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Nitrate Level?

Discussion in 'Water Maintainence' started by Scifisarah, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Just wondering what the nitrate levels of your goldfish tanks are right before you do a water change? Asking this for those with fully cycled tanks only that have zero ammonia and nitrite levels. I haven't done a water change for about 8 days and it is somewhere between 5-10 ppm. I am just wondering if this is alright for fancy goldfish. What is the most you'd let it get up to before you do a 50% change?
     
  2. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Do your water changes on a regular schedule. If your nitrate stays below 20 ppm, you probably have a satisfactory schedule. If not increase the size/frequency of the changes.
     
    CaliGold, Fishheadz and Scifisarah like this.
  3. Fishheadz

    Fishheadz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Moffat, CO.
    10 PPM is excellent , try to keep it under 20 PPM. By no means EVER allow it to exceed 40 PPM.
     
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  4. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    @Scifisarah, I do weekly water changes right now, and I test my water rigorously. After a week (so right before my water change) my nitrates are usually between 5-10ppm. It's fine, as long as it doesn't go above 20ppm. And my fishies are very happy and healthy. :)
     
    Joshua's golds likes this.
  5. Gold Digger

    Gold Digger Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    My tank has a large plant filter so even when I feed heavily the nitrates are rarely over 10ppm on water changer day. :)
     
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  6. mjfromga

    mjfromga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    At Home
    My levels were ALL at absolutely zero. Very surprised because I had never tested before. I do one 25% WC and another separate 50% WC per week. I never wait 9 days. 50% is done Friday or Saturday and I do 25% Tuesday or Wednesday of EVERY WEEK. I rinse the filter in tank water on both WC days and also on Sunday. I also net off floating debris and vacuum gravel every time I change the water. I am extremely vigilant with WC because I learned that clean water is THE BEST thing to keep your fishies healthy and boy are my wally-world guys healthy and growing like weeds. I've got two airstones running and a few artificial decorations. I'm extremely reluctant to do anything different because as they say, "If it ain't broke... Don't fix it". Today is actually 50% WC day, so I'd better hop to it!

    P.S.
    I have a 30 gallon and two fantails (at least I think they are fantails). One dinky little orange and black one and a bigger, smellier, greedier, poopier, gray and gold one.
     
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  7. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    I imagine your levels would be very low due to your awesome water changing, but I still don't see how they could be zero. Fish poop. It is a good sign to have at least a tiny amount of nitrate because it means your biological filter/beneficial bacteria are doing their job and converting the bad ammonia and nitrites. Maybe it was just so low that it was hard to see on the test color scale. I have a hard time deciding on that sometimes.
     
  8. mjfromga

    mjfromga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    At Home
    I was extremely careful to do the test properly, but everyone is saying that so I will retest today.
     
  9. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    If you have zero ammonia and zero nitrite, your tank has cycled. It may or may not have nitrate (most aquariums do, most ponds do not). Since most uncycled tanks have nitrate well before ammonia and nitrite are gone, I fail to see how the presence of nitrate indicates cycling has completed.
     
  10. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Is it possible for an uncycled tank to have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some nitrate? I wasn't saying having nitrate would mean a tank was cycled, just that zero ammonia and nitrate and some nitrate meant it probably was. Sorry if I didn't make that clearer. The nitrate test is the one that is a bit more complicated, so I assumed her ammonia and nitrites were 0, and she had somehow messed up on the last test.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  11. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Sorry if I misunderstood you. I see this "cycled tanks always have nitrate" so often.
     
  12. Aquayne

    Aquayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Location:
    Morganton, NC
    I posted on the newbie forum about my half barrel with intense LED lighting. I have 70 watts of LED Cool white lighting from two garden spot lights. I originally did it for water hyacinth and Betta Splendens but later added a Ranchu goldfish. The sides of the plastic half barrel are covered by a sheet of smooth algae. It actually peels off in sheets when abraded. There is also a large sponge filter about 8" diameter and 2" thick. the fish are very healthy but I don't have freshwater test kits to be able to test levels anymore. the tub has been set up for over 2 years and I rarely do water changes and top off with tap water.

    I found the statement that Ponds rarely have nitrate to be interesting. I wonder about the algae coating on the bottom and sides of the pond liners? This supports my interest in algae turf scrubbers or similar. The intense light on the tub seems to grow enough algae to clean the water without a need for screens of algae or dump buckets. The sponge filter has a dark green color to it and is in full light. It may be partly acting as an algae scrubber?

    The water hyacinth grew, divided and did well for months then shrank and died out. The algae may have outcompeted for the available nutrients? The remaining Betta from the breeding project I did are fat and very healthy. The Ranchu is dark orange and has modest head growth for a two year old fish. I feed Omega One that is brown but the droppings are always green suggesting the fish are eating algae.
     
  13. CC11

    CC11 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    My tank is also zero amonia nitrite and nitrate. Sometimes I wonder if it has cycled properly but after testing daily initially and weekly after that it has always been the same I added old tank plants, substrate and drift wood when I started it. Possibly live plants help.
     
  14. GoldenMcNewbie

    GoldenMcNewbie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I had a filthy pond with high nitrates, but after adding parrot feathers it dropped down to 15-0, at the cost of seeing my fish.
     
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  15. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If you look at the discussion above, it is healthy and correct, the previous post bring up a great point, plant readily consume large amounts of ammonia and nitrate. So with water changes and plants all zeros is pretty easy as long as the filters do not plug and the by products do not accumulate in the bottom of the tank or hanging on the plants.

    Great point about an inflexible water changes, if the family understands that routine is as important as brushing your teeth and drinking coffee
     
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  16. *Ci*

    *Ci* Goldie Guru

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    ... as important as brushing your teeth and DRINKING COFFEE.

    i like how you think!
     
  17. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    My pond has two large bog plants and 1 small one, he'll if I know their name. Until recently when I started to feed the fish fancy food like soilent green and fbw I had 0 nitrates but even now it doesn't exceed 10.

    Actively growing plants are a big factor in nitrates and of course water changes. I do change the pond water partially on a regular basis.
     
  18. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa
    Although in reality if any of you are using municipal water in any location remotely close to any farming activity you will get 10PPM nitrates routinely from the tap during portions of the year.
    Thats the legal allowable limit. I see it all the time, on both coasts and many places in-between when I've looked at the water testing.

    Assuming the tank isn't vastly overstocked or some other catastrophic problem if you have excessive nitrates something is going to try to take advantage of that, algae bloom, the various string algae, etc.

    What sort of problems do people know as linked to high nitrates? I've seen suggestions as high as 100PPM as what not to exceed.
    The nitrate test is more annoying that water changes so, I don't test. :) The one where you are supposed to shake the tube for 5 minutes vigorously.
     

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