The most obvious thing can slip your mind!

FINWIN

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Okay, so my big parrot Kong started flicking a bit earlier this afternoon. Not constant, just two or three times. So I started thinking it was another ph crash (covered in another thread). Sprinkled a little baking soda in. Kong perked up, no more flicking. But I noticed his color was still pale for him.

Got suspicious and decided to do a water test. To my shock I had nitrates at 60 or more and nitrite over 4. So I'm like "what the hell???" Kong gets a 50 percent water change twice a week and daily poop clean. Never had parameters like that! Tap water has no ammonia or nitrates here. The internal sponge filter and sponge prefilter on the hob stem is fine. So I kept thinking, what have I missed now? :nilly:

The damn filter pads! The HOB filter has a strip pad at the waterfall level. Full of gunk and clogged. The custom pad I put over the ceramic media. Full of gunk and clogged. So DUH, I cleaned those and did a fin level water change. Kong is delighted with the change and so am I.

Cheez, I added the extra filters to be a bonus, not a problem...guess that happens when you miss something on the maintenance check list! :irked:
 

skjl47

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Hello; Good that you caught it. On of our members ( duanes duanes ) calls dirty filters nitrate factories.
 

FINWIN

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I am a believer! Also explains the chronic 'cloudiness' war with Kong's tank.
 

duanes

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Unless regularly cleaned, every couple days or so, most filters become nitrate factories.
This is why I consider canisters some of the lousiest filters for aquariums being produced.
Sure they keep the water looking clear, but the invisible chemical residue, from their user unfriendliness to get regular frequent cleanings , far outweighs to me, the water clarity benefit.
 
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NoobAquarist

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I agree. Weird as it may seem, I use HOBs for my turtle tanks. Everyone rolls their eyes and assumes I'm some idiot who doesn't know about a canister filter. I have used canisters in the past from everything from newts to fish and I've had problems almost every time. The Aqueon quietflow is good for smaller tanks (-100g) because you can put a secondary filter pad on. Which one you get (but I make my own) is your choice.
 
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FINWIN

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To my extreme annoyance Kong's tank had ridiculous nitrite /nitrate again tonight. The clue was the strange color pattern Kong was developing (weird pink and white patches with orange). Cleaned the pads again...admit to not having cleaned the sponge internal filter 3 days ago. Cleaned THAT this time. Cleaned the hob stem prefilter again. Also removed the marimo balls. There is nothing else for me to try at this point...again I did a fin level w/c. Two fin level in less than 3 days. So either it was the internal sponge filter OR the marimo balls maybe both...Patch and Kong are basically the same size in same sized tanks, same filtration and schedule yet I have no issue with Patch's water quality. Makes no damn sense. :irked:

I'll check the numbers again this weekend to see if there is final resolution on the situation. Kong immediately returned to his normal 'pearl' orange color fifteen minutes after the w/c. Sometimes parrots change color for no reason according to their mood. But sometimes its an indicator something is going on with the water. Just have to know when to read the tea leaves.
 

skjl47

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Hello; When test numbers do not make sense one thing I suggest is to get some distilled water and use it to clean all the test vials. I think I picked this up from duanes some time back. The distilled water is good at picking up contaminants. It seems just a few bits of contaminant can skew the results.
 
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imabot

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Hello; When test numbers do not make sense one thing I suggest is to get some distilled water and use it to clean all the test vials. I think I picked this up from duanes some time back. The distilled water is good at picking up contaminants. It seems just a few bits of contaminant can skew the results.

+1
 

FINWIN

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Ok, here's what I found out. Hopefully the final reason for the nonstop issues.

I have used both the strips and liquid. My experience has been the readings are pretty much the same, and I don't like the hazard issues with the liquid kit. So I cross checked all the tanks for accuracy. Everyone was fine with water except Kong. So my next step was to clear out everything, no exceptions. Two things...there was a piece of plant stem that had rotted in the last day or so. Gone.

Next, I found a surprise under Kong's boulder in the deep layers of sand. There was some poop so old it was gray! So even though I vaccumed that area, (once again) it wasn't caught. So, vaccumed out. I also removed all of the smaller stones except one that's in a corner that Kong doesn't 'go' in. He always liked to leave his mess in the crevices behind one of the plants next to the boulder. I removed that plant as well. So the substrate is wide open now with no chance for any 'nooks and crannys' that hold poop that ends up way down in the sand. Hopefully this is the last of this issue. When I vaccum and stir there's no place for stuff to hide now. Kong is reacting well to the change.

So remember all 'y'all...if you can't find the answer just burn baby, burn. :angryfire
 
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