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Old 10-25-2004, 09:22 PM   #1
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Emperor 400 and or Canister

I have a 55 gallon tank w/ 20 fish. Granted most of them are tetras. I have an emperor 400 on it now. It does do a good job keeping water clear but my nitrate levels even after water changes remain moderate. I have gotten advice from a few retailers as to what I should do. Some say the emperor is fine and others have suggested using a canister filter...Rena filstar xp3 to be exact. What do you advise?
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Old 10-25-2004, 11:04 PM   #2
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The Emperor won't help with nitrates.
I would be surprised if a canister did better.
Regular water changes and plants will help. Also, the seachem purigem I think has lowered nitrates considerably in my 55. Jeff
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:15 AM   #3
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[center:d943203a68] Welcome to AA, hcphish! [/center:d943203a68]

Jeff is right, the nitrates will not go down with any filter. If the current fish population is the way the tank will stay, AND the ammonia and nitrite remain at undectable levels, I would not change a thing. Most fish can tolerate up to 40ppm of nitrates.
What are your exact water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and temp)?
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:50 AM   #4
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Weekly partial water change is the best way to control the NO3.

If you are willing to add plant to the tank, that would be even better, but do consider that you need add additional items such as proper lighting and maybe CO2.

In fact, issue with most planted tank is not enough NO3.

Btw, your fish would be fine in the tank with moderater NO3 as long as there is no huge fluctuation in any water parameter (pH, temp, NH4, NO2, NO3). Its the fluctutation that kill the fish most of the time.

HTH
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:08 PM   #5
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If you can stand the noise, and I believe it depends on what day of the week your Emperor was screwed together, the Emperor is not such a bad filter. Jeff
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:26 PM   #6
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My water parameters are: Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40ppm, PH 7.4-7.6 (and that does tend to change around a lot even with Seachem neutral), the water temp is 78 degrees F. Not sure about ammonia...need to get another test kit. thank you for your advise. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:01 PM   #7
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Stop using Seachem neutral. A fluctuating PH is very dangerous so the fact that you are seeing the PH "changing around a lot" is a HUGE problem. Throw it away!

Regulators should only be used if you have especially soft water and you have an advanced understanding of how it works in relation to your KH levels. Not for beginners. PH swings is probably one of the biggest fish killers out there for beginners.

As for you high Nitrate issues.... perform 20% water changes once a week and cut back feeding to at the most once a day. Every other day seems to work out just fine for most. When you do feed, be sure to only put in a quantity of food that will be consumed within 2 minutes. If you see food still in the tank 2 minutes after you've fed then you have overfed them.

hth Good Luck
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:28 PM   #8
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Stop using Seachem neutral. A fluctuating PH is very dangerous so the fact that you are seeing the PH "changing around a lot" is a HUGE problem. Throw it away!
Agreed!! A stable pH is better than a perfect pH.
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:13 AM   #9
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Amen to that.
In Fresh Water circles, far too much is often made of PH. Unless you want to breed a stable ph is better than a yo yoing one.
I have seen discuss being bred in Toronto tap water. While it is not quite liquid stone, TOH20 ain't the softest stuff on the block. Jeff
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:35 AM   #10
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Thank you for all of your help...And Jeff I could not agree with you more on the day of the week thing. The 400 that I have is quiet one day and not the next. But it is never annoying.

I will most definitely leave the ph alone. At what point would it be dangerously high though? The 400 have 4 separate slots for media. Right now I have all four of them for mechanical. If any what filter media would you recommend? Granted I don't have ammonia level readings right now but putting that aside what should I put in there?
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