To change water or not to change water!

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To change water or not to change water!

Postby bartown » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:25 pm

I'm very new to all this, my dd9 brought herself and aquarium and I didn't realise what was involved!!

We have a small 28l tank, with a three plants, four coral platys, and a couple of stowaway snails - I think they must have come with the plants lol.

Anywat yesterday my were nitrites 0.3-0.8 and nitrates were 30 at a guess, we are two weeks into the cycle and have four fish, the fish have been in for four days and are doing fine.

There is amonia, but at a safe level so I'm not worried about this, anyhow I thought I'd give the fish a break yesterday and did a 25% water change, and I expected the levels to drop this morning, they haven't if anything to test samples are darker, therefore slightly higher than yesterday.

The fish are very active, look healthy and extremely hungry.

Should I do another water change today to dilute it further, or should I just leave it be?

I have 3 plants in the water, so I'm hoping they will gobble up the nitrates, but its the nitrites I'm a bit worried about.

Wendy
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Postby krekra » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:38 pm

The nitrites are very toxic to the fish. They bind to the fishes hemoglobin and prevent it from carrying oxygen to the organs properly so even if they look OK they could very well be sustaining organ damage from low oxygen levels. When doing a fish cycle it is important to keep the ammonia and nitrites low without making them so low that the cycle is slowed or stopped.

Try to keep the nitrites below 0.5 if you can. You have nitrates so thats a good sign that your cycle is underway. I think daily to every other day small water changes are OK at this point. When it gets to where you have NO ammonia and NO nitrites but you do have nitrates then you can slow down and change weekly.

28L is a very small tank. It is already overstocked with the 4 platy so you might even have to do 2 times a week water changes to keep the Nitrates down to 30-40 and below. Also the fish will produce hormones which will build up in the water and cause stunting so the regular water changes will help that as well. Platys can be proflific breeders so keep an eye out for fry too :wink:

If everyone likes the fish and the tank consider an upgrade to a larger one so you can have a bigger selection of fish. but beware......its addictive :mrgreen:

BTW welcome to TTT. Nice to have you along!!

Karena

PS I moved and locked the thread you had running in help as I had already responded here.
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Postby bartown » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:11 pm

Thanks for that, I just changed around 25% of the water, my amonia is now 0.6, but my nitrite is somewhere between 0.3 and 0.8, the nitrates are towards the 50's but the test does say that the nitrite could interfere with the nitrate reading.

Soooooo should I change another 25% or should I just let it be.
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Postby krekra » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:25 pm

What kind of test kit are you using?? If it is a dip strip.....they are a little unreliable. If you can get a hold of a liquid reagent kit it would give you much more accurate results.

As for now if you have just done a change I would wait till later this evening and do another 25-30% change and see what you have then. It would also be a good idea to set out a cup of your tap water overnight and then test it in the morning to see what your base water quality is.
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Postby bartown » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:30 pm

Its a liquid test kit - I could be a bit confused with the results there are huge gaps between one reading and the next - for example it jumps from 20 to 50 in the nitrates so its anyones guess lol.

It also tells me to hold the test tube flat agains the paper with light behind, this makes the reading look darker than if I hold it slightly away from the paper, this is all so confusing lol -

I have spent hours on these fish already, reading every article I can, and already I'm thinking about maybe a bigger tank - I feel yet another addiction coming on!

Thanks again
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Postby krekra » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:46 pm

:lol: I think your fish are in good hands.

If you havent yet,......check out the main site.

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/library.htm
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Postby Superman » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:01 pm

bartown wrote:It also tells me to hold the test tube flat agains the paper with light behind, this makes the reading look darker than if I hold it slightly away from the paper, this is all so confusing lol


Know what you mean, best idea is to stick to what ever you do and have the same lighting levels.
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