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Old 01-03-2021, 08:32 PM   #1
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Tanks levels. Im a little lost.

Hey everyone i hope you can get me some answers. Im new to fish keeping and was gifted 5 tanks, all the equiptment, and fish. I just got my tests and they are throwing me off. I have read up on it and where it should somewhat be but im confused qhy some are way different the the others. Ill post everhthing about each tank and maybe you guys can help me figure it all out.

Im currently working on upgrading things as i have money but this is what i have now

Tank 1
10g topfin hang on the back filter for 10-20 gallon, gravel, platic decor and plants, 1 blue male betta and 2 mystery snails. I feed him 2 times a day only what he can eat in under 2 minutes.
Ph. 7.4, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 0-5ppm ( its really hard to tell between 0 and 5 on my test)
Tank 2
20g topfin hang on the back filter for 20-40 gallon, gravel, plastic deco and plants, 2 angel, 2 guppies, 1 neon tetra, 1 green female betta, 3 mystery snails
Ph. 7.4, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm
Tank 3
20g tank, topfin hand on the back filter (20 to 40g) gravel subatrate, platic decor and plants.
5 adult mickey mouse fish (4 maybe pregnant still not sure on it. I think all are female but 1 died already and it could have been the male) and 3-4 maybe more fry and 2 mystery snails
Ph. 8.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate between 0 and 5ppm hard to tell
Tank 4
10g topfin hang on the back filter for 10-20 gallon, gravel, platic decor and plants, 1 red male betta and 2 mystery snails.
Ph. 8.4, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 0-5ppm
Tank 5
40 gallon penguin bio whell 200 filter, gravel, plasic decor and plants, 15 ish gold fish ( hard to count) 1 pleco.
Ph. 8.4, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 0-5ppm

My questions are if the water all comes from the same source why is the ph levels different?
Also what i read is that tanks that have been going for awhile ( 4-5 months for all of mine) should have higher levels of nitrate as well. Im just a little lost. I havent done a water change in about 3 to 4 weeks. And i rinsed all of the vials out well between tanks.
The test in using is api freshwater master test kit.
Please anything will help im brand new to this and i dont want to kill these amazing fish and my daughter loves them. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-04-2021, 02:58 AM   #2
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This is what happens when your tank cycles. Waste in the tank, fish waste, uneaten food, any decaying plant matter produce ammonia which is bad for your fishes health. A cycled tank has enough nitrosomonas bacteria to quickly convert that to nitrite which is a little less harmful to fish. But, a cycled tank also has enough nitrobacter bacteria to convert the nitrite to nitrate which is much less harmful. Some of the nitrate will be used by plants but unless you have a very heavily planted tank and the tank is lightly stocked with fish not all of the nitrate will be removed. You remove nitrate through water changes. A 50% water change will remove 50% of the nitrate (assuming your tap water has 0ppm nitrate). Seeing nitrate is normal in a cycled tank, in fact it is a good sign that your system is operating normally. Fish are able to tolerate nitrate in much higher concentrations than you have. The level of nitrate will depend on the bioload, amount of plants, how many and how much water changes you do. One thing i would say is make sure you do the nitrate test to the instructions and make sure you shake the heck out of bottle #2 or the test wont read correctly.

pH will depend on many things. What your starting point is (tapwater pH), some substrate and rocks will increase your pH, driftwood will lower it. There is a condition called old tank syndrome when people tend to maintain tanks less than they used to and this lowers pH. Maintaining steady pH is more important than targetting specific numbers. If your fish are healthy thats the main thing.

Your water parameters arent screaming issues, and the fish arent dying in droves. The pH is high in some of the tanks and i would expect the nitrate would be higher if you havent done a water change for 4 weeks. So i would recommend making sure you do the tests religiously as per instructions (again you really need to shake bottle #2). Maybe try a different test to compare. Change a small amount of water fortnightly even if the water parameters dont suggest you need to.

Onto your goldfish tank. 15 goldfish need a much bigger tank than 40g. Typically 1 goldfish needs 30g and then 10g for each additional goldfish. So for 15 goldfish something in the region of 170g is needed.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:21 AM   #3
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The gold fish tank is the little breeder gold fish. They are not the big fancy ones. The ones that are maybe 25 cents at the fish store. And i know they really need a bigger tank but i dont have the funds for it yet. I may try to give some away. As far as the ph what throws me off is the substrate and deco and plants are all the same in all of them and the water all comes from the same place so i was confused why some are 7.4 and some is 8.4 almost 8.6. And thanks for the tip on the nitrate test ill have to try that and see if i get different results.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:44 AM   #4
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Those little 25c goldfish grow to be 12 inches and live over 20 years. The only reason they stay small and die young is because they are kept in cramped conditions. Their bodies might stop growing when they don't have enough space but their internal organs dont and they wont live a full healthy and happy life. Do your best to rehome them or plan to get a much bigger tank. Or have you considered a garden pond for them?
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The gold fish tank is the little breeder gold fish. They are not the big fancy ones. The ones that are maybe 25 cents at the fish store. And i know they really need a bigger tank but i dont have the funds for it yet. I may try to give some away. As far as the ph what throws me off is the substrate and deco and plants are all the same in all of them and the water all comes from the same place so i was confused why some are 7.4 and some is 8.4 almost 8.6. And thanks for the tip on the nitrate test ill have to try that and see if i get different results.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:28 PM   #5
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I wish i could have a pond. I live in an apartment complex. I had no idea or i wouldnt have taken them loke that. Im going to try and rehome them and see what i can do. I dont want the fish to suffer. ( they were in super poor conditions before i got them and i had to super scrub their tabks before i set them up. Thats why i took them to begin with)
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Those little 25c goldfish grow to be 12 inches and live over 20 years. The only reason they stay small and die young is because they are kept in cramped conditions. Their bodies might stop growing when they don't have enough space but their internal organs dont and they wont live a full healthy and happy life. Do your best to rehome them or plan to get a much bigger tank. Or have you considered a garden pond for them?
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Old 01-05-2021, 08:25 PM   #6
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Wow so i didnt realize how much a difference it makes if you dont shake the bottles for testing nitrate enough. Or any of them at that. I thought i was shaking them enough. i thought they were all at 0-5ppm. I was so wrong.
Tank 1 ph. 8.4 , ammonia .25 , nitrite 0 , nitrate 80
Tank 2 ph. 8.4 , ammonia 0 , nitrite .25 , nitrate 80
Tank 3 ph. 8.4 , ammonia 0 , nitrite .25 , nitrate 20
Tank 4 ph. 8.4 , ammonia .25 , nitrite 0 , nitrate 80
Tank 5 ph. 7.4 , ammonia 0 , nitrite 0 , nitrate 80
I definitely learned something new today. And now i need to do water changes to get the nitrate down. the 4th tank had a water change a few days ago thats why its lower.
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Old 01-06-2021, 01:54 AM   #7
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https://www.aquariumcoop.com/pages/water-changes

Flow chart for testing water parameters to determine what your water change routine should be.

Those nitrate levels are much more how i would expect them to be if you havent been doing water changes.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:29 AM   #8
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https://www.aquariumcoop.com/pages/water-changes

Flow chart for testing water parameters to determine what your water change routine should be.

Those nitrate levels are much more how i would expect them to be if you havent been doing water changes.
I did water changes last night so thsy are much lower now. Thank you for that tip.
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