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Old 01-28-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
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How to treat high levels of Nitrates?

Ok I have a Calico Telescope Eyed Goldfish (named Jack) in a 10 gallon. I know I should have more space for him, and I am actually in the process of saving up for a 30 gallon.

Anyway, he was bottom sitting for a long time, and algae took over my tank. And I was very worried about his health. So I tested my water using a master test kit which tested for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and Ph levels.

I did a control sample of the water from my sink (where I get my water for the tank). Ph levels were perfectly normal, however the Ammonia was .50ppm, Nitrites was 0ppm; Nitrates were borderline at 20ppm. So I bought a treatment to lower/reduce or remove those three.

1 week after a normal water change (30% water change and a new filter cartridge); Ph is still normal at 7.2, Ammonia down to .25ppm, Nitrites are at 0ppm... but my Nitrates are off the charts at 160ppm!! Where did that all come from if the other two are normal??

So far I've reduced how much and how often I feed him, this has helped the nasty that accumulates on decorations and algae growth. I was told uneaten food that decays along with fish waste turns into nitrates that turn into algae. So reducing food helped algae.

This is how I usually change my water

1- Take out decorations and wash/scrub algae off with room temperature water only (no soap or bleach)

2- Scrub aquarium walls and vacuum gravel

3- Replace half of the water, return decorations.

4- While second half of water is still in my bucket, put in water treatments (a Water Conditioner and the Ammonia treatment) and pour that into the tank.

Is there anything else I can do to help that huge Nitrate spike?

Other advice I've had was do about a 20% water change every 2 days and that worked for them. But after I treat it, how do I prevent it to get that high in the future? I already change my water once a week, how do nitrates get that high in just ONE week?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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It's a big bio load for a 10 gallon. So everytime you feed and every time the fish makes waste its causing high nitrates. Your home water isn't helping ya out a whole lot aswell because it has ammonia in it wit h is being converted to nitrates. You'll probably have to do every two day water changes till you can get the bigger tank.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McFadden View Post
It's a big bio load for a 10 gallon. So everytime you feed and every time the fish makes waste its causing high nitrates. Your home water isn't helping ya out a whole lot aswell because it has ammonia in it wit h is being converted to nitrates. You'll probably have to do every two day water changes till you can get the bigger tank.
Yeah, that's basically all you can do right now. You could try adding some fast growing plants like hornwort to the tank, and that may take away a bit of nitrates, but definitely not enough to lighten up the water change schedule.
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