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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ya'll,
I live out in B.F.E. and use well water.The problem is the nitrate reading is 10ppm right out
of the tap.I've just ventured into cichlids with a 120 gal mixed Malawi display tank.I've overstocked it with 45 assorted Mbunas and Haps (juveniles)along with a gold nugget pleco.The tank is fully cycled.
Amm.0 and nitrite 0.The problem is nitrates get to 40 after 2-3 days after a 40%water change.
I figure if I can get the nitrates to 0 out of the tap it would help.By the way I'm filtering with a FX5
and an AC110.Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Honestly, if you get nitrates to 0, then your tank nitrates are still 30 after 2-3 days. I don't think RO water is the answer, and since you are keeping africans it would destroy the ph that your africans need.

I would up your water change schedule. I would do a 6-75% change every 3 days. Also, how often do you clean the filters?

You could consider adding some java fern or anubias or even anacharis to help reduce some of the nitrates. I wouldn't venture into RO water, as it isn't going to improve your situation greatly--plus it's very expensive and you've have to spend more to buffer your water.

Also, how much are you feeding, how often, do you have sand/gravel? Do you vac it?

If you use a water conditioner like prime it will reduce the nitrates in your tap water you are adding. I use a python and add prime for the WHOLE volume of the tank, not the water replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've only had the fish 10 days.I was planning to clean the filters monthly.
I'd like to figure out how to get by with weekly water changes.
 

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Nitrates are only an indicator of TDS.. they are one factor that is commonly used to gauge the health of the tank water.. nitrates are beneficial in planted tanks..but the real issue is TDS..many of which can only be reduced with water changes.

heavily stocked tanks will see more of an issue regarding nitrates and TDS.

I would stick to weekly larger water changes..maybe more than 50%.
 

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I agree with under_control that the 10ppm nitrate reading out of the tap isn't the problem, it's the 30ppm increase in 2-3 days that's the real issue. The overstocked tank and the 'wanting to get by' with weekly water changes and monthly filter cleanings just don't mix well. Overstocking can be done, but almost always requires frequent water changes and filter cleanings. I understand the desire to add a piece of equipment to resolve it because it's the easiest thing to do, but I would expect it would be difficult to achieve long term success with that approach.

Star rider makes a good point too. If nitrates are high, then so are other dissolved organics. Nothing gets tank water cleaner faster than detritus removal and the dilution of TDS via water changes.
 
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