Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my 75 gallon tank has finally finished the cycle I believe.
One Oscar, and one smaller Jack Dempsey.

current levels-
ph -7.0 to 7.2
nitrite- 0ppm
ammonia- 0ppm
nitrate- 10-20ppm

Tank temp- 78 degrees

Just did a 30% water change yesterday and the nitrates are still at that level. Tank is crystal clear and both fish seem to be very happy now and showing growth, with great appetite.
Feeding medium pellets twice daily and occasionally throwing in cichlid frozen food, crickets, meal worms, and brine shrimp all various times trying to get a well balanced diet.
Tank took six weeks to cycle with media from the old tank.

My question is now, are those levels okay or is there anything I can do to lower the nitrates more? do I need to be doing bigger water changes, or is that level fine and when do I need to start worrying about it getting too high?

I haven't touched the filters yet as I was waiting for the tank to finish the cycle, when can I change the filters to new ones without it being an issue? first time with a bigger tank, the HOB filter I have has to large media filters in it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as id like to keep these guys happy.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Nitrates are lowered with water changes. Yes, more volume per change.75%. Pls explain what you mean by changing filters? Your beneficial bacteria lives and grows in the filter bio media. You don't change that, you gently rinse it in tank water. What is the filtration on this tank?Also suggest planning on a bigger tank. Oscar will outgrow JD by 2or even 3 to one. Fish look beautiful, tank is great as well, it's just not big enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well I have the aqueon 75 in my tank now and you have the charcoal filters inside, and then you have the foam pads on the front of the filter.
The plan was to upgrade to a bigger tank in the future, but these guys were kept in a 30 gallon tank together so this was already a huge upgrade for them, already understanding that a bigger tank will be needed in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Very soon that filter won't keep up to bioload. Filter"ratings" don't apply to tanks holding large messy cichlids. suggest you look into a large canister asap. You will protect fish as they grow, and be better prepared to set up a bigger tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I use Fluval FX series and API Filstar cans. Both quiet, reliable and efficient. Can't go wrong with Eheim Classic line. Model 2217. Another cheaper option is Aquaclear 110 hob. My tanks are all filtered with canister/Aquaclears combos.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
To be honest, those cartridge style filters are useless on a cichlid tank. No bio capacity, limited options for cleaning and maintenance. Shouldn't have carbon as a regular media component either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just upgraded to a fluval fx4. How should I go about getting it good to go ? Do I have to leave the hold hob filter going for a certain time ? I'd assume leaving them both go for a while would be the best way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Yes, leave the HOB filter on there for at least a month while the FX4 grows beneficial bacteria. But there's also no reason to get rid of it. More filtration the better.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Hmmmm... :popcorn:

Oscar6 said:
Also suggest planning on a bigger tank. Oscar will outgrow JD by 2or even 3 to one. Fish look beautiful, tank is great as well, it's just not big enough.
Yep.
-
Plus, I hope you've already purchased a quality Nitrate Test kit? Those two growing cichlids in there are gonna build that stuff up fast. They're both sensitive to it, and if Nitrate levels get up past 20-30 PPM, toxic stress and all kinds of trouble are sure to follow for you. To counteract that, be ready to start pushing a lot more water soon in water changes to dilute the Nitrates out of your water. (in larger tanks = more water volume, those Nitrate levels will build up more slowly).
-
Oh, and as for the cheap HOB....

fishboy75 said:
But there's also no reason to get rid of it. More filtration the better.
As they say, "GO WITH THE FLOW".

The additional water flow will help oxygenate the water and keep a bio-film layer from forming on the surface. And definitely, put a foam pre-filter on the intake of that HOB filter. Plus after a few weeks, pull the cartridge out and fill the reservoir area with filtration foam or a small net bag of matrix rock. You'll get quite a bit more biological filtration performance out of it. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is there any recommendations for what I should be having in my canister? Or just keep it the way it came?
So far both fish seem to be absolutely loving the current off the filter and are going around the tank crazily.

Nitrates right now are between 10-20ppm. Anything I can stick into the canister to aid on removing nitrates ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
I'm not surprised about your Cichlids reaction to the new water current in their tank. Riverine, esp. New World Cichlids, may rest a lot in areas of quiet water in the wild. But sooner or later, they will definitely seek out current. They definitely DO NOT like stagnant water... And, your Apex Predator in there (Oscar!) definitely knows all about those yummy (helpless?) things that sometimes get swept up and sent downstream in riverine water currents! :D
-
As for your new canister filter? If it's full of filter media? Everything in it will colonize with the beneficial bacteria you need for biological filtration purposes. I would just leave everything in there pretty much, as is. (Place a foam pre-filter on your canister intake though!).
-
Now, when it comes to the De-Nitrator thing? Ummmm... no. Nothing will work for placement into canister filters that I personally know of. And, the techie/gadgety De-Nitrator things that you can purchase, just always seem to be much more work to operate and utilize than they are ultimately worth.... :?
But....
Do not abandon hope quite yet! Outside of just doing those water changes, your best friend in EATING those toxic Nitrates may well be - AQUATIC PLANTS!!!
And well, despite the limited options your Oscar will give you in setting up a heavily planted aquarium.... Digging, ripping and interior decor-rearranging - while charming - are NOT conducive to keeping planty things, y'know? You could try placing some sturdy aquatic plants into the aquarium, sited in actual in pots. Or, you could even go with a kind of hang-on-back plant 'refugium' kind thing with floating plants in it and a strong plant light. Providing such things may not eliminate the Nitrates out of the water (the buildup will be too fast), but it could help to extend the amount of time it takes for those Nitrates to build up to unacceptably high levels in the aquarium. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Sure! You may even be able to get away with a pretty decent crop of live 'floaties' in the tank itself. I DO KNOW, that both your JD and Oscar will appreciate the shadowing effects and dimmer light conditions in the aquarium - courtesy of the floating plants.
You must provide some really good plant lighting for those plants. Floaters are notorious for requiring a strong, direct lighting source. So, if you want strong plant growth (that means hungry Nitrate eaters, right?), then you must not skimp on the lighting source for your plants.
And, it's pretty easy to see if things are working correctly with plants.... If you're doing it right, you will be culling-out a (LUSH!!!) overabundance of those plants growing in your aquarium. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I run all my FX filters the same. The wrap around sponges it comes with do a good job of mechanical cleaning. Fill both baskets to the rim with quality bio media. Unlikely the filter came with enough to do that. Add more Fluval Biomax or Seachem Matrix. No carbon. Using any sort of fine pads or polishing floss will call for more frequent opening of the can to replace or clean that media. You want to open canisters as infrequently as possible. Here lies the advantage of the Aquaclear 110. A great mechanical filter with decent bio capacity, it moves a lot of water and takes a lot of mechanical filtering off the shoulders of the canister. You can rinse an Aquaclear sponge in two minutes. Canister cleaning.. half hour. See the benefit? As for plants, yes they make for a healthy aquarium. Floaters may get pulled into filter intakes. Rooted plants almost always stand no chance in an Oscar tank. Also realize, there is more to a water change than lowering nitrate. Messy cichlids urinate and deficate constantly. You get phosphate and silicate buildup over time. Plainly, there is no substitute for water changes. The more frequent and more volume the better. Get the fish acclimated to large volume frequent changes, nothing but benefit for them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Oh, Plus One to 'Oscar6'.
-
His mention of those Phosphates brought to mind yet another option you could possibly consider. That is, a so-called 'Algae Scrubber'.



This is a picture of a freshwater Algae Scrubber in action!
They are a kind of a hybrid thing, that could be considered a cross between an actual High-Tech De-Nitrator and the admittedly more Low-Tech option of Live Plants. Are you handy? A capable DIY'er? There are many ways to make those things, and they all produce some benefits in eating Nitrates, Phosphates or other undesirable stuff from the water of your tank. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
been almost two weeks with the new fx4 canister hooked up and boy can I see a huge difference in water clarity. It is crystal clear. Both fish seem to really enjoy the current put off but the filter, but my question now is that I can't seem to get my nitrates under 20ppm even after doing a 50% or more water change. Is this a sign that the filter needs to be cleaned? Wasn't sure when I should first open the canister up with it being new to the tank. Also woke up this morning to there being **** all over the tank and it wasn't like that when I went to bed last night, is the filter full and throwing stuff out of it ? just concerned.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Sometimes with new filters some initial bio-slime buildup can occur in the lines and other areas within the filter. The stuff can slough off and go flying around in the tank. If that's what happened, it's kinda unsightly but won't hurt anything. And usually after a day or two it's gone. But, it's always good to stay on top of things, esp. when they're a little bit new.
- I would break open the new canister filter. Once opened up, Inspect everything and rinse all of the media with aquarium water. Make sure nothing got pinched or folded up. Reassemble and it should be good-to-go.
- Have you tried putting a foam, intake pre-filter on your canister and HOB filter intakes?



Just use a rubber band if the foam pre-filter doesn't fit tight to the filter intake. These work great to extend the time between filter 'clean-downs', will enhance biological capacity by adding just a bit more surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and work great as improvised sponge filters if you lose power and are temporarily using battery powered air pumps. :)

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... ailure.php

Plus, try measuring the Nitrate level twice. Both right before conducting a 50 percent (plus) water change, then immediately after. You'll see the actual results of your water change actions then. And definitely, keep the water change routine going! Those guys in there are just gonnna keep growing. You will probably want to do higher and higher percentage water changes in that never-ending fight against Nitrate buildup in the tank. The battle never ends, man..... :oops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay I'll open it up tonight. Just worried I would effect the filter setting up if I opened it too soon.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top