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Cabomba vs GF: Nitrate woes

Discussion in 'Goldfish VS Plant' started by Surrealasm, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Surrealasm

    Surrealasm Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Dallas
    Hey guys,

    so im currently at an impasse...

    in the picture you can see that my current set up for my 20g includes a planter, full of cabomba that is just growing like crazy.

    if you saw my other post, i currently have a ryukin in a hospital tank so that he can recover from a bit of congested fin disease. his fin is looking almost totally better, btw.

    currently my ranchu is just as bubbly and playful as when i first got her, but im noticing something kind of alarming... i have Nitrate levels around the 50ppms that just refuse to lower. my tap water is actually reading at 0ppm, so its not coming from there...

    im thinking my planter that i love so much, and my ranchu loves to play in/nom on is the culprit.

    i do not gravel vac it because doing so would destroy all the awesome roots that the cabomba have grown... but really my fish come above all else.

    any plant gurus have some tips on how to clean the substrate without totally destroying the plants? i hate to get rid of them but i want whats best for my fish.

    also, i have a 55 g that is currently cycling. when its complete i will be transfering both fish to that set-up, and i plan to keep it pretty minimal. currently just black sand on the bottom, and maybe just a few large river rocks for decoration.

    any advice appreciated, i feel like i am learning so many lessons about what NOT to do
     

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  2. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    I keep my planted tank exactly as you do in glass vases. I never vacuum the vases with the plants but do vacuum the surrounding areas of the tank. I do not have any issues with nitrates. I would suggest that you do larger more frequent water changes, vacuum the debris on the bottom of your tank, and cut back on your feedings. You want your nitrate to be under 40 ppm
     
    orangecrush likes this.
  3. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    Forgot to mention, vacuum under the glass planters. A lot of debris will be under them
     
  4. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    How often do you change water and how much do you change each time?
     
  5. Surrealasm

    Surrealasm Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Dallas
    Thanks for the tip joe; when I did my water change yesterday I pulled the planter completely out of the tank, and ran it under some tap water to try and dislodge any food bits that might have settled on the surface of the gravel. I also have about a 1-inch gap from the very top lip of the glass to the top of the substrate... I am considering filling it all the way up, that way there is less room for anything to hang out in the "dead space".

    I do a 90-95% water change every week. After noticing the NO3 I have been doing an additional 70-80% change.
     
  6. QandO

    QandO Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If you want to “gravel vac” your plant, you can poke the substrate up and down with a chopstick or skewer while holding a siphon just above it. Will dislodge a bit of the mulm without tearing apart the plant roots.
     
  7. Surrealasm

    Surrealasm Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Dallas
    Thanks, I will definitely do this!

    I checked today and the Nitrate is still hanging out around 40-80PPM(Ammonia and Nitrite are still 0)... I have been doing 95% W/Cs 2x a week, so I am getting to the point where I am considering taking all the plants out until my fish go into the 55 gal.

    It's too bad, because my cabomba and Java ferns are all putting off new growth like there is no tomorrow.

    Also, my Ranchu is laying eggs like, at least once a week. Most of them disappear by the end of the day, but I'm wondering if that is also contributing to the high Nitrate count. Anyone have any tips on egg clean up? I can dislodge most of the ones that are on the glass with the syphon tube, but there's still a few stuck in all the foliage
     

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