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Old 10-17-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Question......need advice

Hey everyone, I have a 20 gallon high that I've had for some time now and I can't seem to figure out this one problem I'm always running into. I have the tank stocked with tiger barbs and barbs, rainbow tetras, algae eaters, African leaf. And the problem I've been facing is a bouncing between high acidity and nitrates that's my enemy. I can never get away from the nitrates, I can't say how many fish I've gone through because of nitrates and nitrites. I use this solution I think it's easy balance that says it reduces nitrates and chloramines and such but no luck. I took out all of the decorations and that actually did the trick a bit but it's boring having an empty tank. I don't know if it's my water, or what the problem is. If someone could suggest any helpful advice I'd highly appreciate it. And also the stuff I use to balance the ph and everything else also reduces weekly water changes saw ell. And I main,y do water changes about every other week or or twice very other week
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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Hi! What is your exact stock and what sort of algae eater do you have? It sounds like your tank is a bit overstocked. Has the tank gone through the nitrogen cycle? Do you test your water parameters and with sort of test kit? What are the exact numbers for your ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and PH? What chemicals exactly are you adding into your tank?
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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You should also test your tap water along with azmodan's advice. There may be nitrates naturally in your water which could be causing your problem and the ph might be drastically different that what you want for your tank, causing the fluctuations.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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If your having nitrites along with nitrates your tank isn't cycled properly. What is your current ph? If ph falls below 6.5 biological activity slows. If ph falls to 6 or below biological activity stops and BB begin to die off.

Also besides checking your tap water for nitrates excess buildup of detris in your substrate or filters can cause high nitrates along with overfeeding and not doing large enough weekly WC's if your tap water is nitrate free.

How often do you do WC's and how much to you change out each time?
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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I am no sure of the exact algae eater I believe it's a Plecoptera.......I'm not 100 percent sure but with the things I do I change my water 25% like the guys in the store told me every other day for two weeks which I did......then I decided to remove ALL decorations except the gravel and that changed the numbers. I use a API 5 in 1 aquarium test strip. GH has been around 0-30.........KH HAS BEEN between 0-40 with some spikes of over 40 PH. Has been 6.0 to 6.5 compared to the chart no2 and no3 have been between 0-1 for no2 and 0-20/40 for no3. Along with that test strip I use API PROPER PH 7.0 and just finished using tetra easy balance. Also API stress coat and kordon AmQuel plus ammonia detoxifier. I don't use it all together it was spread out and one was used then weeks went by and another was used after a WC. I typically do 25%. Aside from that I do not know what to do I have had my tank for so,e time and never had this problem till now. I'm attaching a picture of the algae eater if I didn't specifying he correct species. Hope to hear more helpful hints thanks everyone
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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You don't need all those products and you need to stop using the ph adjuster. Your tank falling to the 6 ph range is causing your tank to have to recycle. You need to test your tap water. In order to get a proper tap water ph reading you have to put some tap water in a glass and either aerate it or stir it off and on for 24 hours. This allows the water to gass off and after 24 hours you will get your tap waters true ph. Also you need to get an API Master test kit as strips are known for not being the most accurate.

If you can't keep your ph up then you need to consider adding some crushed coral to your filter or add some to a media bag and hang it under your filter outflow. Start with a little CC and see how much it raises the kh/gh/ph after a few days. Then add or remove CC as needed until you get the level you want in your tank. I also suggest getting an API Gh and Kh test kit. It's two tests in one box. As long as your Kh if above 4 on the API test you have enough buffers in your tank to keep your Ph stable.

You also need to do a WC anytime your ammonia or nitrite rise above .25ppm. Once the tank is cycled and you stabilize your ph you just need to go to doing 50% WC weekly.



That is a common plecostomus which will grow way too large and have too high a bio-load for a 20g tank. You need to rehome him.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Here are some additional very helpful links that should be useful to you:

Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-154837.html

You will most importantly need to learn how to keep your tank properly cycled and look into getting a good liquid test kit to test your water (most here use the API Master Test Kit -- under 20$ on Amazon).
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