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My nitrates are really high, hard to get carbonates up and pH is hanging about 6.0   I have about 40 large (4 -5 inch) goldfish in 400 + gallons.  It's cold here (low 20's at night and 30's in day) and I can't do a water change and my plants are growing slow.  It's hard to get my water temp up (around 60 to 65 degrees, usually about 70) because of the low outside temperatures.  I'd add more plants but that will take awhile to make a difference.

Any suggestions?

The transition from summer plants to fall/winter was hard to know when to make the switch as my tomato plants were doing well and I was reluctant to pull them but I probably waited too long and now don't have enough growing to use up my nitrates.  This is a few months into my second year.

Thanks for your experienced advice.

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Sounds as simple as more plants asap. As for heating up the tank I plan on putting a couple of coils of black hose out in the sun but covered up with something to keep the air temps out so I can pump the tank water through it periodically. The more hose the more heat.

http://www.diyaquarist.com  a diy Coil Denitrator Plans  – for removing nitrates from an aquarium.

I didn't build it yet.

Do not oversee that Nitrates will keep climbing while the fishes eat, they will eat more when the water gets warmer.

You should manage small water changes (10 to 25%) somehow

 

 

This is  concern Linda, I like to think of aquapons as not being gardeners or aquaculturists but bacteriologists.  If you look at it this way and wish to culture the most proficient bacteria possible then feeding and caring for your bacteria becomes your main concern.  With your temps dipping into the 20's at night and the 30's during the day, your bacteria is suffering.  You may want to re-think how you are going to get the water temps up.    You can go scrounge tech or make a solor water panel to heat your water.  I am sure that this is not the answer you were looking for but without the bacteria in optimum living condition your plants and ultimatly your fish will suffer.  I also agree with Philippe, start doing small water changes to not only clean the water but to warm it up a bit.

I did something similar at http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-solar-hot-tubspapool-heater/ for water temp pbs in very similar conditions.

But I built it INSIDE the greenhouse. the pipe I used wasn't good, use poly pipe 1/2 "

If your nitrates are high but both the ammonia and nitrite are 0, AND your water is cool AND you can't do water changes.  Then stop feeding the fish and let the plants use up what they can of the nitrates.  I wouldn't panic unless your nitrates are over 500.  You will probably have to dilute the sample by a measured amount to run the test and then multiply to get the real number for the nitrates if they are over 100.  (I personally can't read the difference in anything over about 40 with the API test kit.)



TCLynx said:

If your nitrates are high but both the ammonia and nitrite are 0, AND your water is cool AND you can't do water changes.  Then stop feeding the fish and let the plants use up what they can of the nitrates.  I wouldn't panic unless your nitrates are over 500.  You will probably have to dilute the sample by a measured amount to run the test and then multiply to get the real number for the nitrates if they are over 100.  (I personally can't read the difference in anything over about 40 with the API test kit.)

My water temperature are up to 68.  It is still hard to do a significant water change.  My ammonia is showing about .25 but nitrite is still 0.  So I will cut back on feeding.  I'm finding homes for my goldfish and changing to blue gil.

Thanks

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