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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so i set up my 125 gallon( 6 foot long) with 2 fluval 405's and two hydor koralias. I live in south florida and there is a huge fish farm a few miles from my house and the guy gave me an unbelievable selection of fish for 100 dollars. All the fish are 3-4 inches long and gorgeous. All my water parameters are fine except my nitrates are a little high(never below 40 ppm sometimes up to even though i do a 30% water change every 4 days. I don;t know if i am overstocked or maybe feeding them too much( i usually feed twice a day). Maybe i need to make some tough choices and get rid of some fish. I am asking the cichlid forum community for some serious needed help. the guy basically handed me a huge container of fish and said throw em in, the place is amazing, i would hate to get rid of any fish but if i am overstocked then i must. Heres the list of the fish in the tank now.And there is no aggression in the tank at all.THANK YOU
1 h. moori
2 yellow labs
2 haplochromis ahli
1 aulonocara stuartgranti
1 aulonacara OB peacock
1 protomelas taiwan reef
1 aulonacara baenschi
1 small venustus
2 red empress
1 german red
1 sunshine peacock
1 jacobfreibergi
1 rubescense
2 labotropheous fullebourni
1 melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
1 stuartgranti
1 handbanshi red shoulder
1 albino peacock
2 ngara
2 plecos
3 small fish that i have no idea what they are but they are very drab, maybe females????'



 

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I would say you are fine. You say there is no aggression and you keep up with your water changes so enjoy your fish and dont worry about it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you, but what about these nitrates going up to 80 PPM and never going lower than 20 PPM?? I have never had them go to 160 PPM or above because i religiously do water changes. i just don't want to overstock and stress out the fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
tested the tap and the nitrates are at - 0
thats why i think i'm pushing the upper limits of the bioload in the tank
slowed down on the feeding and i'll see how that affects it
maybe get a different nitrates test kit, now i am coming up with craziness
 

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You could try getting a new test kit, beautiful fish I hope soon I can my 125g to looks that colorful.
 

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That Sunshine is ridiculously awesome. I bet you dropped some change on all those fully colored fish. :eek:

(I bet you are going to have problems with the venestus)
 

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u can try and do a 50% wc every week instead of 30% and see if that will help. just my two cent.
 

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How big are the fish? Does not seem you should have a bioload problem.

Until you get your nitrates under 20ppm, do 90% changes. Make sure to carefully match parameters and temps. Also make sure your substrate is thoroughly vacuumed and your filters freshly cleaned (don't kill the bacteria doing this though).

Once you are down to 10ppm, then wait one week and test the nitrates. In my tank after one week my nitrates would be 20ppm and I would do a 50% water change to get back to 10ppm. This is the standard and you can adjust from there.

It appears you are going for an all-male tank (since you have so many species) so I would just eliminate the females. The fulleborni and cyaneorhabdos I would think will be too aggressive so be ready to take them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I paid 120 dollars for all those fish at the fish farm in homestead florida..LOL..
I have about 4 or 5 inches(or maybe even 6) of crushed coral on the bottom, do you think i have too much substrate and it is contributing to the nitrate problem???
it is a pain in the rear to get the siphon down that deep to clean out all the detritus, maybe i am not getting all the muck because there is so much gravel
 

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Edited to remove vendor name. Yes I think the substrate is too deep and can be a source of your nitrates. I'd remove all but 1 to 1.5 inches. MUCH easier to clean then.

The actual removal and first cleaning may make your water somewhat inhospitable. I might put the fish in a bucket for that process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
took out a ton of gravel from the tank this morning, all but 2 inches. did a 60 % water change and tomorrow i will do the same water change and test again.I tested the nitrates and they are down below 20PPM now with yesterdays and todays water change.
I personally think i had WAY too much gravel in the tank and it was just harboring organic material and not allowing it to get to the filters.We shall see.
Believe me guys i am fully expecting to remove some of the fish for aggression problems sooner or later, i wish i could figure out how to set my camera to take better pics of the fish, trial and error will take care of that. That sunburst really glows at night when all the lights are off in the house and just the tank light is on.Thanks
 

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i have a 125 as well with the following...
1 fire eel - 18 inches
1 elec blue hap
1 yellow lab
1 red zebra
1 bumble bee
2 ob peacock
3 other random peacocks
1 ?? darn cant remember him lol
1 red top
5 acei
6 clown loaches
4 small bristle nose plecs
and 3 funny little fiddler crabs

all that said, i was having the same problem at first. at first i was feeding 3 times a day, then went down to twice. finally i went down to one feeding per day with an occassional morning feeding.
all i use is a rena xp3 and some various power heads. oh and some bio ball floating here and there. i dont notice them due to they float above the rim line.
i do a 50% change weekly including gravel vac. about one every 4 to 6 weeks i pull all rocks out and due about 75% with gravel vac.

the end result is my nitrates get up to about 20-30 depending on how much i feed. hard to tell with the colors on that chart lol.
after my 50% change, it easily sits at about 10 -20 on the scale. closer to the 10 as far as color goes.
hope that helps, since i had that same issue. :thumb:
 

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I would first clean out the tank and reduce the substrate. Then, you definitely need to up your weekly water change percentage and feed less.

I do 75-80% water changes every week using a Python siphon and a instant thermometer to verify the water matched the tank as I add. I double treat the water in the tank for what I will be adding with Prime before refilling.

Warning: Enginerd at work below :p.

If your Nitrates are at 80ppm and you change 30% you are still at 56ppm after your water change. In four days you add 24ppm and you are back at 80ppm.

In this case your tank adds 6ppm Nitrates a day which seems high for not having all large adults (Hence - thorough cleaning of canisters/substrate). In a week your tank would generate 42ppm Nitrates. How much water do you need to change to remove excess nitrates?

If you took your 80ppm and just did a 75% water change you drop to 20ppm instead of the 56ppm that you are theoretically getting with the 30% change. At the end of the next week you would add 42ppm (6ppm per day) and are at 62ppm.

Again, next week you change 75% or the water. This time you get down to ~15ppm after the water change. The following week you get up to 57ppm do the 75% water change you get down to 14ppm well - the lowest you will ever get get the nitrates in this example will be 14ppm or (25%) of the total nitrates 14 + 42 = 56ppm remove 75% of 56 (which is 42) next week and you get back to 14ppm.

If you clean everything and feed lighter, I believe you will get your Nitrates down to 3ppm per day or so in which case you would generate 21ppm per week.

Doing a 75% water change in this case would give a max Nitrate of 28 and a minimum of 7.

Now the fun part is looking at steady state for a 30% water change - you will end up taking out 21 Nitrates each week to match what you generate - the end Nitrates each week will be 70ppm and you do the 30% water change get down to 49 and through the week add back 21ppm to get to 70ppm.

So steady state on a tank generating 3ppm Nitrates per day:

75% weekly water change Nitrate range would be: 7-28ppm
30% weekly water change Nitrate range would be: 49-70ppm

Hope this helps explain why larger changes are way better.

Good Luck.
 
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