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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need help to move Nitrate lower and as quick as is safe.

I didn't know to do 25% water changes, but have done two since I found out.
1st on Monday and 2nd on Friday.

We have electric heat and I add roughly 1 gallon weekly due to evaporation.

I have a 75 gallon.
1 Eheim 2213, 2 AquaClear 1x20,1x70, 1 Fluval 3.

2 Oscars
1 Cobalt
2 baby Jack Dempsey
1 Pleco
1 Clown Loach
3 hybrid convicts

I have 2 Yellow Labs in a 20 gallon waiting for the water to improve
I gave away 3 fish
I am feeding less

I tried adding a plant, but that was uprooted quickly and was being shredded by the Oscars.
I want to get this fixed asap, as it is clearly my fault for not knowing to change the water.
 

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The only way you are ever gonna get your nitrates under control is to get rid of about 90% of your stock. With just one oscar and the cons you are fully stocked. If the cons breed then you are gonna be in trouble. When all those fish are full grown if they live that long you will be looking at 50% daily water changes to keep things in line.
 

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I don't think that 50% daily water changes will be necessary, but I would certainly take a step back and look at the stock list. The fish you have in there will certainly kill each other sooner rather than later, and they have different water requirements. I'd look into at least a 125 in addition to the 75 that you have.

They have nitrate absorbing chips that you can put into your filter that would help to reduce nitrates, or you could get a floating plant like duckweed that grows like well, a weed. That would quickly absorb nitrates too.

Keep doing water changes. If your tap parameters aren't too far off your tank water parameters, you could do a 50% change daily until you get your nitrates down to a more manageable amount.
 

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Short Term:

I would keep up with the water change schedule you have started… 25% change every few days. When nitrates build up the PH commonly drops. Changing too much water too quick may cause a PH swing that could kill a stressed fish (and overstocking and dirty water both cause stress).

Long Term:

I agree with the posts above that your tank is overstocked. A properly stocked tank is far easier to maintain and the fish show their happiness with vibrant colors, increased activity and more interesting social dynamics.

I suggest you look at all your fish and pick your favorite. Then we could offer some ideas of which fish to keep and which fish to return, or what additional tank you may want to set up to house the “extraâ€
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
take out 90% of my fish?
WOW!!...that was such a scary response that I could not even write back!

I will get rid of the Pleco, and sadly the clown loach, as they are both larger.
Also, two more of the hybrids could go without me being too sad.

Then, if that doesn't help, I guess one of the Oscars would need to go as they are the biggest of all.

Thay all get along well, so that doesn't seem to be a problem.
I cleaned everything again today.

I cannot add another tank, my hydro bill would not handle that!
But maybe if I moved up to a bigger tank that would help.
Transferring the fish would be stressful, but if I did it fast, maybe it would work.
Are there better ways to do that? thanks, Sandra
 

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hi im new to the cichlid world i was having problems with high nitrates could not get them below 40ppm a freind of mine told me to put phos-x in my filter i have a fluval 305 in a 55gallon tank i do 25 percent water changes a week its been 5 days now so i decided to check nitrates and so far there down to 20ppm with out a water change i will be changing the water tomarrow hope this helps i have 9 rift lakes in the tank gl.
 

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the pleco and loach shouldn't be given away, they won't cause a problem stockwise, you have way too many cichlids. You could get away with any of the following along with the pleco and loach, imo: 1 oscar and 1 jd , or you could do the 2 jds, or 1 jd and the 3 convicts, not sure about the cobalt, isn't it african? But I personally wouldn't keep africans with new worlds, but people do it all the time. Maybe someone else with more experience with them could suggest a stocklist including him and your other africans. But your fish will be much happier with the space they need and not kill each other, which they will start to do very soon. And if you think your tank would look too empty without all those fish, dithers are great for that. You could get a school of tetra, barbs, danios, or something like rainbows or silver dollars.
Having said all that, I personally would go with 1 jd and the 3 cons. Keep the loach and pleco and add 10 giant danios, that would be a tank anyone would be happy with. Oh, and as far as nitrates, duckweed does an awesome job like was eaelier suggested. Your cichlids will even ocassionaly eat some which is healthy. Good luck with your tank and please ask any other questions you might have, we all love to help. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
barbarian206 said:
phos-x in my filter

*** I live in Toronto Canada, does anyone know where I could buy phos-x?

i have 9 rift lakes in the tank gl.
*** What are rift lakes?

thanks, Sandra
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MetalHead06351 said:
the pleco and loach shouldn't be given away, they won't cause a problem stockwise,
*** Can you help me understand why they are o.k.? The are big-ish, so I thought I would get two small pleco and hope they eat more, as this one is lazy!? The loach is thick, but he is so nice, I hate to give him away-especially to a store!

you have way too many cichlids. You could get away with any of the following along with the pleco and loach, imo: 1 oscar and 1 jd , or you could do the 2 jds, or 1 jd and the 3 convicts, not sure about the cobalt, isn't it african?
*** he is lovely pale blue with pink udertones-so I would really like to keep him.

But I personally wouldn't keep africans with new worlds, but people do it all the time.
*** Why is it best not to?

Maybe someone else with more experience with them could suggest a stocklist including him and your other africans. But your fish will be much happier with the space they need and not kill each other, which they will start to do very soon.
*** I understood that these fish are agressive...but mine are not, except for occasionally around food time and even then not much. is that weird?

And if you think your tank would look too empty without all those fish, dithers are great for that. You could get a school of tetra, barbs, danios, or something like rainbows or silver dollars.
Having said all that, I personally would go with 1 jd and the 3 cons.
*** The convicts are hybrids, so I think I will get rid of two of them, leaving me two. The JD is only 1 inch and the other 1.5 inches.

Keep the loach and pleco and add 10 giant danios, that would be a tank anyone would be happy with.
*** they look so plain!

Oh, and as far as nitrates, duckweed does an awesome job like was eaelier suggested. Your cichlids will even ocassionaly eat some which is healthy.
*** I can try to get duckweed, but the last store I asked didn't have any-will try another.
I have also just found that my water is coming from a water softener machine and that it starts out quite high, so that is also a problem. This morning I changed the water from another source, part raw (cold) and part softened water (hot) I use a python so I don't spill too much on the wood floor, which is already marked!

Good luck with your tank and please ask any other questions you might have, we all love to help.
*** How much would it help to go up to a 90, which is the same footprint, therefore I would not need a new table.

:thumb:
 

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Getting a 90 wouldn't help with aggression at all. Cichlids are generally footprint-based. You'd be best off getting a 6 foot tank.

Africans should not be kept with new world cichlids for many reasons. NW cichlids need softer lower ph water, and many of the other fish you keep are carnivorous or require higher levels of protein in their diets. The cobalt needs a diet higher in veggies, and it's difficult to feed fish in the same tank different things. The African's require hard, high pH water to thrive, so you could find a middle ground, but neither the Africans or the New Worlds would thrive.

Just because the fish aren't problems now doesn't mean that they won't be later. When they become sexually mature, you'll have completely different fish on your hands. You could build a nice malawi tank if you wanted to get rid of everything but the loach, pleco, cobalt, and labs, or drop the Africans altogether, and follow the advice of metalhead. The pleco and loach are large biomass, but nitrates can be easily "remedied," whereas stock lists need to be well thought out. Your stock isn't the cause of your nitrates yet, it's your maintenance. You can certainly try keeping all of the fish in this tank together, but you'll probably end up with dead, sick and suffering fish, which in my opinion is animal abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Laurel said:
Getting a 90 wouldn't help with aggression at all. Cichlids are generally footprint-based. You'd be best off getting a 6 foot tank.
*** darn, that is not going to happen, as I have to go taller, not longer because of the space I have.

Africans should not be kept with new world cichlids for many reasons. NW cichlids need softer lower ph water, and many of the other fish you keep are carnivorous or require higher levels of protein in their diets. The cobalt needs a diet higher in veggies, and it's difficult to feed fish in the same tank different things. The African's require hard, high pH water to thrive, so you could find a middle ground, but neither the Africans or the New Worlds would thrive.
*** thanks-that is what I am doing-keeping a middle ground.

Just because the fish aren't problems now doesn't mean that they won't be later. When they become sexually mature, you'll have completely different fish on your hands.
*** the only young fish I have are the Jack Dempseys, the others are all mature. I inherited the tank (supposedly on a temporary basis two years ago) and the oscars-wish I knew someone who would want them rather than take them to the LFS, as I am pretty sure the original owner is not coming back for a long time, if ever.

You could build a nice malawi tank if you wanted to get rid of everything but the loach, pleco, cobalt, and labs, or drop the Africans altogether, and follow the advice of metalhead. The pleco and loach are large biomass, but nitrates can be easily "remedied," whereas stock lists need to be well thought out. Your stock isn't the cause of your nitrates yet, it's your maintenance.
*** You may not have read that since I discovered this problem I have been doing routine water changes (minimally once a week but more like 3 in two weeks, plus adding Prime. What else do you recommend?

You can certainly try keeping all of the fish in this tank together, but you'll probably end up with dead, sick and suffering fish, which in my opinion is animal abuse.
*** that made my stomach turn - I love my fish, some more than others, eg Metriaclima callainos is so darn gorgeous I would like to get more. But I feel so guilty getting rid of the larger fish - I am a dog breeder and would never throw out my older dog just because she is older and can no longer breed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kribensis12 said:
Is your tank cycled? How long has it been set up?
Yes, I have had it for about 2 years. Before that I had a 40gal, which is now in storage, that I used to keep guppies in.

The only thing that is different is that roughly two months ago- I cleaned up an old Eheim we had not used for about 4 years and added it.
 

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Did you leave the other filter in there also? If not your tank could quite possibly be cycling. Can you give me your water stats? Like everyone else said you tank is over stocked, i would keep your fav oscar and keep a demspy or 2, that would be pushing it. I would rid of the pleco as they get real big( even in the big tank, it's still not good to keep them in anything less than 100g) and they poop more than they eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kribensis12 said:
Did you leave the other filter in there also?
*** Yes, I have two Aquaclear 70 plus a internal fluvel 3 (which I think is virtually useless)
Each filter has double sponge and one has a bio media while the other an amonia.

If not your tank could quite possibly be cycling. Can you give me your water stats?
Nitrate-between 40 and 80, down from 200 - ouch!
Nitrate-0
Amonia-0
hardness-120
alkalinity-120
pH 7.6
this was of this morning about an hour or so after the water change.
The last change was Monday, so short of a week.

Like everyone else said you tank is over stocked, i would keep your fav oscar and keep a demspy or 2, that would be pushing it.
*** Wow...I really hear you (all) and am still having a hard time. I cannot imagine getting rid of some of the africans but see that I have to do something!

I would rid of the pleco as they get real big( even in the big tank, it's still not good to keep them in anything less than 100g) and they poop more than they eat.
*** My LFS said they would take him back and give me a smaller one, to help with any algae, etc...so that is easy to do as I bought him there and he was just too big. I have no emotional attachment to him. thanks, Sandra
 

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Plecos only eat algea until they get about 4 inches long in my and many other peoples experince, they prefer to eat the stuff off the bottom. I would look into something else like chines algea eaters as they do a slightly better job. Or just scrub the tnak down once in a while, thats what i do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kribensis12 said:
Plecos only eat algea until they get about 4 inches long in my and many other peoples experince, they prefer to eat the stuff off the bottom. I would look into something else like chines algea eaters as they do a slightly better job. Or just scrub the tnak down once in a while, thats what i do.
Yes, I can tell he isn't eating it...
Sorry to bother you with more questions, but what do you scrub it down with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
smillar said:
I have a 75 gallon with 1 Eheim 2213, 2 AquaClear 2x70, 1 Fluval 3.
Would more filtration help?

2 Oscars - I will find someone to take one of these

1 Cobalt (Metriaclima callainos) I really want to keep him

2 baby Jack Dempsey Would like to keep these for now, as they are little1 Pleco I will get rid of this one

1 Clown Loach - He is so weird and colourful, but he is big!

3 hybrid convicts - I will get rid of these

2 Yellow Labs - would like to keep these

So, given that, are my chances better?
quote]
 

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Your tank will be better, but unless you get a bigger one, you will have to prune your stocking list some more. I would almost turn this tank into a big Mbuna tank. That means you NEED to overstock, not understock! Plus, Yellow Labs are Mbuna.
 
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