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drmunroe

Checking waste levels...

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yeah but don't forget that nitrite turns into ammonia that turns into nitrate so just because one is low doesnt mean the others arent there

Im sure what braddo meant to say is .... ammonia turns into nitrite then into nitrate. I dont see the need to check all 3 all the time ,but when i do i check all 3. As long as your tank is cycled properly and you dont change anything drastic in your routine things should stay the same (no spikes). On a cycled tank there should be 0 ammonia 0 nitrate and a nitrate reading starting at least at 5ppm, for most ppl under 5ppm indicates somethings wrong. Something also usefull to the new guys is that checking the nitrates before you do a waterchange and a few hours after will give you a good indication on whether or not you need up the frequency of changes. I like to try to keep my nitrates under 20ppm, some other ppl will go a bit higher but NOT over 40ppm. Nitrate to me is the most important as it has to be removed by waterchange, in a well kept aquarium ammonia and nitrite are not an issue, if its a new aquarium and you are worried about spikes i'd check params once every 2 days (even though your tank is cycled before fish go in right ;) ) Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea about the water quality of your tank and what to look for.

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Im sure what braddo meant to say is .... ammonia turns into nitrite then into nitrate. I dont see the need to check all 3 all the time ,but when i do i check all 3. As long as your tank is cycled properly and you dont change anything drastic in your routine things should stay the same (no spikes). On a cycled tank there should be 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and a nitrate reading starting at least at 5ppm, for most ppl under 5ppm indicates somethings wrong. Something also usefull to the new guys is that checking the nitrates before you do a waterchange and a few hours after will give you a good indication on whether or not you need up the frequency of changes. I like to try to keep my nitrates under 20ppm, some other ppl will go a bit higher but NOT over 40ppm. Nitrate to me is the most important as it has to be removed by waterchange, in a well kept aquarium ammonia and nitrite are not an issue, if its a new aquarium and you are worried about spikes i'd check params once every 2 days (even though your tank is cycled before fish go in right ;) ) Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea about the water quality of your tank and what to look for.

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thanks guys...

the tank was cycled for 2 weeks before fish was put in. It would now be almost 2 months since fish were introduced.

my last reading was:

ammonia: 0.25ppm or less

nitrite: 0ppm

nitrate: 0ppm

Test was conducted with a API master test kit.

my tank is a 4x18x18 with a aquaone cf1200 canister & an internal powerhead. im sure i have more filtration than i need...

it was mentioned earlier than a nitrate level is bad? why is this so?

also with such low levels, is a water change necessary?

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when was the last time you did a water change before you took those readings? When you say your tank was cycled for two weeks before putting fish in, how was this done? And was the tank fully cycled at the time of fish going into the tank? At the moment it looks to me like its not cycled properly or you stuffed one of your tests, best to check them again just incase.

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No - not good.

Somethings happening with your bacteria colonies.

Unless your tank is heavily planted, each tank should have a positive reading for nitrates.

How do you do water changes - ie - take water out, hose in add water

Or water stored or in buckets, treated (dechlorinated, etc) left for a few mins and added.

Whats your filtration like?

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im am not using any buffers or chemicals.

My filtration consists of an internal powerhead, large & small sponge filter. If anything i feel i probably have too much filtration...

as nitrite & nitrate are both bi products of waste, why would it be bad to no have any? perhaps my filtration is "too efficient"?

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If your tank is fully cycled there will be a nitrate reading of some sort. You are definitely not "over filtering" your tank.

Just check that your test kit is accurate take a sample of your water to your LFS and they will test it for you.

Dave

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im am not using any buffers or chemicals.

My filtration consists of an internal powerhead, large & small sponge filter. If anything i feel i probably have too much filtration...

as nitrite & nitrate are both bi products of waste, why would it be bad to no have any? perhaps my filtration is "too efficient"?

Unless your tank is heavily planted the only way nitrate can be removed from your tank is via waterchange, on a cycled tank even after a waterchange there is still a reading of nitrate in the tank, this indicates that your tank is cycling properly, if you have zero reading on all three it means that your tank isn't cycled correctly. Your filtration isn't "efficient" enough to remove nitrates to zero, how did you cycle your tank?

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