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Old 03-06-2021, 03:47 PM   #1
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High Nitrate in Jackís cycled : ) tank

Hi all!

I wanted to thank everyone for all the wisdom when I was desperate to cycle my tank!!! I was so worried my single albino cichlid, Jack, would not survive it. Or it just would never happen. But a few weeks ago, his ammonia alert patch finally decreased to yellow. I literally pinch myself every day because it just seemed to go on forever! (and needless to say, NO ONE in my family believed that my tanks would cycle...) so I am so very grateful.

I am posting today wondering if anyone has had a (seemingly) random spike in nitrates in a cichlid tank? And if so, what could cause this and what might be the best treatment, other than water changes?

I already completed a 40% WC for his 65 gallon tank and afterward, got readings of

Ammonia (total) 0.50 ppm
Nitrite 0.0 ppm
Nitrate ~60ppm

which obviously freaked me out because who knows how high the nitrate was before the WC. [I admit that I have been really busy with work and have not performed a WC for him in 1.5 weeks, but the last straw is when he retreats to his cave and is not his perky self at the top of the tank, ready for food.]

Sorry so long-winded... but I added Seachem de*nitrate to his filters, as well as Bio Spira. And performed another 15% water change after those readings.

Anything else I should be doing?

TIA,
Jen
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:59 PM   #2
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what is this alert patch?
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:00 PM   #3
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You are using a drop test like API for testing correct?
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:34 AM   #4
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Hi! (Sorry for my delay) thanks for responding. Yes, I am using drops, and it is the Seachem Ammonia Alert patch that lets you know levels of free (toxic) ammonia.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:44 AM   #5
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retest the tank water, if ammonia & nitrates are high, water change, test the water your using to do water changes, you need to get the ammonia down, how many fish in the 65 gal?
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:13 PM   #6
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Thanks- just one fish. The ammonia is fine, it is just the nitrates. I have done daily water changes since I noticed it, and yesterday (after 30% WC) it was at 20ppm. I added some salt for Jack too.

Iím getting concerned though because Jack hasnít eaten in almost a week.

I came down this morning and the tank tested 30ppm nitrates, so I did a 50% water change. Iím not sure how it is increasing if Jack is not eating anything though (?)
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:33 PM   #7
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did you test your water your putting in for nitrates? Post a picture of your tank so I can see inside..
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:34 PM   #8
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nitrates under 40 ppm is considered good, nothing above that..

is your cichlid a large fish, maybe your dumping to much food in the tank..
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Old 03-10-2021, 12:24 AM   #9
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Yes, he is big, but NO, I never overfeed him.

Iím pretty upset because he still hasnít eaten, yet the nitrates have come down to 15-20 ppm. Iím not sure what to do. Because he is a white albino, it seems impossible to examine for any typical diseases with ďwhiteĒ spots or ďwhiteĒfuzz... has anyone else been through this?
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Old 03-10-2021, 07:34 AM   #10
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if he was mine and all the water testing was good, I would just wait, the damage to him from the high nitrates, ammonia could of made him sick, I don't know. Wait and see..I would skip feeding him, maybe every other day. If you were close to me i could give more cichlids for free. sorry I can't help more, maybe someone else..
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Old 03-10-2021, 08:27 AM   #11
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Where do you get the water you use to do a water change from? Do you have the water quality report from it?

The nitrates are not the issue. Possibly exposure to the ammonia that subsequently became nitrate. If nitrate was so high. It makes sense that the ammonia loading was also high.

The new water could be an issue. Possibly the dechlorinator?

What about the temperature? Does he have enough oxygen?
Perhaps try some new food.

Is the flow too powerful for him etc etc.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:41 AM   #12
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You have been a big help! Thanks!!

He is getting a little better every day, and youíre right..it seems like nitrate shock, so I am doing things slowly. He hasnít eaten in 5 days but at least looked receptive this morning... I like the wait and see approach.

If he makes it through this, I will never let the nitrates get that high again 🤦🏼*♀️
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
Where do you get the water you use to do a water change from? Do you have the water quality report from it?

The nitrates are not the issue. Possibly exposure to the ammonia that subsequently became nitrate. If nitrate was so high. It makes sense that the ammonia loading was also high.

The new water could be an issue. Possibly the dechlorinator?

What about the temperature? Does he have enough oxygen?
Perhaps try some new food.

Is the flow too powerful for him etc etc.


Actually, there are documented cases of nitrate shock and poisoning by itself... and fish that are sensitive to and can get sick from an abrupt change in levels (which is what I read *after* I did a 50% WC and got a reading of 40ppm ) His ammonia is fine. There are no irregularities with our tap water (Iíve tested NH3, NO2-, NO3-, pH, GH, and KH) if anything, we have soft water, but I have added Aragonite to his tank to buffer. Temperature is usually 77-79.

I usually only use Seachem products and Prime as a dechlorinator, but have been adding AmGuard lately, just in case my Ammonia Alert Patch is not working as well as it used to. Iíve also added a little Cichlid Lake Salt this week to his tank. Today is the first day he is his perky, social self! But still not taking the pellets. Or eating anything. He acts like he wants to though..

Also, because Iíve been doing only small frequent WCs it seems like the nitrate has plateaued around 20ppm... Iím wondering if I can get it lower? I know technically that is supposed to be ok, maybe he is more sensitive to it.

Any suggestions appreciated : )Click image for larger version

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Old 03-11-2021, 01:39 PM   #14
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Oh yeah- I have two bubble wands/walls in his tank that he loves to play in, so I think he has enough oxygen. Maybe I will look into a different kind of food...
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:52 PM   #15
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P.S.S. (Sorry I keep realizing I didnít answer all your questions) I had a water pump in his tank but took it out.

Do you, or anyone have any suggestions for food?

I feel like I have tried everything for him... every combination of frozen delicacy, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, seaweed, Spirulina, but usually it just floats by him and makes a mess. His vision is not great, so I think the pellets have been much easier for him.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:34 PM   #16
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High Nitrate in Jackís cycled : ) tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by heidigirl99 View Post
Actually, there are documented cases of nitrate shock and poisoning by itself... and fish that are sensitive to and can get sick from an abrupt change in levels
Possibly, but the studies I have seen are at nitrate levels that are very high, hundreds of parts per million in fact and are studies on large salmonoids and trout etc. Whilst I agree, nitrate is very low in natural water and could potentially be toxic at some degree it is highly unlikely that the nitrate ion is the cause of your fishes problems in this case. People dose nitrates for their plants and donít report toxicity

It is like saying my fish is ill because the pH is 4 but the fact that the pH is 4 is not the issue. It is the hydrochloric acid that dropped the pH. High nitrates are the Ďsmoking guní of high ammonia loadings.

Ammonia is extremely toxic to fish and though the ammonia is fine now, high nitrates suggest that at some point ammonia could have been high which has caused lasting issues. Though he may fully recover.

The less chemicals you add to your water the better I can promise you that.

Is your water soft naturally or is it softened? I have found that the best way to raise both kh and gh safely is by using dolomite powder or a dolomite substrate.

I really donít know what foods to suggest. Sorry.

Try some floating plants like duckweed or salvina to help reduce the nitrates.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:57 PM   #17
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High Nitrate in Jackís cycled : ) tank

Ok the ďsmoking gunĒ analogy makes sense, but my Ammonia Alert has been yellow for the longest time.. I hadnít been testing the total ammonia for a while though.

Thanks for the duckweed suggestion! I actually was trying to find that for my cave tetras, and will consider using it for Jackís tank too, once I find some.

Yes, Jack has EcoComplete substrate. Our water is *realllly* soft naturally. Maybe I should test it again, actually.

The good news is that Jack just ate some Spirulina
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidigirl99 View Post
P.S.S. (Sorry I keep realizing I didnít answer all your questions) I had a water pump in his tank but took it out.

Do you, or anyone have any suggestions for food?

I feel like I have tried everything for him... every combination of frozen delicacy, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, seaweed, Spirulina, but usually it just floats by him and makes a mess. His vision is not great, so I think the pellets have been much easier for him.
My cichlids, esp the Africans, love Tetra cichlid crisps
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:43 PM   #19
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Oh no... I just noticed something small white and stringy on the filter.... I think it might be from Jack from eating that little bit of Spirulina earlier. Of note, he hasnít eaten anything since. .

Is this a parasite? (I am assuming that was his poo because it didnít look like a worm...) I just read a detailed post on something similar but it was dated. I will try to attach it here.They seemed to recommend Seachem Metroplex.

Gosh Iím so sad and scared.

Please help!!!iClick image for larger version

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Old 03-11-2021, 09:48 PM   #20
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High Nitrate in Jackís cycled : ) tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by heidigirl99 View Post
Oh no... I just noticed something small white and stringy on the filter.... I think it might be from Jack from eating that little bit of Spirulina earlier. Of note, he hasnít eaten anything since. .

Is this a parasite? (I am assuming that was his poo because it didnít look like a worm...) I just read a detailed post on something similar but it was dated. I will try to attach it here.They seemed to recommend Seachem Metroplex.

Gosh Iím so sad and scared.

Please help!!!iAttachment 320159


Okay, this is an old thread, but Jack has been behaving like this- shows interest in food but will not eat...
(See below)

White stringy poo can either be a sign of an internal parasite (usually hex) or a bacterial infection.

If the fish is demonstrating, or has ever demonstrated, a combination of these ailments, then the diagnoses would lean towards hex.

1. Shows an interest in food but will not eat.
2. Taking a bite of the food and then spitting it out, without eating any of it
3. Staying to itself in a corner of the tank (when combined with the other mentioned symptoms).
4. White stringy poo, usually occurs after several days of not eating.

The treatment of choice would be a medication containing metrodonizole. My preference is SeaChem MetroPlex but I've also had success with API General Cure.

Since Metro is also an antibiotic, it would be the initial treatment recommendation. If this treatment does not provide results, then you should move on to treat with an antibacterial, either SeaChem KanaPlex or a combination treatment using Maracyn/Maracyn Two. Of these two, KanaPlex is the less expensive option. If ordering or purchasing KanaPlex, a 5g container sufficiently treats about 150 gallons. It is dosed every other day and you will need three treatments.

In either case, it would be best to dose the main tank as hex can spread, as can a bacterial ailment. Neither of the above mentioned medications will affect beneficial bacteria (if used according to the instructions).
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by DJRansome Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:24 am
Try the bloat cures. But they take more than 48 hours, I'm sure sure what the med you used is. I always use metronidazole if I have to treat the main tank and clout if I have one very sick fish to treat in the hospital tank.
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by limpert Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:19 am
in regards to Metronidazole, should I use a form that is put in the water or should I use a food such as the Jungle Labs anti-parasite fish food which containts Metronidazole?

I am assuming that it is the form that is added to the water, and if this is the case, does petco or petsmart carry this?

( http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... erralID=NA )

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by kmuda Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:24 am
If the fish is eating, a medicated food is good. If not, not so good. Generally, once a fish starts into the white stringy poop phase, they are not eating.

I've had good results just treating the water with both SeaChem MetroPlex and API General Cure.
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by triscuit Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:32 am
I use FishZole, and the treatment I have had good success with is a 5 day, multiple doses and many water changes. So, while Jungle parasite clear Tank Buddies is an easy find option, you may want to order a larger quantity of metro for online.

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by limpert Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:43 am
Thanks a ton for the quick replies.

I am looking at the SeaChem MetroPlex and am trying to figure out what quantity I will need for my 50 gallon tank.

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by DJRansome Ľ Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:53 pm
To answer your question about food or water for med delivery, the fish that are not eating are really sick and get clout. The fish that are eating I just soak their regular NLS with met dissolved in water and dump in whatever is not absorbed by the food.
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by limpert Ľ Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:02 pm
I dosed the food and water with the Seachem Metronidazole and all of the fish are now real jumpy. All of them are hiding under the rocks and whatnot. I still see the stringyness hanging from my albino zebra.

The directions for this stuff are not very detailed. How long should I leave this in the tank before doing a water change or treating again?

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by kmuda Ľ Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm
I've never had a negative reaction using SeaChem MetroPlex. If you had a negative reaction, I would confirm you dosed per the instructions.

As for what you do, you continue on the path your on, unless you overdosed, in which case a partial water change is in order to lower the amount of medication in the tank.

Metro is dosed every 2 days, 2 measures per 10 gallons (with the little spoon in the container equaling 1 measure). I would go through three treatments before stopping treatment.
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by DJRansome Ľ Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:53 am
The metronidazole treatment that has worked for me in bloat situations is different than the recommended dosage I think. Search for a post by cichlidaholic and click on the link in her signature.
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by Robin Ľ Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:48 pm
I'll just throw this out there:
are you sure it's feces you're seeing?
Camallanus/parasitic nematodes worms look like hairs and protrude out of the anus. I believe if you watch the worms will occasionally go back in.

Just where you said hair-like feces it made think of these worms.

Robin
BLOAT:
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... hp?t=24132
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/m ... t2_pt1.php
ICK:
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ich.php
IS YOUR DECHLORINATOR WORKING?
http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/rev-cond.htm

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by limpert Ľ Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:34 pm
I am 99% sure that this is not cammallanus. I previously treated with Levamisole which proved to be ineffective, not to mention that cammallanus worms are typically red. To your point about whether or not it is feces, it is clearly not, i was just having trouble describing what I was seeing.

On a good note, it appears that there is some improvement. Last night I added some Epsom salt to the tank and this morning I no longer saw the stringy item hanging from the fish. I think i will continue treatment with water changes every 2 days for a week.

Also, i have been soaking their food in metro dissolved in water like DJ said. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, it seems to be working

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by limpert Ľ Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:07 pm
ITS BACK

It appears that it is back after metro treatment... Where should i go from here?

by kmuda Ľ Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:06 pm
That would normally be an indication of a metro treatment that did not last long enough or did not include enough medication, and when dosing the food, it's pretty easy to make either mistake, or to overdose.

And while I freely admit that dosing the food is the best option, doing so does not always allow getting the correct dosage.

I would recommend going back to another round of Metro treatment, using SeaChem MetroPlex, and dosing the water per the provided instructions.
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by triscuit Ľ Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:12 pm
I have never tried dosing the food- instead I dose the whole tank, for a 5 day treatment. In all cases of intestinal disease, the only times it didn't come back was when the fish were not fed at all during the treatment. Food in the gut can harbor microorgansims.

Considerations with using any biocide like metro are to make sure you balance dosing strongly enough to kill harmful pests and long enough to avoid encouraging resistance to metro, while ensuring that the treatment isn't worse than the disease (I've only ended with dead fish when I've used Clout).


FYI, it's important to consider the pH of your tank when dosing with metro. Reports from use in aquaculture suggest that in alkaline waters, metro becomes inert after a few hours. I've used the following technique on catfish, mbuna, cyps, paracyps, gobies, julies, calvus, xenos etc with no deaths during treatment.

This is the regimen for a 55 gallon tank:
Do not feed your fish at all during the treatment.
Day 1: Dissolve and add 5 tablets Fishzole (each tab has 250 mg of metro), and 1/2 cup dissolved epsom salt to the tank.
Day 2: 5 tabs in the AM, then 40% WC and 5 tabs in the evening (added another 1/3 cup of epsom salt).
Day 3: 5 tabs in the AM, 5 tabs in the PM.
Day 4: 40% WC (with 1/3 cup epsom salt) and 5 tabs in the AM, and 5 tabs in the PM.
day 5: 40% WC
Day 6: 40% WC and feed lightly
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