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Old 05-19-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
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Hamster Igloo

Can the plastic hamster igloo homes cause ni-TRATES in aquarium water?
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:53 AM   #2
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I can't see how.

You could check/test your water in a bucket and then put the plastic hamster thing in there for a couple days without adding anything else and test it again and see.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:10 AM   #3
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Igloo

Well that was fast & simple Never thought about testing it first. Thank you.

I have something else to bring up. & the plastic igloo will continue below.. I have a 30 tall freshwater for 3 yr. having a few giant danios, barbs, tetras & a clawed frog. the frog has been in there for 3 yr. since it was tiny & has not eaten any of my fish. only the red roseys that I put in there for her to eat. it`s quite shocking actually on how she is with my fish, but that`s another story

Now a few mo. ago I was having a water issue with high pH. someone told me with having white gravel in there that it causes high pH. soooo I changed the gravel. I also was told to change the filter too, & by doing that it would lower the pH. & would be safer then putting pH down in it. well of course a cycling issue started.

after a couple months.everything got perfect except the ni-trAtes. no matter the % of water changes & vacuuming & making sure not to over feed that I done
they lowered down to 40ppm but only for a day & shot right back up to 80 & 160ppm. My trAtes was sky high for a long time. I used prime to make it safer for the fish. & had my stress coat & stress zyme.

I did not lose any fish in the time. I noticed 2 weeks ago I had black hair growing on a couple live plants that I have in there, so I plucked the leaves off. anyways I noticed a couple days ago my water smelled fishie. & yesterday I noticed one of my Giant danios had no interest in eating & was turning red from his tail fin up about a inch. I took him out & gave him a salt soak then I `d just go to the next step from there by searching online & seeing what it may be & what I might need to buy.

While he was soaking I rubbed him as he swam threw my fingers( not hard ) just enough to feel him. I put him back in the tank and noticed that the only parts that was red anymore was his bottom fin lining part on his body & the top fin linking on his back.
his tail body was very light compared to the rest of his normal body color.

he started swimming differently staying at the top or down at the bottom & soon after that the other danios was aggravating him so I took him out. I put him in another tank but he did not survive the night.

I have had the igoo in my tank for a long time for the frog. It came to mind that maybe it`s what is making the nitrAtes. Last night I done a very big water change.this morning I just tested the water & my pH is 7.6 I have 0.25 ppm of ammonia 0ppm ni-trites & 0ppm of ni-trAtes. I have NEVER seen 0 nitrAtes with any of my water changes large or small.

the igloo is still in the tank. so maybe this last water change is what finally took the ni-trAtes out & I am back to a normal tank? & it was not the igloos fault.
what do you think was wrong with my fish? the others are all looking good
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:52 PM   #4
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Generally there is a high spike before you will get cycled and it sounds like that is possibly what could have happened.

Some times if a fish is stressed or ill and there is a spike in the parameters it is enough to push it over the edge and the amount of Nitrites or Nitrates will be fatal.

Possibly an older fish, possibly it was being picked on already. How many of those are in the tank, maybe you have more males than females and they were bothering that one?

Yes that was bad advice to ditch the media at least in the filter. Upgrading a filter can be done and save the existing media using it in the new filter or running the two filters at the same time for around a month to build BB in the new one. Although not as much as the filter the gravel has BB too, just removing that can also cause a mini cycle.

As for the igloo. The sand or gravel under the igloo will se a reduction in oxygen so could stagnate. It would be good to vac the area on a regular basis to get food scraps and waste build up from under it.

Also I use the alternating cleaning method which is clean one area in the tank at a time (each week or when you do your cleaning out):

Treated water filter pad rinse, if the pad is in horrible shape I add another new one to piggy back with it an give it a few weeks to build BB. I actually prefer to use 2 pads anyway to give it the optimum possible area to grow BB!

Whole filter clean the housing and do not clean the pad
Glass scrub (rarely needed)
Substrate vac you can even divide this in half one day and half on another week

As for the algae try leaving the light on a little less time and splitting the lights on and with a few hours of no light on in the day, aka split photo period, or siesta. Picking it off is fine to add to that process.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:07 PM   #5
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Igloo

Thank you ! Now since I done the really big water change 2 days ago, should I do a partial water change? or another big one & just leave the igloo out now? And see if the ni-trAtes comes back again with out the igloo
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:40 AM   #6
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Traditionally a big pwc like you already did - then just weekly or according to your feeding or stocking situation, meaning more if you have a high level of either or both of those. I would test and see...then if it is 40 or more NitrAtes do an 25-35% pwc. and check/test again.

You can add the igloo back after a good gravel vac and you feel it is safe.

You may also want to add/drill in a bunch of holes to assist with water flow and circulation in the igloo. I am not personally familiar with the clawed frogs if it would bother them with additional water flow. I had a little cave before and it was mucky in there, got bad so I think you would need to be clening or moving it or both on a very regular basis.
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