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Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

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Bliker Bliker is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Default Nitrate Problem

My Nitrate levels are extremly high (100 ppm+) and I'm looking for suggestions to get it back under control.

Tank History
- 3 years+ established
- Approximately 20 fish- mixture of Tetras,Gouramis cats,plecos,angle fish
- 55 gal.

I had been in and out of town for approximately 3-4 months, needless to say the tank maintenance and water changes have suffered. The PH was low and needed to be brought back towards a 7. I decided to give the tank a good cleaning and water change, and maybe overdid it. I syphoned the gravel while doing a 30% water change. I also changed the two cartridge filters that contain carbon, and added a mixture of new carbon/zeolite crystals to the plastic sleeves in the filter.

Does it sound like I overdid it and killed off the bacteria? Any suggestions would help. I'm now doing 10% water changes twice a day to see if that helps.

The other tests (ph-ammonia-nitrites) are now ok.
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Dano's Avatar
Dano Dano is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Goose Creek SC USA
Posts: 1,889
Default Re: Nitrate Problem

Nitrate is the end product of the beneficial bacteria reducing the ammonia and nitrite from the fish waste and other decomposition in the tank.....The anaerobic bacteria that remove the nitrate are few in number in the aquarium so it takes time for the levels to come down....Water changes with tap water that is low in nitrate will dilute the nitrate in the tank to acceptable levels.....The Zeolite will help, but be sure to change it often and DON"T USE ANY SALT in the aquarium....Zeolite will release all of the nitrate it has absorbed if it comes in contact with salt.

Do your 10 to 15% water changes every other day or so until the nitrate is under 20 to 30 then start a routine of changes that you can keep up with without much hassle.....Do not over vacuum the gravel as just skimming the debris off the surface will do quite well.
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