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About Me

  1. I have a 50 gallon freshwater aquarium that has been established for 15 years and recently decided to move from the plastic plants to live plants. I bought several Java and Anubias from the Aquarium Coop along with a bottle of the Easy Green. The plants have been in the aquarium for 6-8 weeks and the plants appear to be doing pretty well. The fish seem to really enjoy swimming through the live plants especially the Java Ferns. The Java Fern Windelov has started to show signs of hair algae on the ends of the plants. The fish have been nibbling at it and I cut back the length of the lights from 14 hours to around 10 hours and that seems to be keeping it at bay. It has not shown up on the other plants either. I checked for nitrates and they were running between 25 and 50 with 0 Nitrites. I use a Fluval filter with biological treatment and filtration and have not lost a fish in over a year. What should the nitrates be running when I am also adding 5 pumps of Easy Green per week for my 50 gallon aquarium? Should I add less Easy Green to reduce the nitrates? Appreciate any advice for this newby.
  2. I'm trying my hand at a full planted tank. I use flourish tabs and Easy-green twice a week with a Fluval 3.0 on the preset planted lighting. I've been reading about wanting to keep 20ppm of nitrates but after three doses of easy-green i still only have 5ppm. I only do 30% water changes weekly to keep my Ph stable for German blues. Am i doing something wrong or do i just need to keep dosing twice a week for longer?
  3. My tank has high nitrite levels and approximately 20 ppm nitrate. I have 0 ammonia so idk what to do. Should I continue doing water changes slightly every day to level out the nitrite level?
  4. on my 75 gal planted tank my bio load is small 4 angels and 6 baby rams a cpl corys and a cpl more algae eaters dont know ther name and two timy bristle nose plecos. anyway i was always at 0 ppm nitrates so i didnt think i had to do a water change to much i even seen Corys video when he showed the last tour of his shop because he was moving locations and he said the big bins in the middle that he never changed the water. well i ended up with that cyn dont know the real spelling but blue green algae but i watched another of his videos and learned to fix it with erthromyacin . to make a long story short id like to know how i got it. was it fish waist built up? also another question about simple green and iron it has .13 iron and your not supposed to go over 5 does that mean if i dose twice a week id be overloaded with iron? or does the plants eat it up? thankyou everybody.
  5. Hi All - perhaps someone has experienced the following. I am pretty diligent when it comes to monitoring water parameters and doing water changes (Including cleaning my sponge filters 3 days after vacuuming the tank). I keep my parameters within a healthy range and it rarely goes up above the first signs of concern. Two things, however, are always high. One is the water hardness, but I've learned to live with that being that in my country the water in general is hard and the fish here have adapted to the hardness. Believe it or not, even Discus are sold here and have adapted to the hardness of the water (21 dh). My problem is NO3. No matter what I do the NO3 is always between 50-100mg. 50% and even 75% water changes never bring it below 50mg. Does anybody no if that is normal in certain parts of the world? Being that it is not as dangerous as NO2 and also being that I do regular water changes should I worry about this at all?
  6. Hi I am currently in a fishless cycle in a planted tank and have been for approximately 3 weeks adding 2-4ppm ammonia this is now being reduced to 0ppm within 12/16 hours. The Nitrites have stayed steady at .25ppm all the time and not increased or decreased. The Nitrates are around 5-10 ppm closer to 5. I have also added stability on a regular basis. What is happening ?? Can I do a partial water change to dilute the Nitrites and then safely add fish and stability at the recommended dose and time period along with Prime. Your advice is very much appreciated.
  7. Hi folks, I’m doing a bit of learning about fertilizer methods, and want to get a better handle on what I’m currently doing. I’m dosing Easygreen into my oto breeder tank, and I want to figure out exactly how much. Apologies in advance for mixed units, and I'm not even pretending to remember significant digits from school. In a nutshell, I want to know how many pumps of Easygreen it would take to achieve a nitrate level of 20ppm in a 30 gallon tank. Low end of recommended dose, and a means of calibrating my brain. 20ppm means that out of every theoretical 1,000,000 parts in a volume, 20 of those parts would be nitrate. So if 30 gallons of water weighs 113562.3g as mass (1 US gallon of water = 3,785.41 grams ), I want 2.271246g of that to be nitrate (113562.3*20/1,000,000). The label says Easygreen is 2.66% nitrogen. That's not nitrate, so we need to do an extra calc. The atomic mass of nitrogen and oxygen are 14.01 and 16 respectively, so nitrate is 22.59% nitrogen by mass (14.01/(14.01+3*16)*100). Getting back to our 2.271246g of theoretical nitrate above, that means we need to add 0.51307g of nitrogen specifically (2.271246*0.2259). So in a nutshell, how many pumps of Easygreen add 0.51307g of nitrogen? 2.66% by weight would be 0.0266 g/mL assuming Easygreen is roughly the same weight as water (1g/ml). So if 1 pump is 1 mL, and 1 mL contains 0.0266g of nitrogen, does that make 0.51307g total nitrogen/0.0266g nitrogen per pump or 19.3 pumps in 30 gallons make 20ppm from scratch? That seems high, so I think my math is wrong somewhere, but I can't see where. The rotalabutterfly calc site says 3.7g of KNO3 in 30 gals yields 20ppm, as a check. The molecular weight of KNO3 is about 101 vs 62 for nitrate, which checks well against my value since 3.7*62\101 is 2.27, which I calculated above. I’m just not sure on the pumps of liquid fert. Thanks in advance for anyone’s time!
  8. My question is about accumulating Nitrates vs. fertilizers like Easy Green. So, plants take in Nitrates, right? And we are told that short of be able to achieve a complete "Full Cycle", the only way to keep the Nitrates at bay in our aquariums is to do water changes. BTW, I'm using a Fluval 407 cannister filter packed with about 5-1/2 lbs of Biohome at the top and course, fine, and polishing sponge or physical media at the bottom. My community stocked 46 gallon bow front aquarium is cycled as far as ammonia and nitites are concerned. They are both at zero and holding steady. Ph is always around 7 to 7.2, water temperature is maintained at 77.5 by a 300w Fluval e series Heater, and the Nitrates are always around 40 to 80 ppm every time I test the water. I do gravel vacuum of 1/2 the gravel with about 50% water changes maybe every 2 to 3 weeks. I add 5 pumps of Easy Green weekly and I'm using a Fluval Plant 3.0 scheduled on the preset Planted Tank setting, but I still see water sprite in my tank browning lower down on the stems of the plant, but growing like crazy which I trim as it gets out of control. I use Root Tabs for the Crypts and Amazon Swords. The swords are doing so so, but the crypts are doing great and look very healthy, but are growing slowly. So, can someone unlock the mystery of why nitrates climb, but it looks like I need more fertilizer to possibly fix the water sprite browning I'm seeing or is it lighting that is needed, and too much Nitrates or visa versa. Am I misunderstanding how things are supposed to be working? Help! Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Larry in Pa
  9. Hello, I am looking for ideas for some of the fastest growing plants, weeds basically to add to my 75 gallon tank. It is already what most people consider overstocked but before I added the dojo loaches the nitrates stayed very low. My problem now is the dojo loaches are still young yet and they’ve already brought a significant bioload to the mix. I have no problem doing big water changes frequently MOST of the time, but I travel for work and while my girl can take care of feeding and water changes for the smaller tanks, I can’t expect her to service my 75 and 150. I know from experience duckweed grows super fast and would be exactly what I’m asking for, but i had it in here before and it covers the entire surface within a week or two. That’s with me pulling huge handfuls out every water change. I fear it steals all the light from the plants below. Current stocking in case anyone’s curious- 2 six inch dojo, 2 three inch gold dojo, 8 bronze Cory, 6 albino Cory, 7 adolfoi Cory, 4 trillineatus Cory, and something like 15-20 nerite snails. Jungle Val, Italian Val, corkscrew Val, bacopa, Anubias, a melon sword plant, small amounts of dwarf hair grass that will probably not take off into the carpet that I want it to, baby tears on driftwood, and some mosses. I’ll probably be forced to remove two of the four dojo’s when they grow bigger. I might have a pond by then or worst case I have friends who would want one. I know I’ll never pull off a wahlsted with this stocking especially since I will be adding more corydora in here, but I need the nitrates to slow down a bit. Any input is appreciated! The picture is freshly trimmed, the jungle Val reaches the top of the water and folds over once a week. Also the layout is little different now basically there is less rock and more room for plants. Here’s how it looks when I’ve been away for a week. Sounds like I’m answering my own question, as my jungle Val just explodes constantly but I would like other plants that grow just as fast if not faster.
  10. My Nitrates were always through the roof no matter the water changes. It would drop to normal levels than after a day or two it would jump right back up to 80 to 100 ppm. I posted here on the forum and a Gentleman suggested a Pothos so I did what I always do and bought the biggest one I could find lol. Well after about a month it started grow its water roots and started utilizing the nutrients in the water column. Now my Nitrates are 20 to 40ppm while using Easy Green and root tabs. I just thought I post a victory story cause they are always nice to hear. Hope everyone is having a safe and happy Saturday. Keep it fishy Friends and most importantly keep Nermin it up!!
  11. I need help managing my Nitrates in this tank. I did a 25% water change yesterday and my nitrates are still in the 40-80 range. This tank is a 16 gallon with one female betta, 16 ember tetras, 4 ottos and 2 Kuhli Loaches. Advice on here led me to having this number of fish in it. I am willing to rehome if needed but hope I don’t have too. Any advice on lowering nitrates? I only spot dose with Easy Co2 to combat some small pieces of BBA. And I use UNS contrasoil as substrate.
  12. My son and I have 5 tanks and all 5have really high nitrates 80-160 according to API master test kit . The one tank has a a sponge filter that ran 3 weeks in a cycled tank . Nothing else in it and it tested 160 for nitrates . Did 98% water change and next day tested between 80-160in nitrates . Any ideas on what is causing this . Well water is testing 0 nitrates . Thank you for your help.
  13. Trying to figure out where I want phosphate levels to be in a planted aquarium. I have a relatively planted aquarium and due to over adding iron and over feeding I believe to the 55 gallon aquarium I now have Moderate hair algae Siamese algae eaters are working on it a little but when investigating more water parameters I noted the high phosphate and began daily water changes which is reducing it but I really don’t understand where that level should be . Seems to be a topic which is ignored often. Don’t see much if any info around on the topic .
  14. This is my fresh-from-the-tap test. You can see nitrates are pretty high - somewhere between 20-40 (I can never tell the difference). I also suspect I have high iron. My plants seem to grow red really easily, including guppy grass, under relatively inexpensive lights. Hair algae is by far the most prevalent type and seems to be basically unstoppable. I do not regularly dose with fertilizer at all. I have not, so far, run into fish issues with this. My plants seem to grow pretty effortlessly. But I am mildly concerned and thinking I should maybe invest in actual well testing, and depending on the advice, an RO unit? I was recommended the coliform/e coli bacteria and nitrates test at $50, wondering if there are others I should select. OR, do I skip a step and look at reducing nitrates since wherever they're at, it's probably above what's considered healthy for drinking water? We have a water softener that is not currently in use as well. Looking for just general advice on dealing with this.
  15. After my newly set up 55gal unstocked planted aquarium was reading at 40~60ppms, I checked my faucets parameters. This is the reading of the faucet water with dechlorinater in it. Nitrates: 20ppm, ph is at 8.2., ammonia is at 0~0m25ppm. Is this normal? Also, after a 50% water change my waters sitting at about 40ppms still and ph is now 7.8. Should i do another 50% water change? Are there any products that are shrimp and scaless fish safe to adjust the water during water changes? Im currently using prime to dechlorinate. Im getting a reverse osmosis system for my sink for drinking water. Should I use that water instead? Im hoping to have shrimp in the tank
  16. I know I know, Cory has done a video on this. But I am a numbers and charts person, so I wanted to offer some more data on this topic. I have a background in chemistry and I know a lot of you NERMS on here like this sort of detailed analysis, so here it goes. Once I saw the video, I thought it was genius! Of course! If you are in the ballpark, much better to use those quick test strips (which you will use more often than the liquid kit because they are so easy. As a reminder, you can see Cory's video here: Because I thought this was great info, I went out and bought some test strips to compliment my API test kit. Of course, like any info on the internet, I also wanted to test it. I did a quick test a few weeks ago and got very different results. Whoa! That's weird, and not what Cory's video showed! So today I sat down and did some more precise testing/recording numbers. For this experiment, we have to accept that the human eye just sucks at interpreting color accurately. If we wanted to get super precise numbers, we would want something like a spectrometer, but that's not financially realistic for the average person. (Doesn't mean I'm not looking 'em up on ebay after this...) I have two different tanks I tested this on, but only once each time. One is a planted 60 gallon community tank and the other is a 10 gallon snail tank. I try to keep the gH higher in the snail tank for shell health, so that measurement is particularly important. Both tanks are moderately/heavily planted. The snail tank is overstocked, but I'm pretty diligent about water changes. The Community tank is a little understocked, and please note that I administered some General Cure today to deworm, so that could potentially interfere with results. When I did the test, I had to break my bad habit of not shaking the API test kit for a full minute. You can categorize this under "I am smarter than the sum knowledge of all fishkeepers." arrogance. Surely, not shaking for a full minute couldn't make that big a difference, right? Well, I can get into my previous quick and dirty results, but yes, you need to shake for the full minute. I got very different nitrate results when doing this. Anyway, you can't test the API kit if you aren't going to use it according to the instructions. Please note that I DID NOT USE THE API TEST KIT FOR pH. I have a pH meter which I consider to be the most accurate option available, therefore I compared the test strip to the API kit on nitrate, nitrite, gH and kH. You can see the results below in chart and list form: OK, so what are we seeing? Well first we're seeing that my nitrate levels in my tank are WAY high and I need to fix it, but that's for another day. Within the community tank, everything is pretty much the same between Tetra and API. This is consistent with Cory's results. Now if we look at the Snail tank, we see some variation. Ph and nitrite are looking the same, but gH, kH, and most concerningly nitrate are showing differences. The difference in nitrate could be because of the logarithmic scale it uses to refer to color. Ever notice how the measurement chart jumps from 0, to 5, to 10, then 20, then 40, etc? It's a bigger and bigger difference with each color change on the chart. So if you have a very high concentration that you are reading, and you're having trouble reading it, your mistake matters more than if you were reading something closer to 5. (Ex. Is it 5 or 10? Eh, it's close. Is it 40 or 80? Whoa, big difference!) I did have trouble figuring out the color of the nitrate on the API test kit; I have included pictures of the results here so that others can give input, if you like. Please note that because I thought the API nitrate reading was between 40 and 80 ppm, I split the difference and called it 60ppm. I have no explanation for the difference in KH and GH readings. API results for Snail tank: Tetra test strip Snail tank results: OK so what does all of this mean? I think it means that if your tank is generally healthy and you are just doing regular water checks (once a week, once a month, etc) and you want a heads up on anything that might be an issue, you're probably ok using the Tetra test strips. But if you are having issues with something, you may want to try the API kit. BUT, I would argue that we don't really know which method is more accurate. Within the fish community, we sing the praises of the accuracy of the API Master test kit. But why? What are we comparing it to? Well, we have reports of the test strips going bad very easily, so that's one reason. But ideally, I would want to measure my water parameters with a mass spectrometer (this is me being a super nerd- it is a scientific instrument which gives you VERY accurate reports of concentration. Again, not realistic for the home hobbyist at all! But has anyone every tried it? Ever? Anywhere? I expect API did the testing, but those aren't exactly easy to look up. Why do we choose API as the best? I think it's worth considering. Tl;dr The API Master test kit has fairly similar results to the Tetra strips if you are measuring low concentrations (everything in your tank is going as expected,) but there can be major differences if you have something like nitrates very high. This is because it's tough for the human eye to read colors accurately. I have no explanation for the differences in kH and gH in one tank but not the other. Also, consider that we don't necessarily know that the API Master kit is the most accurate. Everyone says it is, but what are we comparing it to? Thanks for coming to my TED talk. lol I don't work as a chemist anymore so sometimes it's just nice to get this out of my system. I hope some folks find this helpful/interesting.
  17. I currently run several planted tanks and constantly seem to have above the desired Nitrate. I run around 80-120 PPM. I can obviously water change it off and do but I feel I am kinda wasting my ferts by reducing the Nitrates only to redose. I am under the opinion that just because the nitrates is high the other building blocks the plants need can be low. What id love to do is get nitrates consumed so that when I go to add more I dont need to change out 40% of my tank to be able to put a squirt or 2 in. I run mostly Anachris, Swords,Frogbit and Crypts. Does anyone know of some nitrate hogs I could add in?
  18. Do you dose easy green until you get 20 ppm nitrates or just one pump regardless of how many nitrates you have. Thanks for any help
  19. Im so confused! The tank details: I just set up this 55 gallon. It has a fluval fx4 with a heater, bubbler, prefilter, and spray bar. I added the monte carlo about 3 weeks ago and the other plants about 3 days ago. The monte carlo was a tissue culture, so all the terrestrial leaves are melting and new ones are growing in, as well a new roots. Ive added easy green and easy carbon around every other day for the last week and a half. I also added cycled media from my old tanks and beneficial bacteria starter liquid. Now for the problem: I just checked my nitrates and the its sitting really high, around 40-80ppm (i cant really tell which color it is based on the chart). The ammonia is at 0ppm and the ph is around 7. I think it maybe all the melting from the monte carlo causing a spike in ammonia->nitrates. Ive never had this happen during a tank start up. Also, should I do a large water change. I have ludwigia in the tank and have read they dont like dramatic changes in water parameters. If I should, what percentage do you recommend? Update: I just moved into this new apartment thats a few blocks away. I assumed the water was the same. However, this is the reading of the faucet water with dechlorinater in it. Nitrates: 20ppm, ph is at 8.2., ammonia is at 0~0m25ppm. Is this normal? Also, after a 50% water change my waters sitting at about 40ppms still and ph is now 7.8. Should i do another 50% water change?
  20. 🤨Hi. What filter can I use the suggested Seachem 50gph or less water flow. I’m having trouble controlling nitrates ina 20 gallon housing 5 small African Ciclids. I’ve purchased denitrate from Seachem, but the aqua clears I filter the tank with have much higher gph. I’ve tried all the standard remedies and am setting up a bigger tank for them, but that’s a slow happening.
  21. I'm not one to chase numbers, and everything is going good in my tank. But, in what ways can I lower my Nitrates? They're consistently 40ppm on a weekly basis. API Master Test Kit is used. I have a 10g planted tank. Plants include: Anubias Nana Petite, Crypt Wendtii Green, Crypt Parva, Rosette Sword, Bacopa Caroliniana, Anubias Frazeri, Crypt Lutea, Banana Plant, Ammania Gracilias, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Dwarf Aquarium Lily. Livestock: 5 Chili Rasboras, 7 Ember Tetras, 3 Kubotai Rasboras Inverts: 1 Nerite snail, 2 Blue Velvet Shrimp I do weekly water changes. I rinse out my AquaClear 30 every water change, I squeeze out the sponge in tank water, and change out the filter floss. My GE T8 4100k Florescent is on a 7 hour light cycle - on a timer.
  22. I know nitrates are comprised of the left over waste from fish food and poop, so the question is is there a such a thing as good nitrates and bad nitrates when it comes to the makeup of the nitrate? I know adding something such as Flourish fertilizer and excel or easy green and liquid carbon are in this case "good" nitrates. Is there such a thing as a bad nitrate , which would be defined as something a plant cant consume?
  23. Trying to figure out what to do. I put a dose of Paracleanse in my tank yesterday morning as a follow-up of medicating 2 weeks ago. I didn't test my water before (Yes, I'm an airhead). I tested last night and it's between 20-40 nitrate. Do you think the fish will be ok until Saturday or should I change water sooner. I'll keep testing nightly. If I do change the water, do I add Paracleanse again?
  24. Hello, My name is Hunter in from Phoenix AZ. I have been in the hobby for almost a month now trying to cycle my fish tank so that I can get some beautiful African Cichlids. I have a 210 tank and my numbers are Ammonia is around a 1.0 Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are rising. (I tested yesterday afternoon Nitrates were around 5.0ppm) 09/26/2020 I do have a friend in the Hobby that has a sponge filter I was about to barrow for “instant cycling” (if that is truly true) when I did my test for fun about 4 hours after I put the sponge in my levels were ammonia 1.0 Nitrites 1.0 and Nitrates 0 My friend didn’t believe those numbers so about 15 after that we tested nitrites again and they were 0 Do Nitrites truly disappear that quickly? Does this mean my tank had Cycled? If so how do I lower my ammonia levels? Thanks, Hunter
  25. I am concerned that I am not properly taking care of my plants in my 35g hexagon tank. I have one tank that I absolutely struggle to keep nitrates above 5 ppm. It is my 35 gallon hexagon tank with a 1/2" base of peat moss with 2" of ecocomplete on top of it. The background plants are Amazon swords (4) which are growing somewhat slow. The midground plants are broadleaf sagittaria (4). What makes up the front half of the tank is dwarf sagitaria. Both types of sagitaria is growing very well. In the 6" ring at the top I have frogbit which I weed back twice a week. At the moment, based on the calculation of rotala butterfly I made my mixture of KNO3 to be a dosing to reach a target of 7.5 ppm and dose 4x a week. The dose is detectable throughout the day of the dosing, however it is depleted by the next day. I do use passive CO2. Algae is not a problem. I have for about a year I have put root tabs in the substrate at the beginning of the month as the bulk of the plants are root feeders. I use 10 root tabs at the beginning of the month (at the moment DIY osmocote root tabs that I made in bulk then hope to switch to the co op brand). Should I be concerned about the low levels of nitrate in the water column and begin dosing more? Or because I do dose heavily in the substrate, I shouldn't worry about it so much? Edit: The dosing seems to be accurate and not miscalculated based on my usage in my other tanks. Edit: I have cross checked these levels with three different types of test kits. The readings seem to be accurate.
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