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Old 09-12-2017, 09:14 PM   #1
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Nitrate Reading?

I am planning on doing a water change in the next couple of days...it is a 29.9 gallon tank with 13 glofish tetras, 5 lamp eye tetras, and 3 emerald green cats....I usually do a water change on the average of every two weeks....my vision is somewhat to be desired of....can someone please give me a reading for my nitrate test....I'm think 20 ppm or more....what is your opinion of the reading....I have attached a photo.....thank you.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-12-2017, 09:17 PM   #2
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Nitrate Reading?

My thinking is you let it sit longer than 5 minutes? If that is the case seems more on the lines of 5ppm

I usually take a reading between 3-5 minutes and the color matches pretty good

Does not have enough color to be closer to the red scale at all. I can tell when it's 30ppm between the orange and red and that is not that at all.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
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It is really hard to tell from a picture. Looks like around 10ppm but it may be different in person.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:26 PM   #4
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Make sure to read it with bright lighting and with the case half an inch from the chart. If you put the case against the chart it'll look like a higher reading. It looks to be no where near 20 to me.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:43 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your input....is there some sort of a digital meter that can be used to avoid situations like this?
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:29 AM   #6
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Hello Matt...

If you'll increase the water changes to half or more every week, you won't need to worry about the water chemistry. It will always be steady. This is all that's really needed to keep a healthy tank.

Water consumes the largest piece of the tank, so it makes sense to spend the most time tending to it.

By removing and replacing most of the water every few days, you remove the fish waste before there's time for it to dissolve and stress the fish. So, there's no need to test the tank water. You'll know it's always clean.

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Old 09-13-2017, 02:19 PM   #7
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I really shouldn't have to do a water change in the amount that you state...all my parameters are perfect , however, my LFS stated I should do a water change every other week, because it was an excessive number of changes. Even with that my nitrates were still in then 10's. Fish should no sign of stress, however, when you do 5hst many changes you open yourself up to ich and other parasites. Thanks anyways!!
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:10 PM   #8
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Nitrate Reading?

What I do is, do a substrate vaccume every other day, and pull out 5 gallons from my 45 gallon. It seems that the debris seems to collect in this one corner
But I meander through the whole tank. I find doing this gets me to only having to do a 20% once every 2 weeks. It doesn't take long. I don't think the fish are stressing out, because they come right up to my hand and they don't get out of the way of the siphon tube. After the vaccume I give them their feeding faithfully so they know good things are on the way.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:13 PM   #9
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The appropriate frequency and size of water changes will vary in each situation. The bio-load in that tank doesn't look super high so it wouldn't surprise me if bi-weekly water changes would be sufficient. Testing is generally the best way to know and it looks and sounds like that is what you are doing already.

That being said, frequent water changes don't cause Ich or other parasitic infections. Those would be caused by the introduction of parasites, most commonly, with live stock. The idea that you shouldn't change the water often is simply not true. Many people do daily 90% water changes because they are overstocking or have very sensitive fish. Obviously, neither of those things applies to your situation and you probably don't need to do anything like that. However, I would seriously doubt any additional information you are provided by the person that told you water changes causes parasitic infections.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:20 PM   #10
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Matt, just a 50% WC with a thorough gravel vac once a week will eliminate the need for your test kit. All you are looking at is 15 gallons. I'm sure the contributing members listed above have file photos of their tanks. If you get a chance view them. They know what they are talking about. I maintain my tanks with the noted WC suggestions and have been doing so for decades. I've never tested my water, I have not used aquarium meds since 1989 and most of my fish live to old age. Good luck with your tank.
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