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Old 08-22-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
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What the heck???

So I'm not really getting started on a new tank or anything, but I wasn't sure where else to put this thread.
Has anyone had experience with putting play sand as a substrate in their tank and their nitrates skyrocketing? I just tested my water twice to make sure I shook the #2 bottle enough, and sure enough- I'm getting 160ppm!!! None of my tanks have EVER been that high.
-36 gal tank
-been set up for 4 years and fully cycled
-switched out gravel for (thoroughly rinsed) play sand yesterday
-during switch, I did about an 80% water change
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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Hmmm no and there's no logical reason for the sand to be the factor. It's more likely removing the original substrate caused a huge amount of detritus waste to be released.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Even though during the switch I siphoned out 80% of the water? It didn't seem like that much detritus was released, because I was simultaneously siphoning the gravel.. I'm just in shock. Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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Hmmm, thats weird. I would do a huge water change on the tank (at least 50%) and test after that, and again 24 hours later. You want to see if it is just a temporary thing, or if it is a recurring problem (if they keep rising and rising).
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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I just did about a 90% change today. Ill test tomorrow to see what happens. .1x160= 16, so it should be between 10 and 20 ppm.
The odd thing is that my fish (an angel, 5 mollies and a swordtail) seemed completely unfazed. They were swimming around like nothing was out of the ordinary.
I tested my tap as well to make sure nothing was there, and it tested zero.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Ok nitrates are down to 10-20 now must have been like you said, things getting stirred up from previous substrate.
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