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 Nitrate

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Fward
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PostSubject: Nitrate   Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:33 pm

My Nitrates were way up so I did a big water change last night. My usual day is Sunday. So I am going to do them twice a week now, or at least want to do them twice a week. Did everything normal besides I did take a little more water out than usual. The fish did not like the water change this time. I did not lose any, but they were in shock for about twenty minutes. Staying at the bottom, not really breathing hard but a few were almost titling over on to there sides. I wonder if taking out all the nitrate and replacing it with non Nitrate water was the cause? Nitrate levels dropped to 10 ppm after being over 40. Also as usual I had some hatchling fish in my egg tumbler, and I lost them all. Any thoughts? Did I just take to much water out? It was prob 50% water change. Which I almost do every time. This was on my 180 gallon tank. I treated with salt and Prime after I filled the tank back up. Temperature was spot on not to cold or to hot. I did notice my PH seemed a little low. Anyone tried the baking soda method to raise PH?
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:04 pm


Rift Lake Buffer Recipe — Cichlid Salt
by Marc Elieson
Not everyone is blessed with "hard" and/or alkaline tap water. Recognizing this, several manufacturers, including SeaChem and Kent, have developed buffering salts in an effort to simulate rift lake water parameters. These serve to harden the water as well as provide "critical" trace elements. These commercial buffers and salts can get quite expensive if you have a large tank, or multiple tanks for that matter.

Instead of investing in these, there is a popular home remedy that works just as well. All the ingredients can be acquired at your local grocery store: Epsom salt, Salt, Baking Soda. Common bicarbonate of soda is effective at raising the pH, not to mention it’s very inexpensive. Epsom salts (i.e., magnesium sulfate) can be used to harden the water, raising the GH. And then you could also add salt to increase the general hardness of your water. I recommend using non-iodized table salt; however, others use Potassium Chloride or even Instant Ocean®. You can read more about the differences between these salts in my article on Aquarium Salts. For a few dollars, you can mix up enough Rift Lake Buffer to last you a year or more.


Condition of Water* pH GH KH
Hard Water from Tap 8.2 15 12
Hard Water from Tap w/ Buffer 8.2 34 22
R.O. Water 6.6 1 1
R.O. Water w/ Buffer 7.6 32 8
* All water was treated with Dechlorinator prior to testing

The amount of Baking Soda and Epsom Salt that you will need varies from household to household and depends upon the tap water. Start by adding 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda to five gallons of dechlorinated water and see how much this raises your pH. Then adjust your dosage so as to attain a desired level (somewhere in the neighborhood of 8.2-8.6). Repeat this procedure for Epsom Salt, starting out with ½ teaspoon. Try to achieve a GH between 15 and 25 dgh. Then add 1 teaspoon of salt.



RIFT LAKE BUFFER RECIPE

Ingredients
Epsom Salt
Marine Salt
Baking Soda
Instructions
For every 5 US Gallons of water, add 1-tablespoon Epsom salt, 1-teaspoon baking soda, and 1-teaspoon marine salt.
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:17 am

When I first started (way back in 19xx, no wait this past Feb Very Happy ), CJ at PAW recommended Kent for buffering and another manufacturer for the rift lake cichlid salt. I used both and re-ordered the Kent buffer online. Since then, when I went to re-order Kent, it wasn't available. So, I tried Seachem's Malawi Buffer and Cichlid Salt. Now I also have the Seachem Cichlid trace and Prime. I did buy the Epson salt and baking soda after reading the above recipe on the Cichlid Forum. But, I started thinking that I had invested alot of money in my cichlids and would hate to inadvertently cause them harm or worse. So, I'm sticking with my Seachem regimen but I may start backing off on the levels. I'm trying to maintain a pH of 8.0-8.2 and a KH/GH of 12+. But, after reading some opinions and watching John's (KGTropicals) videos, it seems that the tank raised cichlids are not as affected by a lower pH and lessened hardness.

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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:06 am

Hmmm, I find this to be an interesting thread. I have never kept African Cichlids but I have noticed that some people who keep them are very into mimicking lake water chemistry. African Cichlids are some of the most colorful fish. Some of the colors are as vibrant and beautiful as some salt water fish. I know that I am willing do whatever it takes to keep my Angelfish going. I figure the African Cichlids keepers feel the same way about keeping their fish healthy.

My question, is it absolutely necessary to adjust tank water chemistry in Central Virginia to keep, raise and breed African Cichlids?
(This may be a starting point for a new thread but I think somebody here might know the answer. Admin, U be the judge.)

I have never heard or considered that lowering Nitrates was a bad thing...shrug

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Last edited by JohnnyAMH on Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:58 am

When I first started keeping fish, I did a ton of online reading and forum discussions.  Trying to do water testing 2-3 times a week, and maintain a certian level of water quality stressed me out and I had lots of fish loss.  

During some moments of frustration, I went down to Azalea Aquariums and had some very frank talks with the owner, and here is what I learned.

DISCLAIMER!  - These are not methods and quality approved by fish communities, and these practices work on the same water in the same area that I live in.

1. Nitrates should be fine as long as they are below 80ppm.  Its only an emergency water change if its over 150ppm, a responsible level of nitrates to maintain is 40ppm.  It has been my experience and his experience that the disruption caused in the tank by doing major water changes too often with municiple water sources (chloromines etc.) will cause more shock and fish death than leaving it alone.  I typcially do a 40%-60% water change every 2-3 weeks.  I dont bother measuring water quality anymore unless there is a major event.  Why you ask?  If the levels are really high, what am I going to do? a big water change.  If the quality is normal, what I am I going to do?  A big water change anyway.  Am I going to go through the hassle of adding a bunch of chemicals to the tank or quarantining fish.....nope.  So whats the point?  

2. When dealing with poor water quality, you can double or triple doses or water treatments like PRIME.  On guy who had major chlorine issues did 5x doses frequently and had a good tank.  So when it doubt, add a double dose of prime when doing a water change.  


Really.....I have had incredible luck leaving stuff alone.  Everytime I try to use medications and chemicals in the water, I end up paying more money for more stress and more fish death.  I use a double dose of PRIME at everywater change to help with the 2ppm ammonia coming out of the tap, and I use salt if I have ich.  Any others issues than that, I let it runs its course and if I lose a fish or two....i consider it a part of the hobby.

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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:16 am

I have not messed with the PH and I have had success. They even breed like rabbits. Just wondering if I should mess with it. A few months back I tested, and it was 7.4. But the other day it was down in the six's. My Venustas stopped eating a couple days ago, and was wondering if this may be the cause. Usually when I mess with the tank medicine, or other wise I end up killing something.
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:21 am

Just ordered four liters of prime from kensfish lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:25 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:28 am

I don't think the sudden drop in nitrates would shock your fish like that. If anything I'd think they'd be more active and happier after the water change, so I think something else must be bothering them. I have had a massive pH drop in my tank before though and observed my fish kind of just laying around on the bottom, colorless and uninterested in eating, so that may very well be your problem (especially if something has caused your tap water to drop from 7-ish to somewhere in the sixes). I've tried to keep my tank's pH at 8, and have had great luck using Seachem's Malwai/Victoria buffer. It's relatively cheap if you buy it online and a large bottle lasts me a couple months or so. I've discovered that my 120 gallon will hold pH through a couple small water changes but anything more than 50% or so will drop that pH like a stone, so the buffer is necessary in my case if I want to keep my fish stable. I think it's true that the tank-raised cichlids might not be as badly affected by low pH, but I prefer to stay on the safe side especially since I've seen my fish behave so frighteningly before.

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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:13 am

Thanks everyone! I mixed up the recipe last night, and for a 180 gallon it looks like a lot of salt to put in. How many cups of the buffer do you have to put in your tank? I am looking at like 2 cups here. I was going to do it slowly over the next week after a water change so as not to shock them. Once I dose I will just have to mix enough for whatever water change I take out. With these African's the loss of a fish hits hard as these big boys are $60.00 plus in stores.
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PostSubject: Re: Nitrate   Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:46 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses to this thread. I was curious as to the care of African Cichlids and necessity to adjust tank water chemistry in Central Virginia to keep, raise and breed them. The take away that I get is that it can help but is not absolutely necessary. That's pretty much the same as with domesticated Angelfish...Cool

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
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