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Cycled tank with suddenly high nitrite level?

This is a discussion on Cycled tank with suddenly high nitrite level? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Juggernaut122 oh, no problem. I thought that there might be an issue with the safe-start. The fish seem fine - they ...

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Cycled tank with suddenly high nitrite level?
Old 09-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
BWG
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggernaut122 View Post
oh, no problem. I thought that there might be an issue with the safe-start.

The fish seem fine - they are acting normally. Some people have told me there can be contamination of the vials for the API master kit but everything seemed ok until a few days ago....

time line:
1) 2 months ago, did a fishless cycle - ammonia up to 8 by using food, then added safe-start, then ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 20.

2) added the 2 mollys (as you know). tank stayed ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 20

3) added the 3 glofish and ammonia 0.25, nitrite 8

4) water changes and more safe-start added, then back to ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 20

5) everything stable for like a week (actually, it was 2 weeks) ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 20, then suddenly current readings of ammonia 0, nitrite 8, nitrates 20. No new fish in the past 2 weeks.

Thanks,
Juggernaut.
Hopefully someone that knows the Safe Start will be able to comment. I think I've seen Hallyx mention it recently.

Are you using strips or a liquid test? Liquid tests are more accurate.

You must have had to use a bunch of food to get up to 8ppm. That was a couple months ago, but still the bacteria double in about 24 hours so there should be enough to after 2 weeks to cover the added bioload for three glofish.

My issue with your fish is more one of room, not bioload so this is separate. The tank should be able to handle the bioload. The bottled bacteria is just a total unknown to me. For now I'd just do water changes to bring it down and dose with Prime to help neutralize it. Sorry, best I can offer at the moment.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by blackwaterguy View Post
I know nothing about that stuff, only asked for someone else that does and in case it is important.

Fill me in on the whole timeline, cause I'm slightly confused.

Are you using strips? Something is off here and I don't know for sure yet what it is. If the nitrites were that high you should be seeing symptoms in the fish as you are really close to lethal levels.
A little update - I tested the tap water and it came back positive for nitrites of 1.0.
-so either my tap water has nitrites or my vials are contaminated - I will clean them out better and try again. Yet I am not sure this explains everything since the reading of the tap water was not 5.

-Also, wanted to clarify that the nitrites from the tank were 5 (not 8) - it was the max on the test which is 5 (8 is for the ammonia - I got the numbers mixed up).
I am using the API fresh water master test kit.

Thanks,
Juggernaut
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #13
 
Hi,

I am now noticing that the plastic plants and 1 side of the glass of the tank has black build-up - which I presume is algae...

Can that cause the nitrite spike?
Any effect of algae on the cycle?

What is the proper way to clean the algae and prevent it from recurring?

Thank you!
Juggernaut
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggernaut122 View Post
Hi,

I am now noticing that the plastic plants and 1 side of the glass of the tank has black build-up - which I presume is algae...

Can that cause the nitrite spike?
Any effect of algae on the cycle?

What is the proper way to clean the algae and prevent it from recurring?

Thank you!
Juggernaut
I brought some water to Petsmart - both the tank and the tap water.

Ends up the tank water nitrite was down to 1.5 BUT the tap water nitrite level was 2.

I will have to check but I don't remember my tap water having nitrites in it previously (using city water).

The nitrites are now down to 0.25 today. I wonder if the water changes were causing the level to be elevated since apparently the nitrites are in the water now....no water changes in the past few days and the levels are getting better....

Also my algae seem to have spontaneously gone away....

Juggernaut
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggernaut122 View Post
I brought some water to Petsmart - both the tank and the tap water.

Ends up the tank water nitrite was down to 1.5 BUT the tap water nitrite level was 2.

I will have to check but I don't remember my tap water having nitrites in it previously (using city water).

The nitrites are now down to 0.25 today. I wonder if the water changes were causing the level to be elevated since apparently the nitrites are in the water now....no water changes in the past few days and the levels are getting better....

Also my algae seem to have spontaneously gone away....

Juggernaut
It looks like the nitrites are being consumed by the cycle. Question is - how long is it taking to consume the nitrites. If its 30 hours or less, Prime during a water change will detoxify it long enough for it to be consumed. If not, and the tap nitrites are permanent , you might need a new water source. Or a lot of fast plants may help.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #16
 
Yep. nitrIte spike that maxes out the nitrIte test kits are common.

Stop adding food until it goes down.



my .02
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #17
BWG
 
Was the algae brown diatoms? Those are common in new tanks (new, new tanks not used ones that are newly setup). The feed on silicates so if you don't have any in your water they will go away on their own.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:36 AM   #18
 
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+1 to beaslbob (or maybe .02)

I've talked to a lot of people and read as much as I can about bottled-bacteria. Nobody I know has written about anything like large ammonia or nitrite spikes. Just the typical mini-cycle when adding stock or a little from overfeeding or not vacuuming. And certainly nothing 2 months after dosing.

I don't know of any way to produce nitrite without oxidizing ammonia. Can't imagine how it gets in your tapwater.(Deja vu---have we covered this on another thread?).

Double- or triple-dosing Prime is supposed to detoxify nitrite, according to Seachem. I can't see how, though. And they can't explain it to my satisfaction..
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