masha said - treat tap water with Prime and then add to tank. I'm hoping your tap water is closer to a 7 ph and low nitrates as this would be good for water changes.
5> I'm a fan of plants. They get eaten but I still like them. I've had plant roots grow into the ugf though so I'm keen to know what filters you have. Plants will help get rid of nitrates.
6> Post pics!
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #17
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Is there any vacuum you would recommend ?? Also what type of plant would you reend foru aquarium ?
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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I use a normal syphon tube with a wider tube at one end. Start the syphon and stick wider end deep into the gravel.

You probably have a low light tank, so best plants would be hornwort, java fern, java moss, anubia. Just ask for low light plants.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:49 AM   #19
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Okay thank you I will get a low light plant and post pics when I get it done
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:49 AM   #20
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Excellent! Fish love real plants.
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