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Old 04-28-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
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fresh water community with plants

I have a 55 gallon fresh water community tank that is planted. Its been set up for about two months now and my nitrite amd nitrate levels are off the charts everything else is normal could ot be cause I have i plants? I will attach a picture so anybody can give me advice. I do not think I have too many plants to where I would need a co2 system. All the research I have read says nitrate acts as a fertilizer for the plants. Or am I mistaken? I have already had fish loss and need amy advice as to how to correct my issuse. I have done water changes every other day for a week taking out about 15 gallons at a time.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome. The tank is likely still cycling. What fish do you have? These guides might help:
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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With nitrite and nitrate readings of the charts that says your still in the cycling phase. Once your fully cycled you will be left with readings of 0 ammonia and nitrite and about 10-20 nitrates. I would be willing to say the high nitrite and nitrate is the cause of your fish deaths. What are your readings exactly (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate)?
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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You could get more plants. That might help. Also only feed very very small amounts 3 times a day. Just enough so each fish gets a couple bits.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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Plants aid in removing ammonia and nitrates, they don't cause them. As already mentioned your tank indeed appears to be cycling and it is the nitrites that are most likely killing your fish. Using Prime daily along with daily WC's if needed to keep your nitrites down to .25ppm or lower will help the fish immensely.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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I was having ammonia problems and it turned out t be the rocks in my aquarium. I room them out and my ammonia dropped to 0 in two days. But mine were large rocks found by a river. Not sure what king of rocks they were. I can't explain it but it was the problem.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:00 PM   #7
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Kites, you just dont have enough plants in there for the bioload you have. You need a lot more plants in there. Nitrates are great for plants. I would get a lot of fast growing plants and let them sit in there. I trust you have a canister filter with a lot of bio media in it?

I typically like to cycle without fish first. Just plants, let them get established and grow. Then after two months introduce some fish. I've been keeping fresh water tanks since I was a kid for 20 years now. I find that it is the fish waste and uneaten food that is the source of all the nitrates. If your plants are not established, they won't be ready to absorb the nitrates readily as established plants. If you do not have enough plants, they won't be able to absorb all the nitrates available in your tank from the fish and fish food. Then you will have algae problems to deal with. Cyano is the worst.

It looks like you have more than adequate lights for plants. Add a lot more!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bayinaung View Post
Kites, you just dont have enough plants in there for the bioload you have. You need a lot more plants in there. Nitrates are great for plants. I would get a lot of fast growing plants and let them sit in there. I trust you have a canister filter with a lot of bio media in it?

I typically like to cycle without fish first. Just plants, let them get established and grow. Then after two months introduce some fish. I've been keeping fresh water tanks since I was a kid for 20 years now. I find that it is the fish waste and uneaten food that is the source of all the nitrates. If your plants are not established, they won't be ready to absorb the nitrates readily as established plants. If you do not have enough plants, they won't be able to absorb all the nitrates available in your tank from the fish and fish food. Then you will have algae problems to deal with. Cyano is the worst.

It looks like you have more than adequate lights for plants. Add a lot more!
From the few fish I can see in the picture you have a very low bio-load.

Plants don't need to be established before fish can be added. As plants grow they use nutrients from the water (ammonia, nitrates, phosphates) so the more plants you have, especially fast growing stem plants, the more nutrients they absorb. Good levels in a planted tank is 10-20ppm nitrats and .5-1.0ppm for phosphates. Adding more plants is always a good idea especially ones like Water sprite, wisteria, and other fast growing stem plants.

Algae usually becomes a problem from and imbalance of lights/CO2/ and ferts, with the main contributing fact often being too much light left on for too long a photoperiod. Cyano is actually a bacteria, not algae and is often found in planted tanks that have low nitrate levels (less than 10ppm).
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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Technically, rivercat, the number of fishes he has in there are not a high bioload. Where then are the nitrates coming from? It's from the excessive or left over fish food that gets dissolved quickly into the water or tank that the fish ends up not eating. That results in the high nitrate levels he's seeing in his tank.

He isnt' adding fertilizer into his tank intentionally. So you need to get the nitrates absorbed. You can do this chemically, i.e. lots of carbon, or nitrate absorbing add-ins. You can do this naturally. i.e. lots of plants. I'd suggest doing both right now.

By the way two of the plants on each corner of the tank, are not true underwater plants. They will likely not do well over time, nor will they help absorb nitrates.

Get some of the plants river suggests. For more just ask your LFS to suggest true underwater plants, along with telling them the amount of light and filtration you have.

They will help you plenty!

And I would not suggest measuring water parameters everyday. Try it about every 3 days after putting in the treatment bags and less as you see levels slide down. Also try to reduce feeding the fish. Once a day is fine. The beneficial bacteria takes time to grow and build in a tank.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:55 PM   #10
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Technically, rivercat, the number of fishes he has in there are not a high bioload. Where then are the nitrates coming from? It's from the excessive or left over fish food that gets dissolved quickly into the water or tank that the fish ends up not eating. That results in the high nitrate levels he's seeing in his tank.

He isnt' adding fertilizer into his tank intentionally. So you need to get the nitrates absorbed. You can do this chemically, i.e. lots of carbon, or nitrate absorbing add-ins. You can do this naturally. i.e. lots of plants. I'd suggest doing both right now.

By the way two of the plants on each corner of the tank, are not true underwater plants. They will likely not do well over time, nor will they help absorb nitrates.

Get some of the plants river suggests. For more just ask your LFS to suggest true underwater plants, along with telling them the amount of light and filtration you have.

They will help you plenty!

And I would not suggest measuring water parameters everyday. Try it about every 3 days after putting in the treatment bags and less as you see levels slide down. Also try to reduce feeding the fish. Once a day is fine. The beneficial bacteria takes time to grow and build in a tank.
Umm... Rivercats never said he had a high bioload, she said low bioload. I wouldn't bash anything she says, she very knowledgeable and trusted by many here.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #11
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Actually, I think you are bashiing me.

She's contradicting and saying what I said about bioload was WRONG, thus bashing ME. Thus, I'm stating to rivercat that the high nitrates are coming from the bio-load the aquarist is putting INTO the tank, not AS indicated by the number of FISH. If you would READ the thread PROPERLY, you would understand what is written there, in plain, simple ENGLISH.

And take a look at the definition of BIOLOAD:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-load

"An aquarium term from biology, the biological demand (bio-load or bioload) is the nitrogen processing demand placed upon the material, chemical and biological filters by uneaten food, decomposing inhabitants, accumulated organics and waste produced by livestock, foods and plant matter in the aquarium filtration system. This is not to be confused with bioburden, which is the number of microorganisms with which an object surface is contaminated."

If the food, fish waste that's in that tank IS overwhelming the current system, then its bio-load is HIGH, for the MOMENT. Thus, I have actually prescribed to the aquarist suggested remedies to fix them, in a very sincere fashion. Rivercat was infact, bashing ME, not the other way around.

So get OFF my back, both of you. I never got onto anyone's case FIRST. you two got on mine for no reason.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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This is a case of stating one's own opinions... there is no bashing going on here. People disagree all the time and isn't uncommon on forum discussions.

Nitrates can be coming from tap water used in a tank also OP so it would be a good idea to test them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:06 PM   #13
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Rivercats, you are completely right. And I apologize to all if what I said offended anyone.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quite clearly one party is clearly misinformed and being injurious to me without provocation, and yet no apology is forthcoming. Quite interesting. Apology ccepted Mrs H. Please read carefully next time before jumping in and making accusations when facts are all written there.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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ON THE TANK in question itself, more information from the aquarist is needed as to his filtration system before we can proceed further. Good luck and cheers!
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:31 PM   #16
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Quite clearly one party is clearly misinformed and being injurious to me without provocation, and yet no apology is forthcoming. Quite interesting. Apology ccepted Mrs H. Please read carefully next time before jumping in and making accusations when facts are all written there.
When people disagree on forum it is not bashing. It is simple disagreeing, nothing more or less. nor is an apology warranted for disagreeing. Really this is ridiculous and you are making a big deal out of nothing. I have people outright disagree with me the same way and am adult enough to understand that they have their own opinions, whether they agree with mine or not, I do not take it as a persoal affront to my character because they don't agree with me. So it's okay to say in your "opinion" to say I'm misinformed? We post what we have learned from expierence which in all honesty doesn't make anyone 100% right or wrong, it just means we have different opinions or ways of doing things. One of the Mods once told me this is the balance and check on forums. There is always someone who is or might disagree with another and it's not a big deal. Really enough said.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #17
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It is a big deal when you are trying to DISCREDIT ME on this forum. THAT was very clear in that post you made, rivercat.

And that is WRONG, and is a PERSONAL ATTACK. BOTH are WRONG. Quite clear, and totally unprovoked by me, who has been a very facilitating and polite participant in this forum, albeit new. That was personal, rude, and WRONG to make this forum personal.

Second, you clearly do not understand what bioload is. And yet you have been dispensing advice like you are a biologist!. The definition of bioload is clear, and you are WRONG.

Check your FACTS before making postings next time, please. And it is NOT decorum, not polite to be ATTACKING other forum members, be they new or veterans. You of all people should understand that. Really poor behavior on your part.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:26 PM   #18
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Since your being a dog with a bone here let's break this down...

First, I stated that the "number of fish" I could see isn't a high bio-load which you agreed. I was referring to the "fish bio-load", I didn't comment on anything else. In fact you were the one who went off on my not understanding what true bio-load is. No personal attack or trying to discredit you on the forum here.

Next you said "like" to cycle and let your plants establish before adding fish. I simply stated that plants don't need to be established before adding fish, which they don't. This is simply two different ways on how each person prefers to do things. Again neither way is right or wrong... can't see a personal attach on your person or trying to discredit you on this forum there.

You went on to say if not enough plants are present to use all the excess nitrates then algae can be a problem. I went on to elaborate on what causes algae issues which is more than just excess nitrates and not having established plants. Not a personal attack on you or trying to discredit you, just elaborating further on that point. I don't recall saying you were wrong anywhere.

I agreed more plants are a good thing. No personal attack or trying to discredit you there.

This type of posting is common on forums, using quoted posts to post your ideas/thoughts/comments/ways under. In no way is it in bad taste or a personal attack or a way of discrediting a person. If that was the case just about everyone on this forum would be screaming bashing, personal attack, and bad manners. Try taking a deep calming breath and take the post at face value as imformation and opinions posted by another forum member not one out to "discredit" you on the forum. This has been totally blown out of proportion.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:59 PM   #19
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I have read this thread through several times. I cannot see where anyone got (bashed) . Everyone has different opinions, and ways of doing things. Different techniques work for different people. That's the beauty of the hobby. Now to break it down. Rivercats never bashed you Bayinaung. She simply stated other ideas that might help the problem. Once again everyone has different things that work for them. Also Bayinaung You jumped all over Mrs.2012 for correcting you on what Rivercats actually said about the fish bio load. Maybe you should have read the thread before jumping on people. Everyone on this forum has the right to post their ideas. Whether you think they are right or not. You seem a little oversensitive when someone disagrees with you. I would suggest you put on your big girl panties and grow up. There now you know what actual bashing looks like!!
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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Bay,

No one here nor any post that I've read has bashed you or was me at to discredit you. Your taking things way too personal IMO, its a community forum and people disagree, it's healthy to disagree, if we all agreed all the time then half the time the world would be even worse then it already is. It's simply a agree to disagree which you apparently are having a hard time coping with. It's simple... It's a fish in cycle, people may disagree with me and that's fine, I have broad shoulders.


With a fish cycle, which I believe the OP is doing meant to or not, water changes testing water changes and more testing and yup... More water changes. Adding plants or fish now is irrelevant IMO, again I can be wrong. The bio load is low, so.... The cycle can take longer.


OP, can you get any media from a healthy established tank? Or.... I guess if you absolutely had to add more fish, FISH THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP. either way its gonna take time and effort on your part to pull this through but can be done. I did a fish in cycle on my 55 African cichlid tank and I'm doing a fish in cycle now on my planted tank which never really fully cycled. I had loads of plants and still have readings not to mention a ton of fish also.


I think we need to get off the bashing, and worrying about egos, and back to helping the OP. If you feel that strongly about it and you truly feel like your being attacked or bashed or both, contact a mod and let them deal with it. Carrying on like this in someone's thread shows a lack of respect to the OP and lack of respect for the other members as well as yourself. We don't always like the answers we get and we don't always agree but what fun is being a "yes man?"


I disagree with you, and your posts.... Am I now bashing you? No... I'm simply respectfully disagreeing with you.


Convict
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