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6 years 2 weeks ago #33816 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
Hello All. It was nice coming to the meeting and putting faces to some of the names. I probably should have introduced myself but there never seemed to be a good time to do it. I'd like to thank "scubadiver" for the information about siphons. I just got the one you suggested today in the mail and it works great. I'd also like to thank Keith for taking the time to talk to me about the Mubuna I have.
I did another water change today and lo and behold the Nitrates measured 80ppm so the water changes are making a difference finally. I'm hoping to make it to the next meeting.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #33809 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
;) I'm sure by now you guys are tired of hearing from me. However just a quick update: Ammonia 0 (finally) Nitrites 0 and as usual the Nitrates are still (sigh) 160+ I will bring my test kit and some water to the meeting so I can be sure I am doing and reading everything correctly.. Anyone want some bigger African Cichlids possibly hybrids (species in question). I will let them go quite cheaply.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #33805 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
The Ammonia level hasn't gone up actually it came down and now has been the same for the last few days @.25ppm. So I guess it's normal to have the Nitrites finally show their ugly little heads. I'm amazed that the Nitrates haven't budged. I have fish of 4-5 different colors blue, gold and yellow mostly. It's too bad I can't get some decent pictures of them. Some of them are nice looking. I'd guess they are mostly if not all hybrids since they've been breeding together for 20+ years before I got them. My test kit is brand new I could probably bring water and the kit but I'm fairly sure I am doing the tests correctly. I just got the Dr. Tims bacteria so, on the off chance that would help, I added to the tank. As far as feeding goes; the amount that I feed is gone in like 30sec. Like I said earlier they are pigs with fins. I haven't done a water change yet today because I added the bacteria. I think I will wait til tomorrow to start daily water changes again to give the bacteria a chance to settle in just in case they might help.
As for disposing of some of them; I'm not even sure which ones I should let go. I'm thinking the bigger ones should be able to go so that I can watch the smaller ones grow up. I'm not used to being this ignorant about fish but I've never had Africans.
Thanks for your help

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6 years 2 weeks ago #33804 by PhilandLeeAnn
Replied by PhilandLeeAnn on topic Another Question
We get the frustration with daily water changes and no seeming progress.

Two weeks is usually not long enough for a tank to have stabilized and a nitrite spike after the ammonia gets processed is normal. If your ammonia came up a bit, my first guess would be that you fed your fish more. There will be little to no effect to not feeding them very sparingly - a pellet per cichlid per day and they could live for months - for a couple more weeks - except in reducing the biological load and waste production.

It's really hard to identify a lot of fish from a video, but your yellow fish with the black on the dorsal look like Labidochormis caeruleus. It's doubtful those are hybrids, you have a lot of them, and they are relatively saleable. If you put an ad in the classified (you're a member), a bit of the general public will see it. Explain you can't vouch for species authenticity, why you are selling (or giving) and whether they should bring their own bags/transport. Explain your terms - if you don't want to give them away one at a time (you don't want all manner of phone calls and people traipsing through the house) and want to move them in large numbers, make it clear.

If you're still testing off the charts on nitrates after another several days of water changes, maybe you could bring some water to the meeting this Sunday if someone will bring their test kit. Daily water changes really should start having an effect soon. I am not sure I can make it and my kits are old.

Sorry there aren't a lot more easy answers. Beg another bucket of active gravel or beg and borrow some active hydro-sponges (kind of expensive to loan to a relative stranger) The great news is that you are maybe half way to achieving your goal of saving the fish .
The following user(s) said Thank You: GeriR

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6 years 2 weeks ago #33799 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
Ok, now I am really getting frustrated :( I did another water change yesterday and today I tested yet again. The Ammonia is .25ppm , the Nitrates are still really off the chart, but NOW the Nitrites, which have been at 0, are .50ppm :( How many daily water changes can I do before I affect the fish negatively? Is anyone interested is getting some larger Mbuna hybrids? The fish seen unaffected, so far, by all of this. BTW, today is exactly 2 weeks since they moved in and I feel like all I have done is change water, feed, test water and worry. :( I don't remember fish keeping being this difficult :( Maybe as I have gotten older I'm more neurotic about giving them the best conditions possible. HELP!!!!!!!!

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6 years 3 weeks ago #33798 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
I've been doing daily water changes but the Nitrates haven't budged :( I'm wondering how long (how many changes) it will be before my fish are affected by the Nitrates as well as the water changes :( On a good note the Ammonia level is close to 0 today.
It's been a fight but I seem to be catching up. All this effort for hybrids; there are purists that would say I'm crazy.

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6 years 3 weeks ago - 6 years 3 weeks ago #33796 by PhilandLeeAnn
Replied by PhilandLeeAnn on topic Another Question
Nitrate remover other than water changes? Not so much. Plants - not really for mbuna - do a little. Maybe some gets removed through algae growth and a bristlenose pleco.

Several products claim to chemically remove nitrates, but absorb ammonia at the front end of the process and compete with your biological filter - not good. All other products are anaerobic bacteria (those types of bacteria can eat nitrate and convert it to nitrogen gases) media of small effect. One company sells porous rock (lava rock) as a media for anaerobic bacteria (apparently deep within the pores of rock where oxygen drops) as a partial aid to denitrification. All of minimal effect for the vast majority of us.

People have built anaerobic chambers to do the job with approaches that involve deep buckets or other more elaborate chambers. Extremely rare. For one example of why we don't, check this discussion out: forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?62...ITRATOR-FILTER-UNITS Some useful information about byproducts of the process that have to be managed, like degassing the nitrogen gases and killing harmful bacteria that can get back to your aquarium. Fascinatingly experimental tinkering, really.

There are other opinions and experiences. But most are a version of much work and expense with little effect and some side effects..
Last edit: 6 years 3 weeks ago by PhilandLeeAnn.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #33791 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
I just took a bunch of pictures and a video while I was cleaning the tank. Maybe someone can ID the fish or tell me if they are hybrids


s56.photobucket.com/user/GeriR/library/African%20Cichlids

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6 years 3 weeks ago #33790 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
I'm sitting here smiling since I just finished doing another water change. I had decided that as long as the Ammonia and Nitrites stay fairly balanced I needed to try and get the Nitrates in check. The gravel I could get to was pretty clean. I'm hoping that water changes do the trick otherwise I'll have to see if I can find a nitrate remover (Is there such a thing?) Other then the fact a lot of water is going down the drain the changes aren't that bad; if a bit time consuming.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #33788 by Midknight
Replied by Midknight on topic Another Question

mikeg2929 wrote: Your ammonia and nitrites are on the way to being fine, maybe even stable. What I would do is a 50% water change every day until your nitrates are at a normal level. THEN you can meaningfully monitor the changes. As far as your fish not being stressed - maybe not visibly but high nitrates do challenge the immune system. Eventually you'll have a visible problem and then you'll need to start with a regimen of meds, salts,etc. Better to get in front of it now.


I know this sounds like a pain, especially with a large tank, but Mike is right on. Nitrates will eventually stress the fish out and lead to health issues. The sooner they are in check the better. Be sure to siphon as much of the gravel as possible to remove any waste trapped within the gravel and beneath the under-gravel filter plate. You are a warrior, Geri, keep up the good fight.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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