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Author Topic: A novice in need of HELP! high nitrate and suspicious Pleco  (Read 633 times)
Nicole
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« on: September 25, 2016, 06:22:47 PM »
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Hi guys, I'm really hoping I can get some advice to calm my shot nerves and help me fix my tank! (Freshwater)
I inherited the tank with no previous knowledge of how to maintain it and take care of freshwater fish, so I've been trawling forums and websites, and asking in my lfs for advice.
My biggest concern at present is that my nitrate level is through the roof!! I have a home water testing kit (liquids and test tubes) so I can't get an exact figure but it's at the highest amount on my chart. I have bought a product called prime (I think, I'll have to double check that) that I can use to help excessive nitrates, use as an alternative to tap safe etc, and have treated the water twice over the week, as well as a few water changes - including gravel cleaning (approx 30%) and my nitrate test looks just the same so I dread to think how high it actually is.. I've read about doing 10% changes daily for a week, then the same at 20% for a week, then a 50%, so that it's not a drastic change that will affect my fish. Am I right to continue doing this? Is there anything else I can be doing to help this issue? I rinsed out my filter sponges around 3 weeks ago (using tank water)
I currently only have 3 silver dollars and 1 common pleco..
Which bringshould me onto my next worry. My pleco has a large area of lighter/white patches. They don't look furry or slimy to me (although he's extremely shy so.it's hard to get a really close look).. but almost as though if they carried on getting lighter they'd go transparent!.. I've read that it could be stress, but could there be another reason for this?
I.understand bad water can be a reason for stress?
Im dying to help him out and get my tank sorted!
P.s I believe my.tank is a juwel 190
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2016, 08:04:52 PM »
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Hi, Nicole.

I think that a Juwel 190 tank holds about 190 liters.  I think in gallons so, I converted the liters to gallons which is 50 gallons.  If I am wrong, please let me know.

I am assuming that not really any water changes were done by the previous owner because the nitrates are so high.  If so, you are correct to gradually increase the volume of the water changes until you get to about 50%.  Prime is a water conditioner and should be used every time you do a water change.  Just follow the directions on the bottle for how much to add to the water and you will be ok.

The first thing you will have to do is to reduce the nitrate readings to a safe level.  After that, we can deal with the patches on your pleco.  But, I will say that if your tank is 50 gallons, it is much too small for 3 silver dollars and what I think is a common pleco.  If you know the species of the pleco, that would be a help.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
Nicole
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 01:58:54 AM »
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Thankyou so much for your reply Pat!
Yes I have measured the tank to double check and your are correct it is 190 litres.
I will continue with water changes and gravel vaccuming, I hope my fish can hang on in there until I lower the nitrate to a safe level, it's so hard to be patient with the low percentage water changes knowing that the nitrate level is doing them harm.
My silver dollars are approx 2-2.5inches from nose to end of tail (these were a recent addition by myself before I educated myself somewhat on the importance of testing water)
My pleco is around 8 inches although it's hard to get a precise measurement as he's very shy.
Does this still work out as my tank being overcrowded? If so, Would you recommend I take pleco to lfs and get an infant one once I've stabilised nitrate level? Or perhaps another bottom feeder? I've already become quite attached to him/her Sad
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 03:15:27 AM »
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We are getting a little ahead of ourselves in talking about the fish.  The most important matter for us is to get your water quality to a point at which it is not putting your fish into a dangerous situation.

But, I will give you the profile for your silver dollars     http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile23.html   and the common pleco (which I believe your pleco is)     http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile34.html

Most fish are sold as juveniles but you have to look at what size they will be as adults.  A common pleco really should not be sold to a hobbyist because it should grow too big for the usual aquarium.  There are other plecos that are much smaller as adults. 

I wouldn't try to return him to the shop until his skin is cleared up.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
Nicole
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 04:28:06 AM »
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Thankyou again Pat,
I'm in no hurry to be getting any more fish, however I would like to increase my knowledge about my current ones / potential future fish while I pass the time with the daily/weekly water changes. I figure if I'm learning as the weeks pass while I'm trying to get the water right then I'll be better informed when the time eventually arrives. I'm eager to learn as much as I can, so I really appreciate your time and advise
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