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Old 02-17-2007, 08:10 AM
 
546 posts, read 2,420,056 times
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We are new to owning fish and are having a tough time getting our nitrate levels within normal range. We have a 10 gallon tank with 3 fish in it. They seem to be handling the stress so far. I have added bacteria supplement, saline and have done numerous partial water changes. Any other suggestions. Oh, and we are only feeding them a pinch at night. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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Sorry about the troubles...definitely get the additives of bacteria and the other drops to get rid of other water additives. From my experience, the smaller the aquarium the more difficult it is to maintain it (have to clean it more often, so limited on fish size & number, etc.). I'd also suggest buying live aquarium plants as they can help to create a more stable and natural environment. I'm definitely not a pro...just had a few aquariums over the years (including a 10 gallon tank that I thought was a pain in the **** but was good for learning about the hobby). Good luck!
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:26 PM
 
546 posts, read 2,420,056 times
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sloppy joe, thanks for the advice. I am wishing we got a 20 gallon tank... Hopefully, this mornings h20 change will help.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago
43 posts, read 320,632 times
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If the fish are sturdy enough (such as platties) then no problem. You could cycle a tank with just 1 fish. One way to jump-start a biofilter, is to loan a fresh sponge (aquaclear 10gal filter replacement part) to a friend with a tank. If this is put in their ACTIVE biofilter for a week, then it will be full of the "good" bacteria. Remove the bacteria-laden sponge, put it in a plastic bag to keep it wet, transport the sponge back to your biofilter within 2 hours. I generally avoid PetSmart & Petco and try to shop at specialist fish shops. When you have problems, you'll know someone with more years of experience than the 16 year old selling hamsters & fish at The Borg.


I have a 90 gal tank. 1000 pounds of water, rock, glass & mahogany resting on a bouncy truss floor...
...that I reinforced with 2x10's...
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,563 posts, read 5,391,676 times
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Default kudos to kevin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin HW Engineer View Post
If the fish are sturdy enough (such as platties) then no problem. You could cycle a tank with just 1 fish. One way to jump-start a biofilter, is to loan a fresh sponge (aquaclear 10gal filter replacement part) to a friend with a tank. If this is put in their ACTIVE biofilter for a week, then it will be full of the "good" bacteria. Remove the bacteria-laden sponge, put it in a plastic bag to keep it wet, transport the sponge back to your biofilter within 2 hours. I generally avoid PetSmart & Petco and try to shop at specialist fish shops. When you have problems, you'll know someone with more years of experience than the 16 year old selling hamsters & fish at The Borg.


I have a 90 gal tank. 1000 pounds of water, rock, glass & mahogany resting on a bouncy truss floor...
...that I reinforced with 2x10's...
couldn't have put it better. It sure sounds like a nitrate imbalance to me; I usually have watersprite or similar floating in all my small tanks (sucks nitrates) and is MANDATORY for small shrimp and some snails that don't like wide swings in their water quality. good luck; hey, what are the three fish??
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,835 posts, read 8,457,573 times
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ETA: Nevermind, as far as the original poster goes -- I just noticed this thread is dated February of 2007. However, for lurkers who may read it and want the information, here's what information one would need to have before being able to answer a question like the OP's. . .

How often and how much water are you replacing in your water changes? Are you using tap water? Are you treating it for ammonia and chlorine before you add it?

Are you sure it's nitrates you're having a problem with? Nitrates are the end of the biological cycle, and in a "closed system" (which is what an aquarium is), the best way to reduce them is with partial water changes (although live plants can help absorb some of them, they are a PITA to keep). But if your nitrates are high, the rest of the qualities should be good (ammonia and nitrites) -- are you testing for all 3?

Do you have good aeration in the tank (air stones or other bubblers)? What do you have the temperature set at? Raising the temperature to 80-82 degrees can help speed up the cycling process.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,495 posts, read 33,020,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloppy_joe View Post
From my experience, the smaller the aquarium the more difficult it is to maintain it (have to clean it more often, so limited on fish size & number, etc.). I'd also suggest buying live aquarium plants as they can help to create a more stable and natural environment. I'm definitely not a pro...just had a few aquariums over the years (including a 10 gallon tank that I thought was a pain in the **** but was good for learning about the hobby). Good luck!
I would not use a 10 gallon for anything other than a betta (yes, folks betta needs more than just a jar) or a crab or some other small solitary creature.

A lot of fish either get too big, or require many buddies to keep healthy.

I agree with joe on the live plants. They not only get help create a stable environment, they are awesome aerators and water purifiers.

I would recommend that the OP checks craigslist if s/he wants to upgrade from the 20. Local fish forums are also a great way to find bigger tanks cheap.
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