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Old 07-08-2010, 02:49 PM   #11
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Lol lucky you. My fish (when I had bad hair algae) wouldnt eat when I tried to keep the lights off. They just sat there and stared at me.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:00 PM   #12
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I didn't start testing my water until about week 2 of my cycle, but my nitrates were high from the point I started testing. My test kit only goes to 160 on nitrates which is bright red. Every time I test, it's bright red, so who knows what the actual level really is. That being said, will nitrates ever go away if they were there from the start?

I'll have to experiment with feeding with the lights off. My french grunt actually eats the hair algae sometimes, but there's so much of it, it hardly makes a dent. Also, at what point would I put the lights back on? When the cycle finishes and I do a water change? When the nitrates are at 0?

Sorry for so many questions, but I am a newbie. Thanks guys for your insight.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:17 PM   #13
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NP man thats what we're here for. If your fish wille at with the lights off then just leave em off. If not, I would say 2-4 hours a day for feeding time would be plenty.

And wow 160+ nitrates lol. Id do a water change asap.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #14
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CEverii,

Would the water change help the nitrites go to zero as well, or will that delay them going to zero?

How much water would you change out on a 55-gallon?

Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:51 PM   #15
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It wont take them down to 0 right away, but it will definately help. If your tank is still cycling then your going to get more nitrate buildup then normal. How are your fish looking? Are they sluggish, not really very active? If yes, then i would do a 30-40% water change. Figure that to be somewhere around 15-20 gallons (taking your rock/sand into consideration).

However if your fish seem to be doing dandy, swimming and eating normally then I would wait until your nitrItes are at 0, then start doing the water changes.

Edit: Ah, just reread your first question about the nitrItes going to zero, not nitrAtes lol. A PWC will definately bring the nitrItes down some. Its better though to let your tank do that to help build up a good amount of benifical bacteria.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #16
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Truthfully, my fish seem happy as a clam, so I guess I'll wait it out. Will the water change help with the algae problem?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:56 PM   #17
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Ya, your algae is feeding off your lights, and your nitrAtes. So reducing your nitrates via a PWC will greatly reduce your algae problem over time. Remember, overfeeding will also cause your nitrates to rise(excess food turning into ammonia, ammonia into nitrItes, nitrItes into nitrAtes), and inturn your algae will grow more as well.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #18
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That's the weird thing. I feed them very sparingly. Usually, once every other day, and I only drop about a dozen pellets in there for 3 fish.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:02 PM   #19
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Thats fine. Overfeeding is only one way to boost nitrAtes. In your case, its the fact of being in the cycling stage, and using old tank water to start up again.

I'd just ride it out if your fish seem to be doing ok. Wait for your nitrItes to reach 0, then do some water changes like a mad man for a few weeks to bring them down.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:14 PM   #20
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That's great advice that I will take. Thank you so much for taking the time to help this newbie out.
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