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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone

First post here. Been a pretty avid reader of the forum. Great info.

150g tank w/ 25 peacocks/haps. Wanting to add a few more once I get a handle on the nitrates.

So here is my issue. Went from 75g to a 150g about 4 months ago. Had a 407 existing and added a FX6. Ran both since start up. Added a second FX6 set up Pondguru style about 3 weeks ago. The second FX6 was meant to replace the 407, but I ended up leaving the 407 running also. So yes, 2 FX6's and a 407 currently running. CAnnot get /Nitrates below 80ppm.

Tested the home tap water. [email protected]+.

Installed a R/O to make water for water changes last week. I did my first water change yesterday, about 30%. I added Cichlid salt and Malawi buffer to R/Oed water and let mix 24 hours before water change. R/O water Nitrate level @ 10ppm.

After water change with R/O water, Tank Nitrate was at 60+ ppm.

I guess my question is am I on the right track and should I do more frequesnt water changes until the nitrates get lower. I do a weekly water change religiously, so should I do one ever few days fo now? I don't want to overkill the water change on a fairly new tank.
 

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Are you positive your tap water has 80ppm nitrate?

How old and what is the expiration date of your test kit? Which test kit are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

It is from a Master Kit from API. Exp. 09/23 I actually just bought a new nitrate test kit from API on Amazon, gets here tomorrow.

I am positive, unfortunately. I live in the Central Valley in California, all farmland, High Nitrogen usage in the crops and trees locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After posting the above, my Wife informed me that the new kit had arrived. I used the new kit, expiring in 07/25 and tested the tap water, and it read 20 ppm! I reverified the old test kit and it again read 80ppm.

I checked the r/o water with the new kit and it read 0ppm.

So, tap water is at 20ppm, r/o is at 0ppm and tank is at 40ppm all tested on the new nitrate test kit.

What would be a recommended water change schedule to get it as best I could?

Is it odd to find such a big difference in testing with same manf. test kit? API?
 

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I've never heard of a drinkable water source with 80ppm nitrate so your new test kit sounds more accurate. R/O water should be 0ppm. My water source is 100% r/o water and I mix Cichlid Lake Salt + buffer in my new water minutes before doing my weekly 75% water change. I'd recommend at least 50% weekly water changes to reduce nitrates. What substrate do you use? I like pool filter sand since it helps you keep the tank clean and it's more natural for the fish.
 

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The only things I can think of is the old nitrate solutions were open for a year or more or you didn't always shake up the reagent bottles prior to dispensing the drops which screwed up your test readings.

Glad to hear though that your tap is 20 ppm rather than 80 ppm! I'll let others with more experience make some recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ken31cay said:
I've never heard of a drinkable water source with 80ppm nitrate so your new test kit sounds more accurate. R/O water should be 0ppm. My water source is 100% r/o water and I mix Cichlid Lake Salt + buffer in my new water minutes before doing my weekly 75% water change. I'd recommend at least 50% weekly water changes to reduce nitrates. What substrate do you use? I like pool filter sand since it helps you keep the tank clean and it's more natural for the fish.
I just started using the R/O and have been adding the Malawi buffer and the Cichlid Lake Salt. I have only been doing a 25% weekly water change, so I will change it up to a 50%. I am using CaribSea African Cichlid Mix for my substrate.

I should post a pic of the test results from the old nitrate kit on the tap...straight red. I ended up putting on a whole house filter for drinking water, hoping it would help with the nitrates also. After spending too much.....I still had a high nitrate test result on my tap water. So, today I found out the test kit was faulty. Oh well, I have been wanting a whole house filter anyway. The things we do for our fish right. That is what led to getting the R/O. Now that I have it and set it up, I will be using it. I enjoy the time I spend doing the water change and getting the water quality correct.

Thanks for your input
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Deeda said:
The only things I can think of is the old nitrate solutions were open for a year or more or you didn't always shake up the reagent bottles prior to dispensing the drops which screwed up your test readings.

Glad to hear though that your tap is 20 ppm rather than 80 ppm! I'll let others with more experience make some recommendations.
Thanks for the reaction you gave me on the high tap water test results. That got me thinking something else has to be wrong. I have been running that particular test kit for well over a year. I ran a 75 g for a good 14-16 months before getting this one. So I guess I have actually had that test kit for almost 2 years. It was at the bottom of all the testing solutions.
 

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boardpow said:
I just started using the R/O and have been adding the Malawi buffer and the Cichlid Lake Salt. I have only been doing a 25% weekly water change, so I will change it up to a 50%. I am using CaribSea African Cichlid Mix for my substrate.

I should post a pic of the test results from the old nitrate kit on the tap...straight red. I ended up putting on a whole house filter for drinking water, hoping it would help with the nitrates also. After spending too much.....I still had a high nitrate test result on my tap water. So, today I found out the test kit was faulty. Oh well, I have been wanting a whole house filter anyway. The things we do for our fish right. That is what led to getting the R/O. Now that I have it and set it up, I will be using it. I enjoy the time I spend doing the water change and getting the water quality correct.

Thanks for your input
Best scenario is to keep nitrates under 25ppm and mine usually varies between 5ppm-10ppm which is a little 'cleaner'. Even though your source water has starting nitrates, if you do at least 50% weekly WC then you should be good. But you may want to do a couple more WC the first week to get nitrates down to an acceptable level 25ppm-30ppm then maintain from there.

CaribSea African Cichlid Mix is fine as long as it keeps the fish excrement on top so it can break down and go into your filters. Pool filter sand works well for this and is kind of the perfect substrate. No valid reason to choose anything else IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

I have good circulation, so the excrement gets pulled into the filters rather quickly. I will use pool filter sand on the next tank, as I am hooked and looking forward to another tank sooner then later.

I think that was an issue also, I was only doing about a 25% wc, while needing a 50%. Thanks again.
 
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