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Old 08-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
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what could be causing my high nitrates?

I have a 75 gallon tank with the following:

Equipment:
-Heater that came with it (bought of craiglist, unsure of brand but I'm thinking tetra) set at 78
-undergravel filter with aquaclear 70 powerhead
-marineland magnum 350 canister with carbon and ammonia neutralizing crystals
-lights, unsure of type, again came with tank
-bubble disc and bubble wall
-lots of decor and a piece of real driftwood

Plants:
-various amazon swords that seem to be doing okay (new at planted tanks)
-water wisteria (not looking so well. not sure if its just not growing or if my fish are eating it.
-a floating plant

Fish:
-1 blood parrot
-1 angel
-1 peacock eel
-4 silver dollars
-1 dwarf gourami
-7 danio
-3 mollies
-1 juvie black ghost knife
-2 bn plecos
-5 african dwarf frogs
-1 mystery snail

Test readings:
Ammonia 0 ppm
NitrAte 40 ppm!
Nitrite 0 ppm
Ph 7.6

Hope that was enough detail...I usually change 15-20 gallons each week but last week I noticed that spike in nitrate and changed 20 gallons twice. Its back up at 40...
What's causing it and what can I do??
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Also the tank is about two months old...I'm new to this and I thought it went through a full cycle but I suppose I could've been wrong...its my first big tank.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datkush
Also the tank is about two months old...I'm new to this and I thought it went through a full cycle but I suppose I could've been wrong...its my first big tank.
The cycle is over, you may need to start doing two 20-30 gallon water changes. Make sure you clean really well like under decor and stuff. How long has it been since you cleaned your filter? Or changed it?
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McFadden

The cycle is over, you may need to start doing two 20-30 gallon water changes. Make sure you clean really well like under decor and stuff. How long has it been since you cleaned your filter? Or changed it?
The undergravel filter I don't really mess with, I just vac over it and the canister, just yesterday I took it apart and rinsed the sponge I put over the carbon part and changed the carbon and filter floss. My water looks pretty good, clear except for a few little particles which I'm guessing are due to my ignorance with ug filters.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datkush

The undergravel filter I don't really mess with, I just vac over it and the canister, just yesterday I took it apart and rinsed the sponge I put over the carbon part and changed the carbon and filter floss. My water looks pretty good, clear except for a few little particles which I'm guessing are due to my ignorance with ug filters.
I didn't think anybody used under gravel filters anymore. I personally do not like them because stuff gets trapped under your gravel and it's a pain to clean. Which could cause your high nitrate levels. I'm not very good when it comes to your type of fish, but I'd say you're overstocked due to your nitrate levels. I would not add anymore fish because it would just make it worse. You may need to get rid of some fish, add new plants or change how much water you're changing week. If it was me I would change how much water I was changing and half it to do 2 a week. I would probably do two 30 gallon changes to see how it does then. If its still high up your numbers
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McFadden

I didn't think anybody used under gravel filters anymore. I personally do not like them because stuff gets trapped under your gravel and it's a pain to clean. Which could cause your high nitrate levels. I'm not very good when it comes to your type of fish, but I'd say you're overstocked due to your nitrate levels. I would not add anymore fish because it would just make it worse. You may need to get rid of some fish, add new plants or change how much water you're changing week.
Yeah it came with the tank so I went ahead and set it up not knowing much about it but I'm thinking about unplugging...I just really don't want to dismantle my entire tank to take it out what else could I attach the powerhead to? I like having the circulation.

Yeah I'm not adding anymore fish, hope I don't have to remove any but I guess we'll see if my attempts at lowering the nitrates work :/
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Also I'm not sure of what types of lights I have and like I said, my plants didn't exactly flourish. Could high nitrates be caused by dying plants?
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datkush
Also I'm not sure of what types of lights I have and like I said, my plants didn't exactly flourish. Could high nitrates be caused by dying plants?
A powerhead doesn't need to be hooked up to anything to work. The lights will make the plants not grow good if its not strong enough. The plants feed on nitrates so if anything your trates would are lower because of them.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew McFadden

A powerhead doesn't need to be hooked up to anything to work. The lights will make the plants not grow good if its not strong enough. The plants feed on nitrates so if anything your trates would are lower because of them.
Okay I guess I'll be looking into new lights to and taking out that ug filter so I can clean better. Do you think that magnum 350 canister is sufficient for a 75 gallon or should I be getting another supplemental filter?
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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If its the one I'm thinking of its only rated for a 55. So yes I'd get a hang on back rated for around 50 gallons or so.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:05 PM   #11
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It says that its rated for 100 gallons and filters 350 gallons and hour I think. I know for sure that its rated for 100
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It says that its rated for 100 gallons and filters 350 gallons and hour I think. I know for sure that its rated for 100
Well in that case it should be enough. But I think I would still add a hob rated for 100-150 more gph. Depending on your light fixture you may be able to just swap bulbs out.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #13
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Well in that case it should be enough. But I think I would still add a hob rated for 100-150 more gph. Depending on your light fixture you may be able to just swap bulbs out.
Yeah I think I can do that, I'll have to take a look at it. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
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Yeah I think I can do that, I'll have to take a look at it. Thanks
No problem ill be around if you have more questions
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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I think they say rule of thumb is to have a filter that cycles atleast 6 times the amounts of gallons your fish tank is.. Cause I had same questions about my penguin 330 biowheel.. Didn't think it was packin a punch..I have a 75 gal as well.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #16
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Yeah I'll have to look into getting another filter. I wish they weren't so expensive.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #17
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Yeah I'll have to look into getting another filter. I wish they weren't so expensive.
Exactly.. Go on Amazon..
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #18
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Amazon has good deals? what filter do you recommend?
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #19
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Amazon has good deals? what filter do you recommend?
I was recommended an aquaclear110.. Where I live it's 80 dollars, Amazon had it for 54$. But i was also keeping my penguin 330 biowheel..
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:36 PM   #20
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Okay I'll have to check amazon you got that filter and its working well for you?
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