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Old 09-03-2003, 11:24 PM   #1
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NITRATES? STILL HIGH OUCH?

hi i have a question about nitrates
i just performed a 20% water change tonight and i still read a 20ppm nitrate! why did this happen and what can i do too help.
its a 55 gallon sw tank,
for filtration i have a XP2 canster filter and a sea clone venturie drive protein skimmer, a 250 watt heater and a power head to move the water
i have 1 fish a clown fish. i use to have a trigger but he died now i would like to have more fish than just 1 also my ph never stays the same jumps from 8.2 to 7.8 like nothing.
nitrites are at 0 and ammo is at .25 ppms need help please?
thanks
michelle
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Old 09-04-2003, 12:04 AM   #2
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I am guessing this tank has properly cycled?

Part of the issue could be trapped foods rotting in the canister depending on how it's set up. Personally I would suggest nixing the foam filter pads. I have the XP3 and the only thing I have in mine is chemi-pure and fluval max. It will improve the water flow and reduce trapped detritus and rotting foods which will hamper water quality.

What was the nitrate prior to the water change? If this is a new, FOWLR or FO tank 20 ppm is not really that bad. The ammonia on the other hand is. Again that would depend on the "newness" of the set up but NH3 should be zero. I would get the reading confirmed by testing pure RO water or taking a sample to the LFS. If truely 0.25 ppm, do some more water changes. You will need to discover the source of the NH3 as well.

How did you lose the trigger?

Depending on the time of day tested, ph can be very low in the morning and raise gradually throughout the day as light allows algaes to increase the O2 in the water. How much GPH does the tank have, is the surface water well aggitated and is the tank top able to breathe freely?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:00 PM   #3
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my trigger was just too stress out from the water conditions and devloped some type of deiase that made his fins rot away.
whats the best time to test water?
i have bought a water test kit when i bought my tank and its about a year now do they go bad?. will tank a trip to the LFS
michael
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:35 PM   #4
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If this is an established tank, have you added any new LR lately that may not have been cured? LFSs are famous for telling you that rock is cured when it hasn't. That might account for the Amonia issue. I can't imagine one fish in 50+ gallons would do that.
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by border324
my trigger was just too stress out from the water conditions and devloped some type of deiase that made his fins rot away.
Most likely from the water conditions and possibley adding fish too early on in the set up. Over feeding will be the greatest contributor to poor water quality. Feed only once a day and only what the fish can get in a few minutes. If for fish like triggers and puffers, add the food in small "spurts" to allow them as much opportunity to eat the food before the filter gets it. If using krill, silversides or other larger foods, a feeding stick will ensure they do not make too much of a mess. Once the feeding is under control, making sure the filter is properly cleaned of blockage and detritus regularly, will help with the nitrates. As I said though, removing the foam pads will help alot.

Quote:
whats the best time to test water?
The best time to test the ph is midway through the photoperiod of the tank. You can also take a reading before lights on and one just before lights out and average the two. The rest of the tests don't really matter that much.

Quote:
i have bought a water test kit when i bought my tank and its about a year now do they go bad?. will tank a trip to the LFS
michael
Test kits do expire and will give skewed/false reading if so. Before spending alot of money on new tests, you can easily have the LFS compare the accuracey by taking them a water sample. The only one that cannot be confirmed is the ph. Once exposed to ample ambient O2, it will increase the ph in the water and give you a false reading. ph should be tested emmediately after removing a sample from the tank.

I would also suggest adding another PH at the surface of the tank to increase aggitation and improve the gas exchange. Is the tank covered?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 09-04-2003, 09:52 PM   #6
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i just went to the lfs and my test kit was way off i bought another kit and my water is fine! so then if it was fine why was my fish so stress out?
michael
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Old 09-04-2003, 09:59 PM   #7
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Not sure except having to do with the water quality readings. Any ammonia in the water for most all fish and inverts can cause death in very shourt time. It destroys the hemaglobin in the blood preventing O2 absorbtion and suffocates them.

After some time has passed, reduced feedings and increased maintenance should show possitive results soon. Until you get that under control, I would not add anything else to the tank.

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Old 09-04-2003, 10:14 PM   #8
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ok will try i will check back later
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