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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have a 125 with an fx5 housing 2 BGJD 6 Ebjd,one jd, 5 tigerbarbs, and 8 loaches. There are two power heads in there as well, maxijet 1200 and a power sweep. My problem is my nitrates tend to climb pretty fast like 20-30 ppm in 3 days. I feed once a day, oh the biggest fish on the tank is around 3.5 in and the rest are from 1.5 and up. I do wcs on Sundays which are 50%. I only run bio max pre filter and matrix in The fx5 with batting. I have tried to keep plants but my loaches tear them up and so do the dempseys. Is there a way I can lower the nitrate levels to where I do a 50% once a week. Just a little concerned because I did my normal wcs on Sunday and cleaned the canister a bit , tested the next day and readings were ph 7.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrates 0. Two days later nitrates at 20-30 ppm . I would remove some of the foam in the canister but don't want bypass , are there other options I can take ?
 

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Do you have nitrates in your tap water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No nitrates straight out the tap. Out the tap readings are ph 7.6 and every thing else is 0 ppm except kh and gh.
 

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Man 20 to 30 ppm a day seems like an awful lot, esp with that size of tank! I have twice as many fish in smaller tank and mine only climb about that much in a week, if that. That would make think something else is going on besides just fish waste making it jump like that.

You can try purigen maybe to remove some of the organics in the water that get turned into Nitrate in the end. :-? :-? :-?

Good luck and hope you find out what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I said the same thing since I have been battling it. It's been 50% wc wed and Sunday for a month now. I took out sponge I had on the power heads added matrix even went as far as having duckweed in the tank untill it turned into salad after the spray bar. No luck. I just hate changing out 125 gallons a week in one tank. Don't get me wrong it doesn't take long but my water bill is gonna sky rocket with 10 other tanks as well. Hope fully some one can come up with something. I was looking into a planted sump but it seems like too much money and time.
 

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It sounds like your filtering is doing okay with no ammonia and no nitrite so the other thought would be there are too many organics getting into the tank to convert to nitrate. I would look at what else you may have that is putting junk in the water. Any large wood, etc. that might be dissolving? Is this a new enough tank that something in the substrate might be giving you lots of organics? Like dirt in a new sand bottom. Can we assume there are no missing fish stuck somewhere out of sight? Other wise, I would cut way back on feeding, maybe skipping for a few days and see where the extra is coming into play. Kids not slipping the fish a candy bar while you're not looking???
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes the tank was a new setup I had went from a 29 with half the fish did an instant cycle and added the super natural moon sand all this was late Jan early Feb. Nitrates were fine until about a month ago. So its due to the substrate and or new set up? I did put old substrate in canister from the 29 during the instant cycle to help the process but that's been out for 3 weeks now. I also added some riverstone about 3 weeks ago. No driftwood in tank as well.
 

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Yeah well I am stumped, (not saying much :wink: ), but maybe try removing one thing at a time like the substrate, rocks, etc.. and see if that helps till you find out what is making it jump up like that???

I know it would be a pain to do, but unless someone else can come up with a better solution it would at least give you an idea on what that particular item is affecting it, if at all. Would prob start with the newest additions since this problem arose like the substrate and river rock since it seemed fine before that. HTH's and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah removing the substrate is gonna be a pain. I do have 22 lbs of this other substrate that I had mixed in the bunch can't member the brand or make but its really small like river rock that doesn't look good. I have been slowly trying to remove it . I will go to the lfs I got it from and see what it was . Maybe that's what it is. It's was dark grey smoked colored . I will go tomorrow and repost what exactly it was.
 

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If the substrate is standard issue from a shop, I would like to think it would not be a problem. They might get caught selling a problem but that stuff is sold in such volume all over that it would seem unlikely to be the problem. Rather than try to scoop all that out and disrupt everything totally with the risk of ammonia spikes, etc. etc, I might try to do a test on some of the substrate in a separate container. Maybe two containers , one with tap water and one with tap and a quantity of substrate? Wait a week and compare the two. Kind of funky but my best guess at the moment????
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I should get two containers and fill both with tap and test. Just want to make sure both should have tap. I will set this up after work and keep a daily log for a week and repost.
 

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PfunMo said:
If the substrate is standard issue from a shop, I would like to think it would not be a problem. They might get caught selling a problem but that stuff is sold in such volume all over that it would seem unlikely to be the problem. Rather than try to scoop all that out and disrupt everything totally with the risk of ammonia spikes, etc. etc, I might try to do a test on some of the substrate in a separate container. Maybe two containers , one with tap water and one with tap and a quantity of substrate? Wait a week and compare the two. Kind of funky but my best guess at the moment????
Good idea then your not going through all the hassle of removing it all for nothing if it isnt the problem. So put some substrate in one container and fill with tap water, then fill the other with just tap water and test them daily. That way your using the same water with only 1 variable (the substrate)

Keep up posted. :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok thanks for the clarification. I will get on it later today. I will post readings daily . Thanks for the responses all.
 

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Any dead fish?

What kind of substrate is it? gravel/sand/coral?
Do you vaccuum it regularly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No dead fish I do a count in am before work and another in the pm. It is sand no coral or driftwood in tank. Moon sand and regular marine sand(blue) package said it was safe for fresh and salt. I do vacuum the substrate twice a week now since the spike in nitrates. I was on a half vacuum once a week on Sundays untill the spikes. Now its wed and Sunday half vacuums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay I have a 1 gallon bucket with substrate and tap and another container about a half gallon with straight tap water. I tested the water right out the tap today only and these were the results. PH 7.6, nh3/nh4 1ppm ...... Wtf ?? N02- 0, N03- 0. I did readings for the tap on Sunday and no ammonia. Now its Thursday and there is ammonia. I tested it all twice just to make sure and the readings are correct. I am using an api freshwater master test kit, and do it as per instructions. Also tested bottled water to make sure test kit is okay. All checked out with the bottled water. Is this ammonia toxic to my fish when I do the 50% changes, or any wcs ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay tested both containers today and the readings were the same as yesterday. On to the next.
 

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Are you still trying different things in your tests?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am just testing the two containers as of now. krfhsf what do you mean?
 
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