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Old 04-04-2006, 02:14 AM   #1
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Nitrate Spike

75 gal freshwater tank, 3 fish (2 buenos aires tetras and 1 common pleco)
I did a partial water change 4 days ago checked PH, amonia, nitrite and nitrate, everything seemed ok.
now doing water test tonight here's what i get

Amonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 80ppm
PH 7.6

have not fed the fish in the for about 30 hours, so there is no food decaying in the tank.

what would cause this, and how can i bring it down safely. Guy at Lfs suggested just add some Amquel+ instead of doing a PWC. Kinda of weary of his advice since every fish i've bought from the guy has died.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:47 AM   #2
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Test your tap water for nitrates. Generally, pwc's are the best way to lower nitrates, unless the fresh water is already loaded...
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:59 AM   #3
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Do a 50% PWC, then in a day or 2, do one more, to get the levels down. Then you can go back to your normal routine of PWC's. Don't use Amquel+. Prime is a much better product.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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I agree, do not use Amquel+ to bring down the level. Water changes would be a better alternative and using Prime.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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Sounds like something died. 80ppm is extremely high for tap water (not safe to drink). You clearly have the 2 tetras and pleco, so check to see if the substrate was disturbed somewhere. Do you have sand or some other dense substrate that could trap a pocket of air/chemicals? Have you seen any shells on the surface (massive snail die-off)?

Definately do a 50% PWC and check again (and then the next morning). If the PWC brings it down to 40ppm, and the next day its back up to 80 or so, you clearly have something rotting in the tank.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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Nothings died recently, last time fish died was November. My first instict was maybe a dead carcass but i would have found it when vaccuuming the gravel last week. just got plane gravel, no plants, no snails, i have driftwood in the tank but it's been there a couple years. The pleco poops a lot though. I'll be doing a PWC tonight and another on Friday and check the nitrate level again.
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