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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 125 gallon with an Fx6 and about 35 two inch Mbuna. Can't get my Nitrate under 40. Ph is 8. Ammonia is 0 Nitrite is 0. Tank had been running since Feb 6th. I do 30 gallon water change weekly and did first vacuum this weekend and will be doing weekly. Do I need a second filter or just keep up with water changes and vacuuming?
 

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Did you test your tap water for nitrate?

You could also increase your weekly water change to 50%. Adding another filter won't help with nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My tap water nitrate is 0.
Do you I think a 50% water change after another vacuum should help?
 

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Robert.Cichlid said:
My tap water nitrate is 0.
Do you I think a 50% water change after another vacuum should help?
It will drop your nitrates by 50%. 25% changes are not going to reduce nitrates; over time nitrates will continue to build. Say your fish produce 30 ppm nitrates weekly and you start at 0 ppm nitrates; if you do a 25% change it will drop nitrates to 22.5 ppm. Then that following week the fish produce another 30 ppm and your total ppm nitrates is now 52.5. A 25% change will take you back to 39.375 ppm. The next week you are up to 69.375 and so on. Even doing 50% may not be enough to keep nitrates under control over time. On my heavily populated tanks I do 60-75% changes weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for this! Much appreciate it!
I don'r mind water changes at all.
Would vacuuming every week help or should I just expect to do 50% WC every week?
50% water change weekly is okay?
 

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If tank is so new what will vacuuming do? I just vacuum up when it starts to look like **** basically, otherwise I just vacuum a small random section each water change. The dirt itself does not generally hurt anything, the nitrates etc. will leech out anyways.
 

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Robert, 50% weekly water changes are just fine.

How are you doing the substrate vacuuming? If you are using a Python type device that hooks up to your faucet some tank water is also being exchanged at the same time but there is no way to know how much fresh water is also being added to the tank.
 

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What kind of substrate are you using? I found that gravel holds a lot of gunk. I switched all of my tanks to sand and most of the detritus gets swept up by the filters, especially if you have good circulation. You may want to add a powerhead.

I agree with the other members who said that you should be doing greater water changes. I typically drain 40% of my tanks on a weekly basis, and I have 150 and 90 gallon tanks.

Another option is to add some fast growing plants, especially floating plants. Duckweed is good at sucking up nitrates and grows like mad under LEDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have noticed poop floating around the gravel. The substrate is CaribsSea sand. It's not true sand but more like very small gravel like the size of a pinhead. I have an aqueon 950 circulation pump. For gravel cleaning I use the Fluval vac that attaches to the filter.

Thanks for all the great advice.
 

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30 gallon weekly water change on a 125 gallon tank with that many fish is not enough to keep nitrates under 40 ppm. I didn't read anyone else's response but it shouldn't be any more complicated than that. You either need to get rid of some fish or start doing much larger or more frequent water changes. If you want to keep nitrates under 40 you'll have to do at least 50% weekly water changes, but my guess is you might have to do even more with that number of fish.
 

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I'd go even farther, I do 80% weekly. Nitrates usually at 20%. On another note 40 isn't the end of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for all the great advice. I don't mind the water changes. Actually enjoy them as the fish like to hover near the new water coming in. I know the 40 isn't that bad just want to stay on top of it.
 
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