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Old 06-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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nitrates seem high

I have a 38 gallon tank its been running for about a year....I had issues with nitrite/nitrate so I got a RenaFilstar XP 2. I keep one back of tank "waterfall" power filter on the tank...The waterfall that hangs on the back has ceramic rings in the bottom and a small amount of floss on the top..Its not really for filter so much as bio filter just to circulate water over the ceramic rings..My Filstar XP has the 30 PPi and 20 PPI pad in the bottom..Ceramic rings and plastic stars in the center for biological and packed with Floss in the top basket and a floss pad on top to keep it in place..
As far as Fish I have 3 Tin Foil Barbs ranging between 6-8 inches..One smaller sized Blood Parrot Cichlid, 1 pink kissing gourami 1 Blue gourami 1 gold gourami and 1 silver dollar ...I also have one Corey Cat to clean the bottom..
My tank is small for the tin foils but I have the oversize filter "filstar XP" and the other for biological filter.
I do 30 40% water changes depending on how often they are done if I go two weeks I usually do around 40% weekly around 30%..
My water usually stays clear no real complaints..I use a API master test kit for fresh water every now and then...
I saw I was getting some algae on my sea shells on the bottom so I added Hagen Waste Control with a few capfuls of API Stress zyme, which I usually add at water changes...I would think my bacteria in my filter should be set in by now, I have been excessively vaccuming the bottom to remove excess food and waste because I have larger fish.
Since the addition of the waste Control I notice my Amonia looks good usually around zero or very little, my Nitrite looks ok zero or close, but my nitrites are just HIGH 180 PPM even after 30% change it seems high..I am wondering if the waste control would RAISE the Nitrates in excess? I dont have plants in my tank..My tin foils eat them over night..I hate to add the nitrate sock it kills ammonia, and its staying in check on its own..
Just wondering about the nitrates..I pump air in the tank and my fish seem happy and ok swimming as usual, no red gills all fish seem ok..
should I worry or just let it ride for now?

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Old 06-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
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Thanks for the advice guys...I asked my Blood Parrot and his thoughts were that the bacteria additive probably did stir the levels up, the stress zyme should lower ammonia and nitrite, but nothing for nitrate...Best advice let it ride and smalllllll water changes off the top till it balances out...The Hagen Nutrifin Waste Control did for a fact clean a LOT of junk off my shells and deco in the tank..digesting all that at once probably did jack with water levels a bit..
My advice...EVERYONE SHOULD OWN A BLOOD PARROT CICHLID... there really smart..
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #3
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I don't know much, still learning, but I wouldn't think that leaving the tank at 180 PPM of nitrates would be good for th fish, regardless of the reason. You may need to do some hefty water changes to get that down. You might also be overstocked.

Sorry I couldn't be much help, at the very least this will get bumped up and hopefully someone with more experience can advise you. Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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How often do you clean the filters? Solid material left in the filter will help increase nitrate levels as it breaks down. Keep in mind that the bioload has increased significantly since the tank was started and the fish have grown. Stop adding things that aren't necessary such as the Waste Control and Stresszyme.
If the nitrate level is in fact 180, only very large water changes (in the 75% range) will lower it in a reasonable length of time.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:10 PM   #5
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the waste control was to help clean the bottom of the tank..and it did seem to do so..the shells ect are clean...I did partial change about 30% last night and am planning to do the same tonight..I dont want to disturb the bacteria in the tank...at this point my fish arent having any issues...I just try to keep the water in check so they dont..Im checking nitrates now in my API master 3 min later and its red not dark blood red like yesterday but deep red still... I usually clean my Rena Filstar XP2 about every 10-15 days...Fresh floss and wash out pads at bottom never wash off ceramic rings or stars in the middle..may give the filstar a rinse out tonight too...I have been feeding my tinfoils pellets which make a mess..filter may just be dirty fast..

Revision......filter was filthy...cleaned 20 ppm and 30ppm pads and new floss and new floss pad on top... going to do a top water change to keep sediment down at bottom for now Waste Control did clean tank ...Moved it all to filter though...
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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what is the verdict on a protien skimmer in a fresh water tank...Some say it wont do anything its just for salt water ...others say it cuts back on the slime and gum that stays in the filter outlets and inlet and makes maintiaining a "busy" aquarium much easier?
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