Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
Tropical Fish Forums
Aquarium fishkeeping around the world!
 
ChatChat  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Tap Water Nitrate Levels
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics  Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
lenoirj
Regulars


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:17    Post subject: Tap Water Nitrate Levels Reply with quote

I just tested my tap water and the nitrate level is 10ppm! Would treating my water with AmQuel+ at each water change be a good idea? Does that stuff actually work? I just bought some so I hope it does Embarassed . Also, in my tank, my ammonia level is 1ppm, nitrite is .25ppm, and nitrate is 6.0ppm. I plan to do a water change today because these levels are way too high. Here are my tank parameters:

10 gallon freshwater
79 F
pH - 7.6
Ammonia - 1ppm
Nitrite - .25ppm
Nitrate - 6.0ppm
5 Zebra Danios
2 Cherry Barbs
1 Snail
a bunch of hornwort (just added)
a bunch of wisteria (just added)
japanese fan
The tank has been set up with fish for 18 days. I did not do a fishless cycle (big mistake, I know).

I guess I just need to know if I'm killing my fish slowly or if I just need to stick it out, keep doing water changes and testing and so on. Plus, my original question, should I treat my tap water with AmQuel+ before adding it to my tank?

Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bob
Moderators


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nitrate at 10ppm isn't a worry, I have heavily planted tanks, and I actually have to add Nitrate to try and keep my levels up near 20ppm.

The worry is the Ammonia and Nitrite, but that is what you see in a tank that is cycling, you need to balance the needs of feeding the bacteria verses the attampt to keep you fish alive.

I am not a fan of using chemicals, I would just keep on with the water changes, and keep a close eye on your fish for signs of stress.

Bob
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lenoirj
Regulars


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Bob. I'll hang on to the AmQuel for a rainy day and just keep doing what I've been doing with the water changes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
haname
Moderators


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plants you just added will help a lot with the nitrogen compounds. Personally I would use the AmQuel+ because it acts to convert the nitrogen compounds so that they are not toxic to fish but will still be available to the bacteria and plants. I do agree with Bob about avoiding chemicals but AmQuel+ is more of a water conditioner and has only positive effects on tank inhabitants. It will certainly make life easier for the fish until your cycle is established. This isn't the same thing as, say, using pH Down or copper medications.
_________________
Happy fishkeeping!

~Haname
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bob
Moderators


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention, the Hornwort you just added loves Nitrate.

You could also consider other floating plants, but stay away from Duckweed (Lemna minor) unless you are a masochist like me, I got some of this in my main planted tanks, and I take it out on weekly basis by the LB.

Bob
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lenoirj
Regulars


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)10:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, this is where I grab my head and go AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!
But seriously, thank you for your advice, BOTH of you. Maybe this is the way I should ask my question:

What levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate should I NOT exceed? In other words, what's the highest they can get without my fish dying? Or, when should I really panic?

None of my fish are showing signs of stress. They are happily darting around the tank being fish so I'm not freaking out too much just yet.

Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brave Dave
Regulars


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Location: Boise ID

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)11:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

For your fish to be happy and healthy-
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate < 40 (some species need nitrates lower)

Your in the middle of a cycle right now. When your Ammonia and Nitrite both read zero your cycle will be complete. Until then you will see a spike in Ammonia then a spike in Nitrite. Test water everyday so when a spike occures you can do a water change to keep the levels low. Good work adding the plants. It will help keep the ammonia and nitrite in check.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob
Moderators


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2006.12.23(Sat)12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fish keeping isn't always a black and white subject, there are many things thet experienced fish keepers disagree about.

But in general although these disagreements can get very heated, we all pretty much agree on the basics.

From what you ar saying, your fish are OK at the moment, and they are often a good guide to a cycling tank.

I would stick with what you are doing (Why change if it's working).

It is very hard to say X amount of Ammonia or Nitrite is safe, as there are so many factors that could make a difference, the health of the fish, the pH of the water, the length of time involved, so I am afraid you will get the stock answer of 0 is safe.

You do actually need Ammonia to cycle your tank, so just keep up the good work.

Bob
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ClaytonM
New Members


Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: 2006.12.26(Tue)11:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Bob. I made the mistake of using fish to cycle a 10 gallon. Thank God all of the fish lived through it, but I just kept an eye on my readings and when I noticed a change in the fish I did a 25% water change. Chemical free is the way to go.
_________________
10 Gallon Freshwater Planted
29 Gallon Freshwater Planted
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fiffy
Regulars


Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)14:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to sound like a downer, but 5 Zebra Danios is not good for a 10 gallon tank. Actully, 1 Zebra Danio isn't good for a 10 gallon tank. Or rather the tank isn't large enough for the Danio's. They love to swim, a lot, and need thier space to be happy. You might want to consider tradeing them in for something else.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics All times are GMT - 6 Hours Reply to topic   Post new topic
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L