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Old 09-26-2012, 06:46 PM   #1 
finnfinnfriend
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Nitrate level: room for err?

It was water change day today, so I tested may nitrates before changing the water, so I got the highest reading that it would be. Here's the results:



So, does it look like less than 5 nitrates, or about 5? Does that mean I can feed my little guy more, or change less water each week, or add a small snail or something and still have the nitrates in the low zone? In case you haven't guessed, my tank is cycled....
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:45 AM   #2 
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bump, thanks.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #3 
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That's acceptably low nitrates. They aren't that critical, anyway. Don'r know your pwc schedule, but weekly is minimum, imo.

I wouldn't use nitrate levels as a criterion for feeding or selecting tankmates. It's so easy to change it out. Ammonia is the one to watch.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #4 
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i hate that test. 10/20 looks the same and 40/80 looks the same.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:56 AM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
That's acceptably low nitrates. They aren't that critical, anyway. Don'r know your pwc schedule, but weekly is minimum, imo.

I wouldn't use nitrate levels as a criterion for feeding or selecting tankmates. It's so easy to change it out. Ammonia is the one to watch.
I do a pwc once a week...would ammonia be zero since im cycled though?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:58 AM   #6 
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i hate that test. 10/20 looks the same and 40/80 looks the same.
I know! Its so hard to tell which one is closest! Like in the light or up against the card it looks so different!
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:31 PM   #7 
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In a cycled tank, ammonia and nitrite should read 0.0ppm.

In nitrates, the difference between 10ppm and 20ppm (or between 40/80) is not critcal. Keeping it <10ppm is nice but it won't hurt your fish if it's not. In ammonia or nitrite every 0.25ppm increment is important.

Eventually, you won't even look at the color cards; you'll just know.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:35 PM   #8 
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In a cycled tank, ammonia and nitrite should read 0.0ppm.

In nitrates, the difference between 10ppm and 20ppm (or between 40/80) is not critcal. Keeping it <10ppm is nice but it won't hurt your fish if it's not. In ammonia or nitrite every 0.25ppm increment is important.

Eventually, you won't even look at the color cards; you'll just know.
So youre saying whether it's 5 or 20ppm it doesn't matter, just as long as it's 30 or less it's safe?

Also, what does the picture look like to you?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:44 PM   #9 
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So youre saying whether it's 5 or 20ppm it doesn't matter, just as long as it's 30 or less it's safe?
Pretty much <20ppm nitrates is fine, at 20ppm you should be considering a PWC even if you aren't "scheduled" for one (with a cycled tank changing at least 25% weekly should be fine, but more water should be changed as the nitrates increase, as they will over time). I find it hard to tell the difference between 5, 10, and 20 myself.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:25 AM   #10 
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Pretty much <20ppm nitrates is fine, at 20ppm you should be considering a PWC even if you aren't "scheduled" for one (with a cycled tank changing at least 25% weekly should be fine, but more water should be changed as the nitrates increase, as they will over time). I find it hard to tell the difference between 5, 10, and 20 myself.
Oh okay, thanks. So it doesn't make any difference to my fish? And what Does mine look like to you?
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