So i finally have a healthy aquarium.....i think?

sde

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Hi,

I am wondering if my tank perimeters sound ok, and I am wondering what the consequences are if they are to high or low or crash or rise etc..

So right now my ammonia is .25, which as far as I know is ok, but would be nice to have lower. My nitrite is 0, which is good I believe. My nitrate is either 40 or 80, I am not sure which, the result card is rather hard to read between the two. But the real problem is my ph. It has been dancing around in the 7s for some time now and is never the same it seems. So my first question is if my nitrate is too high? I am not sure how high is too high, but I know that the ideal is 40 ppm. And my second question is what happens if the nitrates are too high? Why does it harm the amphibians? My third question is why my ph. has been inconsistent? And what can I do to keep it steady? Why does high/low ph. harm the amphibians? And why does crashes or sudden rises harm them amphibians? I know that is a lot of questions, I am really hoping my perimeters are ok, I want my newts to be happy and healthy, like anyone. And if my perimeters aren't just right, I feel I am possibly harming them. If your perimeters aren't at the suggested level will they harm them in any way? Because mine aren't at the suggested levels right now, and I don't want to hurt my newts! Thanks! -Seth :confused:
 

Chinadog

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The way i understand it is that an ammonia reading and no nitrite reading means the tank hasn't cycled yet. Ammonia is the 1st to peak followed by nitrite then nitrate. If you were getting ammonia and nitrite readings this would indicate the cycling process was underway, but just ammonia means things are only just starting.

I don't know why you have such a high nitrate reading or how it affects amphibians but i like to see nitrate under 20. Nitrate isn't toxic as such but high readings can irritate fish and in my experience can cause growth defects and stunting in some species. I keep nitrate levels down in my fish tanks by regular large water changes. The low stocking and masses of plants in my newt tanks mean nitrate stays extremely low, well under 10, so i just replace the water i remove while cleaning the bottom with the syphon.

Ph around 7 sounds fine, i must admit i hadn't actually tested the ph in my tanks for a long time but did just now, they're all around 6.5-7.0
Hope this helps :).
 

sde

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Thank you Chinadog! Well on CC it says that 40 is ideal, but I have no idea how accurate that is, but I generally think CC has good advice. I don't see how my tank could just start cycling? The ammonia was high and the nitrite was almost unreadable high, and they nitrates weren't as high, but now the two bad ones are low and the nitrate is high? Could it still be cycling? I am so confused. Well, let me explain the whole story. So I put a ammonia source in but I was stupid anough to do it before I had a test kit. So I had no idea what things were like, ammonia wise and stuff. So like a few weeks later I got my test kit, I started testing but I had no idea were I was at. Ammonia was high and nitrite was high and nitrate was low, so I figured it was probably almost done cycling or something. But then the ammonia and nitrite dropped and the nitrate got really high, so I decided It was probably cycled. But at the same time I had no idea because I wasn't monitoring it that first few weeks. I just decided to "go with the flow" and watch it. And everything seems ok. I monitor every three days and it is consistently low ammonia and low nitrite and high nitrate for the last 10 days? So I am super confused, I am just leaving it for now and watching to make sure ammonia or nitrite doesn't get to high etc.. :confused: -Seth
 

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It's the ammonia that's throwing me, if the tank is cycled there should be no ammonia reading at all.
As far as the nitrate levels go I wouldn't argue with 40ppm being ideal for newts, but I was always told that generally speaking the lower the better.
 

sde

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Yes, the ammonia should be 0.0, but I am not sure why it isn't, except if like you said it has not cycled. Well you don't want your nitrate too low, or else the other two will rise is what I have gathered. But I have only been keeping newts for a few months so I don't know for shore.
 

Chinadog

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It can be difficult to see a zero reading on some ammonia test kits, Sera brand springs to mind but i've had others that were the same. I'm not saying they don't work, you just need to follow the instructions to the letter! On the Sera ones i used to get there was a 5 minute developing time before you could read the results, if you left it 6 minutes by accident the reading would be too high!

Low nitrate levels don't cause ammonia or nitrite levels to rise, have a read up on the nitrogen cycle, anyone who keeps aquatic animals should make themselves familiar with that :)
 

sde

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Yah on my test kit you have to wait 5 minutes too. I didn't think if you waited too long it would change the results! Ok, I understand. I just thought since the nitrate eats/gets rid of the nitrite than if there was not enough nitrate than nitrite would get high, my mistake. :happy:.
 

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Thank you Chinadog! Well on CC it says that 40 is ideal, but I have no idea how accurate that is, but I generally think CC has good advice......
Re-read the article - it says less than 40ppm nitrate for an established tank. Are you doing water exchanges? If not, do a 10-15% exchange every week or so. Regarding the quality of information in CC - it is the most authoritative you will find on the internet. Articles found there are written by professionals and experienced caudate keepers, then reviewed by an editorial board before being published in Caudata Culture. But pleased to see that you think the information presented there is generally good - quite a compliment coming from one as experienced as yourself ;)
 

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If you're getting nitrate readings that means your tank has pretty much cycled. 7 PH is an acceptable ph to keep amphibians in as well.

In the end, testing kits are not always 100% accurate. Observe your animals, do they look healthy? Vibrant coloration, active behavior, eager feeding and healthy skin are a good indicator that your tank is healthy. Having a healthy aquarium goes far beyond just getting good test readings as well. Newts kept in a bare perfectly cycled tank would not be considered healthy. You've kept your newts for several months right now? I'm 100% sure your tank is cycled. Just keep up with weekly water changes, and try and grow live plants too, if you haven't already. If you got good plant growth, and healthy looking newts then you got yourself a healthy tank :)
 

sde

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Re-read the article - it says less than 40ppm nitrate for an established tank. Are you doing water exchanges? If not, do a 10-15% exchange every week or so. Regarding the quality of information in CC - it is the most authoritative you will find on the internet. Articles found there are written by professionals and experienced caudate keepers, then reviewed by an editorial board before being published in Caudata Culture. But pleased to see that you think the information presented there is generally good - quite a compliment coming from one as experienced as yourself ;)

Ok, I didn't know that that is what the arrow meant? Is that what it means, 40 or lower? I didn't know :eek:.
Haha yah, experienced keeper :p

If you're getting nitrate readings that means your tank has pretty much cycled. 7 PH is an acceptable ph to keep amphibians in as well.

OK :happy:.

In the end, testing kits are not always 100% accurate. Observe your animals, do they look healthy? Vibrant coloration, active behavior, eager feeding and healthy skin are a good indicator that your tank is healthy. Having a healthy aquarium goes far beyond just getting good test readings as well. Newts kept in a bare perfectly cycled tank would not be considered healthy. You've kept your newts for several months right now? I'm 100% sure your tank is cycled. Just keep up with weekly water changes, and try and grow live plants too, if you haven't already. If you got good plant growth, and healthy looking newts then you got yourself a healthy tank :)
I have been keeping them since October or September, I don't remember which.
Yah, I have live plants, I think I will add more today too. The other day I harvested a ton and have some left over from another tank I made, so I will add those.

Thank you very much everyone!!! :grin: -Seth
 
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