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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do weekly water changes(50%) and clean my filters every few days. My nitrate levels are too high. They are in the unsafe range(80). What do i need to do?
 

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Stop cleaning your filters every few days. What make & model filter do you have? How long has this tank been setup? What is your ammonia and nitrIte levels?
 

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More info would be helpful. Such as; size of tank, types of filters, types and sizes of fish, how often and how much you feed. Based on the info I have now I'm going to say more water changes are needed. I do 2 50% water changes a week on my tank. This keeps my nitrates at 20 ppm. You may need to do more than 2 depending on your unique situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a 55 gallon tank. Its been set up with fish in it for about 4 months. The filter is an Aqua-Tech 30-60 that came with the kit I bought at the store. I dont know about the ammonia level because I use Jungle brand 5 tests in 1 test strips which only tell you the nitrate,nitrite,total hardness,total alkalinity,and ph .
 

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High nitrates would come from being overstocked or over fed, an excess of waste matter, your biofilter is working overtime, and no or few water changes.

If your ammonia or nitrites are high, anything more than zero is too high, your biofilter isn't cycled or inadequate.

For nitrates do more or bigger water changes.
 

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DemasoniLover said:
You should stop cleaning your filters so much... your wiping out all the built up bacteria that converts everything!
Bad advice. The fact that nitrates are high means the filter is working, and is not being adversely affected by cleaning. Removing solid waste from a tank, before it breaks down is one way of reducing nitrates.
 

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fishoz said:
I have a 55 gallon tank. Its been set up with fish in it for about 4 months. The filter is an Aqua-Tech 30-60 that came with
Your filter may need a little help. If you could afford add another, that would be good. A suggestion might be a AquaClear 70.
Run them both. Alternate weeks cleaning them.
But before you add a filter I'd suggest a better test kit, or at least take a sample of your tank and tap water into a reputable lfs for testing.
fishoz said:
the kit I bought at the store. I dont know about the ammonia level because I use Jungle brand 5 tests in 1 test strips which only tell you the nitrate,nitrite,total hardness,total alkalinity,and ph .
A suggestion here would be a test kit with reagents and test tubes rather than the strips. There are several brands.
API (Aquarium Pharm.) makes a good master kit and you can get the GH/KH mini tests to complement it ($30 well spent)
You may be getting a false reading with the strips plus it's good to have the whole picture:
ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
Total hardness = GH and total alkalinity = KH.
KH is important to know when dealing with pH.

:) HTH
 

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It boggles my mind how people freak out over nitrate. There is nothing to show that high nitrates will harm your fish. That isn't to say it is good for them but it isn't going to kill them.

I bought a tank off some guy locally and I ended up buying his other aquarium as well. They probably hadn't seen a water change in like 6-8 months each. He only topped off evaporation water. I took in a sample of the water out of 55g and the nitrate reading was almost 300. The lady at the LFS told me that it wasn't the worst reading they have seen. I still have some of the fish and it has been a year.

But yeah like the other's have said get another filter to run in conjunction with your other filtration and don't feed as much. Your fish aren't going to starve. Also get a different test kit.
 

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Getting/adding another filter will not lower nitrates. It would be a good idea to have the water tested, or get your own liquid reagant test kit, to be sure that your nitrates are in fact high.
 

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BillD said:
Getting/adding another filter will not lower nitrates. It would be a good idea to have the water tested, or get your own liquid reagant test kit, to be sure that your nitrates are in fact high.
I know that. The only real way to get nitrate down is to do water changes. He however didn't say how stocked the tank is and you can never have too much filtration.
 

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I suggested a second filter because the Aqua-Tec is a little light and the OP is working way to hard keeping it clean.
IrkedCitizen is right on track suggesting reducing the food. What goes in must come out, (plus the food they don't eat).
The fish could even fast one day a week, unless they are babies or young juvenile.

Now I'm curious, how heavily stocked is your tank?
 

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IrkedCitizen said:
It boggles my mind how people freak out over nitrate. There is nothing to show that high nitrates will harm your fish. That isn't to say it is good for them but it isn't going to kill them.

I bought a tank off some guy locally and I ended up buying his other aquarium as well. They probably hadn't seen a water change in like 6-8 months each. He only topped off evaporation water. I took in a sample of the water out of 55g and the nitrate reading was almost 300. The lady at the LFS told me that it wasn't the worst reading they have seen. I still have some of the fish and it has been a year.
Read up on "Old Tank Syndrome" - what you describe are classic symptoms/case. High nitrates do affect the physiology of fish, just not visably.

But I agree, a second filter is useful in more ways than one. Although, are there any dead spots in the tank accumulating gunk aka a nitrate factory, like resin ornaments?
 
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