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Old 6th December 2006   #1
tracey
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OK so I managed to get a strip testing kit (yes i no not the best type to use but all i could get from shop!)

It read

NO3 - 260
NO2 - 5/10
ph - 7.2 / 7.6



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Old 6th December 2006   #2
edward
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Hi Tracy,

Your nitrate level (NO3) is several times over the recommended level. It really should be below 80 and ideally closer to 60 ppm. Excess nitrate can cause immunosuppresion of the animal and place them at risk of illness and infection.

The nitrite (NO2) is also too high. This is a more immediate concern as nitrite interferes with the animals ability to breath by binding to the red blood cells.

The pH is fine.
I would suggest starting water changes to reduce the levels in the tanks.

Ed



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Old 6th December 2006   #3
tracey
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i'm changing about 30% of the tank once a week at the moment - i'll try doing it 2/3 times a week instead, its weird as the tropical tank and the goldfish tank which i never change are both 0 nitrite.



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Old 6th December 2006   #4
amber
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That's because your other tanks are mature - they have all the bacteria they need to remove these chemicals.

If I were you (and there are no animals in there) I would leave the waterchanges until it settles, then go back to 30% weekly.

If there ARE animals, try this trick.
Borrow an ornament and a bit of filter media out of one of your other tanks - goldfish tank is probably better - and pop it in your 'lotl tank.
That'll boost the good bacteria and help to mature the problem tank.

Hope that helps.

Go on eBay, you can pick up liquid tests dirt cheap. Strip tests are awful for giving the wrong readouts - I panicked for weeks as a noob to the hobby.

But you've got something I never had when I started... US!



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Old 6th December 2006   #5
tracey
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Amber thanks for this

The tank was a mature tank before Ugly went into it, had a very very large goldfish in it before she went in for about the last 6 years. Jaws died on the Sunday night and I got Ugly on the Tuesday night, all I did to the tank was change 20% of the water, one of the filter pads and swapped gravel for sand.



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Old 6th December 2006   #6
edward
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Hi Tracy,

If I remember correctly, the tanks went without water changes for a long time which is why the nitrate levels are so high. By replacing the gravel with sand, and changing part of the filter you have likely caused the tank to recycle which may be why you have a nitrite problem.
The other possibility is that the sand layer is deep enough to cause some of the bacteria to convert nitrate back to nitrite. Sand beds should either be very shallow (just cover the bottom) or set-up like a live sand bed in a reef aquarium.

Ed



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Old 6th December 2006   #7
amber
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That is a good point - if you can, reduce the sand bed. Mine's less than half an inch deep, but works well.

Plants with roots also help stop anaerobic pockets forming in sand.



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Old 7th December 2006   #8
tracey
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Sand level is between 1/2 inch and 1 inch max depending on what part of the tank you are at. I tried putting rooted plants into the tank, she pulled them to bits in 2 days.



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Old 7th December 2006   #9
edward
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Hi Tracy,

That is too deep of a sand bed without a plenum. Its deep enough that you get the bacteria converting NO3 to NO2.

Ed



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Old 7th December 2006   #10
tracey
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OK - i'll dig some out tonight - thanks for all your advice Ed, don't know what i'd do without it.



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