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matt-sheeran

High Nitrate and Ammonia - HELP

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hey guys, my friend just brought some water around to mine to test it. he has a reading of around 50ppm Ammonia and 80ppm Nitrate.

his tank is fully cycled, but he has bought a few more fish recently. he's got about 35 cichlids in a 6x2x1.5.

what should he do to get it back down to normal?

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Sounds like he crashed the system.30% water change morning and night, stress guarde and add some bacteria.Iff you or he has another tank running steal it from there doesn't need to be media even if you wash the media and add the dirty filthy water its like gods gift to fish keepers.

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I'd do a 50% WC followed by daily 10-15% WC.

I've never had an Ammonia spike to that extent but something is definitely wrong there.

What are the filtration details? What combination of media?

whoops my bad i meant 0.50ppm Ammonia.

he only has a small canister filter with sponge and bio balls in it for some unknown reason and to internal filters with the usual sponge.

we will be making him 1 of my big DIY Canister filters that i made probably next weekend that should help with his bioload.

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I would clean filters using aquarium water.

Reset back up with the 2 internal filters, totally rippling the surface.

You need good agitation to give good oxygen before any long term solution will work best.

I would swap out the bio balls from the canister and replace with ceramic rings, or even marine pure spheres.

This will massively expand the surface area available for ammonia and nitrite eaters to colonise.

A few 50% water changes 3 days apart should reset the nitrates back to 20ppm,

as well as preventing any possible damage from ammonia or nitrites.

Use a dechlorinator that can bind up ammonia if the ammonia is getting higher.

Most importantly, WRITE all water test data/date AND water change date and % DOWN!

This results in trend data that can decide how lazy you can be with water changes and keep nitrates below the desired amount.

As well as how frequently you need to maintain filters to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm.

If filters lose efficiency, water quality will suffer.

A single test is not very helpful.

you dont know if ammonia is going up or down..........

trend data is the best thing test kits can provide.

Obviously you want 0ppm for ammonia in an aquarium,

but what do you regard as normal for nitrates in a well stocked cichlid tank?

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Tomorrow is water change day on my display......... missed 2 weeks.......... took out the nitra-guard.......... I estimate it to be well over 400.

Tomorrow I aim to get it below 20ppm.

Its never a good sign when the nitrate test goes blood red 5 seconds after adding the second reagent lol

srsly though I had forgotton how fast nitrates builds in my display without any nitraguard in there.

so hard to get away with being more than twice as lazy....... and then suddenly have to water change again.

ugh

nitraguard back in tomorrow after the changes

any product that saves me effort and time, is always welcome in my fish room :D

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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Tomorrow is water change day on my display......... missed 2 weeks.......... took out the nitra-guard.......... I estimate it to be well over 400.

Tomorrow I aim to get it below 20ppm.

Its never a good sign when the nitrate test goes blood red 5 seconds after adding the second reagent lol

srsly though I had forgotton how fast nitrates builds in my display without any nitraguard in there.

so hard to get away with being more than twice as lazy....... and then suddenly have to water change again.

ugh

nitraguard back in tomorrow after the changes

any product that saves me effort and time, is always welcome in my fish room :D

thanks for the help Donny. so he should invest in some nitraguard as well then? lol.

and thats crazy! my nitrate barely moves haha but i suppose i only have 15 fish in a tank :).

am hoping to get some more display males soon!

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Or just remove some fish.

My tank is heavily stocked with very fat fish.

I cant miss more than one or two water changes without the nitrates going through the roof.

The nitra-guard makes a good dent on the rate at which nitrates build up in my tank, but they cant keep it below 40ppm for more than a month.

Maybe I just need more.

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