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TOPIC: High Nitrate

High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71286

  • Mako55
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I have a 54 gallon corner tank that has had 1 Oscar in it for about 3 months. Water is crystal clear and no ammonia but the nitrates are high (between 40 to 80) on an API liquid test kit. I feed the fish twice a day with pellets and clean the tank once a week with a 20-25 percent water change. Is that level of nitrate too high and if it is what can be done to bring it down. I have a Fluval 306 filter that's supposed to be good for up to 70 gallon tanks. Any help is appreciated.
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71287

  • Northstar5
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Yes 40-80 nitrate on a consistent reading is far too high. You haven't said how big the fish is, I will assume you got a baby Oscar 3 months ago? VERY important to keep toxins as low as possible. To lower your nitrate immediately, do larger volume and more frequent water changes. Do 50% every 2 days. Then monitor what it takes to keep nitrate under 20 at all times.I personally strive to keep my nitrates closer to 10. I want to stress, IF you want to raise and keep an Oscar long term, it is critical that it lives in very clean water. There will come a time when you will need more filtration and more tankspace, but right away, make the water clean.Also remember, crystal clear water doesn't mean clean water. You cant see the toxins that can harm your fish.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71288

  • Ernie14
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Concur totally with Northstar's advice, the easiest way to reduce Nitrate levels is by water changes.
Most experienced members on the forum will do a fin level (90%) water changes at least once a week, to keep Nitrate levels at about 10ppm.
Make sure to use a good water conditioner like Prime, and test just before your water change.
Yes bigger tank and filtration will be needed in near future.
150 gallon 2x Tiger Oscars
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71289

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54 G corner tank will give you trouble if the fish increase in size and bio mass.

You should consider to upgrade very soon in the at least 75g 4 feet what most consider as bare minimum or better bigger.
A good and small single Oscar tank would be 4 x 2 x 2 120G.

If this is not possible maybe rehoming is the better alternative than a 54 will soon or later need around 2 to 3 water changes per week to keep the fish healthy.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71290

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Thanks for all the info and help. I was wondering; if I do a 50% water change in a 50 gallon tank once a week, and i bought a 75 gallon tank, it takes longer for the nitrate to get high only because there is more water. I'm just trying to figure out if the only difference is to change less water more often or more water less often. I'm new to all this and these may seem like dumb questions but I want to understand how it all works and do it right.
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71291

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Thanks for your help. One more question is do you remove the fish for the cleaning and water change or leave them in. I have been leaving them in but have to treat and dump 5 gallons of water back in at a time. I'm new at this so this may all seem like dumb questions but I want to do it right.
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71292

  • JAJameson2010
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You can leave the fish in while you do the water change. Just try to avoid the one eye water change! Where it's so low the fish is on it's side!

Honestly the best case long term scenario with a fish that's going to get as big as an oscar is, never too many water changes! Your nitrate levels will tell you how often to water change. Even with the 75 gallon tank you may need to do a fin level water change once or even twice a week. I try to keep my nitrates below 20 ppm

I'm a big fan of larger water changes. If I have all the stuff pulled out, might as well get as much bang for your time as possible! If you are using buckets, that is going to get old really quick. Look into a Phython water change system. Well worth the money to use that. and you can also dump your decholrinator into the tank itself, then refill. No need to treat before it goes into the tank. Lots of conflicting advice online about that, but many people just do it the easy way.

Jessica
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71294

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One large change is better than 2, give equal volumes. Clearer, 80% once a week is better than 40% twice a week. Cleaning of the substrate is almost as important as the water change itself. Oscar is a big waste producer, you gotta get those turds out. As Jessica suggested, the Python is a must. It drains and vacs, then refills with virtually no labor or spillage. The routine is drain, add conditioner, refill. No waiting. In 50 or 75 g the whole process should take about 15-20 minutes. That way its not a big deal to do 2-3x a week. Only about an hour of your time total, and Oscar will benefit greatly.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71295

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You can actually put tap water in the tank with the fish in it then add the chlorine remover? Not following that. Maybe not understanding what your saying.
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High Nitrate 10 months 1 week ago #71296

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Any quality dechlorinator reacts instantly, so the routine of drain, add conditioner and refill is perfectly safe. The most recommended brand is Seachem Prime liquid. You dose for the entire tank volume, not just new water. For your current tank 1 capful will do the job.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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