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Old 11-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
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sudden nitrate spike?

Hello all On the 9th of this month i added two black moors to a 75 gal tank to cycle with them. ive been testing everyday with my little strips ...so far all parameters have been in normal safe range. Nitrate-0 Nitrite- 0-.5 GH-0 Chlorine-0 Alk-high P.H.-around 7-8 but today the little nitrate square turned a scary shade of dark pink indicating 160-200! i thought it might be the strip so i sacrificed a second one and sure enough...scary dark pink. can the nitrate spike like this while all other readings are normal? will this be okay for my goldfish? part of the nitrogen cycle or should i be alarmed?
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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Many of the strip test kits are not entirely accurate. Moisture in the air gets to them and skews the results. I honestly do not know though if the current issue is your strips or not. Assuming you are using a dechlorinater, don't worry about chorine, alk, GH, or pH right now. Just focus on the other aspects. Do you happen to have an ammonia test strip?
No, nitrates reaching that level is not normal and is not safe for the fish. So, for now, I suggest you do a big pwc to be on the safe side. Even if your strips are malfunctioning, better safe than sorry.
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side.
Here is an article about fish in cycling for you to read.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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Please consider investing a decent liquid test kit such as the API fw master test kit. You can find them on amazon for $18-22 vs a lfs at $34+. You really must know your ammonia levels when doing a fish-in cycle in addition to your levels for nitrite & nitrate. The accuracy of strips is quite questionable but a reading of 180+ppm nitrates is very unhealthy for fish. Moors in particular are quite sensitive to toxin levels and nitrates in excess of 10ppm will burn their delicate eyes. Water changes with temperature matched, properly conditioned water are in order here to drop your nitrates. Please ask if you have any questions!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Another thing is goldfish produce copious amounts of waste and really need a large water change weekly to keep nitrates under control. Also add live plants especially ones like water sprite and wisteria help to absorb some of the excess nutrients from the water. I have two tanks with 4 large 6+ inch fancies in them, the tanks are planted, and some weeks I do a 75% WC instead of the normal 50% to be sure the nutrient levels are as low as I can keep them with these fish.
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