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PostPosted: Feb 27th, '22, 08:14 
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I add masterblend and magnesium sulfate to my water. I have a few Blue Regal Peacocks and Convict Chichlids. Those are all okra growing in the net cups.

Over time the PPM just keeps going up and up and up over time. Even if I don't feed the fish for a few days.

Shouldn't at some point it be dropping because the plants are sucking stuff out of the water faster than the fish are putting it in?

Any thoughts appreciated!!!




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PostPosted: Feb 27th, '22, 12:26 
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What's all the white stuff I can see at the bottom of your fish tank?

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PostPosted: Feb 27th, '22, 14:02 
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Noogieloaf wrote:
What's all the white stuff I can see at the bottom of your fish tank?




Mostly some old roots from a previous grow (tomatoes). And some snail shells. That sort of thing.


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PostPosted: Feb 27th, '22, 15:20 
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I'd be siphoning off any dead organic matter from the bottom of the tank.

Is that an under gravel filter I can see? It is hard to tell from the photo. That sand/gravel looks quite fine - is it possible that you have some anaerobic spots in there?

What are you using for aeration?

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PostPosted: Feb 27th, '22, 15:45 
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Any decaying matter will contribute to your nitrates.

It takes my growbed looking like a jungle to keep my nitrates in the 40ppm

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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 13:42 
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Noogieloaf wrote:
I'd be siphoning off any dead organic matter from the bottom of the tank.

Is that an under gravel filter I can see? It is hard to tell from the photo. That sand/gravel looks quite fine - is it possible that you have some anaerobic spots in there?

What are you using for aeration?

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Aeration, very small pump you see below, probably a Wal-Mart special. :) Still, that should be enough right? I've always heard even minimal aeration is all you really need. No under gravel filter, I run a "matten filter", i.e. a giant sponge rectangular block on one side of my tank where I have two airlifters (run off those two lines coming out of the air pump in the picture) lifting water to the other side. So that is giving a LOT of room for bacteria to grow. The sand is very fine sand, no under-gravel filter but I've never had any problems with anaerobic zones as far as I know.

Thanks, and all ears for more!!!


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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 13:45 
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Rcmaveric wrote:
Any decaying matter will contribute to your nitrates.

It takes my growbed looking like a jungle to keep my nitrates in the 40ppm

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Thank you Rcmaveric! But look at my water tests below. Absolutely zero ammonia and nitrites, and the nitrates are very, very low, 5 to 10 ppm most. OK maybe 20, but that is way pushing it. :) So its not any of those. Yet the PPM still seems to rise over time. It is so weird!!!

Any more ideas appreciated!!!



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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 13:51 
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I would not even worry about that ammount. Thats about normally for me. As long as you aren't off the charts.

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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 14:02 
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I just tried to look up safe nitrate levels. I always kept it under 80ppm and didnt worry until it was getting over that. All the articles i just reviewed gave me different numbers. Ideal you want to be at zero or close to it. Real world that isnt always the case. Feeding and decaying matter all contribute as well as just the fish hanging out and living. Plants only use nitrates when they want to or need it. I have never gotte to zero. i have gotten pretty low with large plants and fingerlings.

With that said... look up your fish. See what their safe nitrate levels are. Then shoot for that. Smaller plants use less and bigger plants use more. As always have an emergency plan. I have a chlorine filter on my garden hose for emergencies like dangerous spikes or uncontrollable ph crashes.

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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 14:28 
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Thanks guys!

But, back to my original question. I'm not worried about the nitrate levels (or the ammonia or nitrite levels). My question is why on earth my PPM keeps going up and up and up over time, even when I'm not feeding my fish at all and when my nitrates, nitrites and ammonia are at zero or very close to it, and staying that way? Its just so weird....

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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '22, 15:03 
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What's the PH,GH & KH?

I'm pretty sure Nitrate won't show on a TDS meter.

The master blend & epsom salt is the most likely cause with the Calcium and the Carbonates (and who knows what else) in the top up water.

Again,the pics are way too big.Can you resize them before you post please.

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PostPosted: Mar 1st, '22, 12:06 
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Homeslice wrote:
Thanks guys!

But, back to my original question. I'm not worried about the nitrate levels (or the ammonia or nitrite levels). My question is why on earth my PPM keeps going up and up and up over time, even when I'm not feeding my fish at all and when my nitrates, nitrites and ammonia are at zero or very close to it, and staying that way? Its just so weird....

Thanks!!!
Just because they are at zero just mean the bacteria are eating it faster than the fish can make it. When we talk about a strong bio filter after a fishless cycle, that means the bacteria colony is so strong and healthy that when i add 50 fingerlings I will never see amonia and nitrites. Only nitrates. Thats how fast it is converted through the complete cycle. You dont even see it anymore. The amonia is getting straight converted faster than its made.

Ammonia is always getting produced. Fish are constantly releasing it into the water. Sometimes faster and sometimes slower depending on activity. Now add in your build up of wast over time. Thats why some of us like solid waste collection. It provides another means to control ammonia if needed. But you will never see the ammonia or nitrites, you will only see the nitrates building up. Being able to see ammonia on a test is the first sign of potential problems.

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PostPosted: Mar 1st, '22, 12:10 
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You ammonia looks zero or close to it. Thats good. Bacteria are eating it fast. Nitrites are good at zero. Nitrates look safe to me and for the fish i normally grow (catfish and bluegill).

How i test to see if my system is ready for fish after cycling. I add 4ppm of ammonia. Test the water the next day. If i have zero ammonia and zeroa nitrites. I am ready for fish. I keep adding 1 to 2 ppm of ammonia daily to keep my bacteria alive untill i add fish.

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PostPosted: Mar 1st, '22, 12:14 
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Sorry for so many posts. I think i understand what your asking but i also think I am misunderstanding. Because if I saw ammonia or nitrites, thats an alarm bell. Because that means my bio filter isnt working right. Its either weak or not adapting fast enough to keep my fish safe. I would be looking for the reason for the spike. Over feeding, too much bio load (over feeding or other decaying matter), or a dead fish ext.

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PostPosted: Mar 8th, '22, 12:33 
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Thanks everyone. Rcmaveric, my ammonia and nitrites always seem to be right at zero. Always. Which makes sense, I have a hamburg/matten filter (or some form thereof), as well as a lot of sand in the tank, so the surface area for bacteria is HUGE.

Not only that, my nitrates always seem to be zero. I've got like 12 ciclids in the tank (some South American Convict Ciclids, some Royal Blue Peacock Cichlids), so I would guess they could easily overwhelm the okra plants I have in there as far as nitrates go. But I do have lots of okra plants in there, so maybe not.

So I'm not complaining or asking about that aspect of it.

What I am saying is that if I do a water change, and the water is PPM of 400 right after the change, the next day it will be 525 PPM even if I haven't fed my fish anything for the last two days. And then the next day 650 PPM. Then next day 792 PPM. Or whatever.

There is some crud in that tank obviously, and it is surely rotting, releasing some minerals into the water, which would raise PPM, but shouldn't the HUGE amount of Okra be pulling tons of minerals out of the water, conversly causing the PPM should drop? Its just weird that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. My PPMs go up even if I don't add food for several days.

Thanks everyone!!!!


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