HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!
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HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!

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HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!
Old 09-18-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
 
Question HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!

Hello there..I am not new to owning an aquarium but it has been awhile so please bare with me. I have a 55 gallon aquarium. We let it cycle for 3 weeks, before we added ANY fish..and when we did add the fish it was because the pet store guy said are water was good to add when I brought him the sample. We had only added a few guppies and a female betta. Everything was well and fine, and then our fish just kept dropping off like flies. We would get our water tested..everything fine...so we would replace them. But the cycle of replacing the fish kept going and going. Well then I finally got tired of having our little fishies die, so I switched pet stores. When I did, the new guy told me we had alot of ammonia in our water! So I bought a couple Seachem products.."Prime" and "Stability". After a couple water changes and the medicines, our ammonia was back to 0..but now I got Nitrates and Nitrites in the tank! Is this normal? Is there anything else I should do? Any feedback would help me! Thank you!
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
BWG
 
Welcome to the forum and sorry about the losses.

Completely normal. Really crappy first fish store too. Not sure how you cycled it those first three weeks but unless you had something in there that was adding ammonia, you weren't doing anything.

Prime is good, use that with every water change. You might also want to buy your own test kit. Liquid is better than strips. I, and a lot of others on here, use the API master kit.

Right now you are doing a fish-in cycle. Not the end of the world, but does require work on your part. What happens in an aquarium is bacteria grow that convert ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. Two different types of bacteria. You have enough of the first type to handle whatever fish you have now. It will take a little to grow enough of the second type that converts nitrites to nitrates. That's why I said about having your own test kit so you can tell if those get to lethal levels.

Nitrates will be present. That's why weekly water changes are needed to remove them.
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Chesh (09-19-2013)
Old 09-18-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
 
Thank you so much! Ive looked all over the internet, and talked to several people...always getting different answers! So I should just wait it out then for a few weeks..doing a like 10-20% water change each week? Also, Ive been reading some things on here..are water changes different than vacume the gravel?
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
BWG
 
If you wait it out you are likely to lose more fish depending on how high the nitrites get. It's much better to do more frequent water changes at this point. This might be daily. You don't want nitrites. When the tank is fully cycled then you can go to week water changes, but I'd recommend more than 10%. 25-30% might be better. People normally vacuum the gravel while doing water changes.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
 
okie dokie! thank you so much! Should I add a capful of Prime at every water change?
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
BWG
 
For a 55 that's about the right amount. Some people on here will say to only add the amount you need for new water. I dose for the whole tank though and have never had a problem.
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undertheseagirl01 (09-18-2013)
Old 09-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
 
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Since Prime can be dose up to 5 x the amount in emergencies, using the "tank" volume would certainly help protect you from chemical dumps our water departments like to do to the water systems. Sounds like a good idea considering.
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undertheseagirl01 (09-19-2013)
Old 09-19-2013, 08:26 AM   #8
 
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Yes, dosing Prime for the tank volume is especially important while cycling.

How are you determining that you have nitrite and nitrate? What are the actual readings? What is your stocking level at this time?

You should j\keep the nitrite level <0.25ppm (ammonia also). Nitrate is OK >20ppm up to 40ppm. But you should eventually strive for <10ppm.

Do not be afraid of large water changes to keep your nitrite down. Remove wastes rigorously. Keep your tank clean. Feed lightly. Prime is your friend.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
 
Thank you for replying! I have those multi test strips for the nitrite and nitrates. Which for me is hard to tell what the actual readings are..all I know is the nitrates are showing up light pink, and the nitrites are a slightly darker shade of pink. Which im told the nitrates are okay, but its the nitrites ive gotta worry about. For the ammonia I have the liquid API test, which was high, but then got it to 0 finally. I guess I am kinda worried about doing larger water changes, I always assumed it would stress the fish. When I had aquariums in the past, I never tested the water( because more or less I was unaware it was important) and had absolutly no problems! Back then i only did a water change once a month. Now that Im doing it by the book, Im noticing things I didnt before. One being, more water changes are better!
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by undertheseagirl01 View Post
Thank you for replying! I have those multi test strips for the nitrite and nitrates. Which for me is hard to tell what the actual readings are..all I know is the nitrates are showing up light pink, and the nitrites are a slightly darker shade of pink. Which im told the nitrates are okay, but its the nitrites ive gotta worry about. For the ammonia I have the liquid API test, which was high, but then got it to 0 finally. I guess I am kinda worried about doing larger water changes, I always assumed it would stress the fish. When I had aquariums in the past, I never tested the water( because more or less I was unaware it was important) and had absolutly no problems! Back then i only did a water change once a month. Now that Im doing it by the book, Im noticing things I didnt before. One being, more water changes are better!
Listen to Hallyx and everything will turn out right.
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