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HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!

This is a discussion on HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Strips are not considered as accurate as liquid testing, but it's not hopeless. If your strip indicates any nitrite, do a >25% water change. ...

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HELP ME PLEASE! NITRITES&NITRATES ohh my!
Old 09-20-2013, 06:47 AM   #11
 
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Strips are not considered as accurate as liquid testing, but it's not hopeless. If your strip indicates any nitrite, do a >25% water change. Nitrite is as dangerous as ammonia and should be kept <0.25ppm. If you can afford the API nitrite test, you should buy one.

Don't worry about nitrate for now.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by undertheseagirl01 View Post
okie dokie! thank you so much! Should I add a capful of Prime at every water change?
NOTE: You MUST add the prime to the NEW water BEFORE adding the new water to the tank.

If you add the water without prime already in it, then all the chlorine in the new water will kill the bacteria in the tank and your cycle will be ruined and you will need to start it all over again.

I hope this helps.
Juggernaut
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:08 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by blackwaterguy View Post
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.
Well said and I agree with buying your own test kit instead of relying on others as it sounded like they just wanted you to keep coming back for more fish The ol nitrogen cycle takes time remember and even though it is tempting to go get your fish you have to make sure the tank has cycled first. This cycle seems to be an ongoing problem with new tank owners as it is something we can't physically see happening so we kinda overlook it when first starting a tank. I made a video on the Nitrogen Cycle aka "the Silent Killer", so if you are interested you can check it out as I describe how the cycle kinda works. Best of luck with your tank and keep at it!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhBHxzV1jqI
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:12 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Juggernaut122 View Post
NOTE: You MUST add the prime to the NEW water BEFORE adding the new water to the tank.

If you add the water without prime already in it, then all the chlorine in the new water will kill the bacteria in the tank and your cycle will be ruined and you will need to start it all over again.

I hope this helps.
Juggernaut
Good Point and I like to add the dechlorinater a day before I do the water change so that way I know in my brain that the water is treated throughout and ready to go
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Aqua Hound View Post
Good Point and I like to add the dechlorinater a day before I do the water change so that way I know in my brain that the water is treated throughout and ready to go
I don't know that I would advise this practice!...but I'm open to hearing why if I'm wrong here. It should be before or during the water change. As every tank is different with a different mix of fish, this practice could allow large amounts of ammonia to build in your tank again before you add new water. I've heard that de-chlor lasts about 24 hours... can't confirm this but that is the thought. I did find the Prime site and it is a great read! I've shared it to help. Prime costs more but one cap does 50 Gallons! So a small bottle for a few dollars more is an awesome insurance against lots of troubles in your tank. Troubles come up ongoing. I wouldn't use anything else and I keep it in my supplies and would never allow myself to run out! Buy it when it's on sale and stay ahead of your needs.

Seachem. Prime

Last edited by SeaHorse; 09-22-2013 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by SeaHorse View Post
I don't know that I would advise this practice!...but I'm open to hearing why if I'm wrong here. It should be before or during the water change. As every tank is different with a different mix of fish, this practice could allow large amounts of ammonia to build in your tank again before you add new water. I've heard that de-chlor lasts about 24 hours... can't confirm this but that is the thought. I did find the Prime site and it is a great read! I've shared it to help. Prime costs more but one cap does 50 Gallons! So a small bottle for a few dollars more is an awesome insurance against lots of troubles in your tank. Troubles come up ongoing. I wouldn't use anything else and I keep it in my supplies and would never allow myself to run out! Buy it when it's on sale and stay ahead of your needs.

Seachem. Prime
I mix Prime in a 5 gallon bucket the day before I do water changes in my tank. Everyone does it different, but I been doing this for a year and a half now and have had no troubles since the beginning up till now with the tank. The thing I don't like about adding it to the tank as it is filling is everything from beneficial bacteria to your fish are being exposed to chlorines as I'm sure Prime doesn't instantly remove the chlorine and chloramines. I'm sure it takes time to work it's way through the water column and do it's job and that's why I premix the day before my 25% weekly water change. Check out my video on my channel on water changes below for how I do water changes and what has worked for me. Cheers

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZYybqTe9S7O-kIHF_aq69w

Last edited by Aqua Hound; 09-22-2013 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #17
 
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I's OK to dose Prime into the refill bucket as you fill it. It really does work instantaneously. And, truth be known, if your water is within the legal limit for chloramine, it takes a while for it to kill off the nitrifying bacteria. Prime will have split it into chlorine and ammonia long before that, and treated the chlorine and detoxified the ammonia as well.

This is the disadvantage of "aging" water for a day or more: The ammonia that Prime splits off is converted to harmless ammonium. Ammonium wants to return to being ammonia within a day or two; so it's on its way there by time you fill your tank. Better to refill right away and let the nitrifying bacteria eat the ammonium before it reconverts back to ammonia.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:30 AM   #18
 
Thank you so much everyone for the helpful information! It is so hard to understand whats going on in my tank without seeing it, like you said. I do keep getting frustrated cause I want to add more fish, but know that it is a death sentence if I do. I will go to the shop today and pick up a liquid test kit, even though more expensive...it is well worth it to me!
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:50 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I's OK to dose Prime into the refill bucket as you fill it. It really does work instantaneously. And, truth be known, if your water is within the legal limit for chloramine, it takes a while for it to kill off the nitrifying bacteria. Prime will have split it into chlorine and ammonia long before that, and treated the chlorine and detoxified the ammonia as well.

This is the disadvantage of "aging" water for a day or more: The ammonia that Prime splits off is converted to harmless ammonium. Ammonium wants to return to being ammonia within a day or two; so it's on its way there by time you fill your tank. Better to refill right away and let the nitrifying bacteria eat the ammonium before it reconverts back to ammonia.
I agree but just remember if you have a well established biological filtration in your tank, than those ammonia loving bacteria (nitrosomonas bacteria) will take care of that ammonia with no problem that is if your tank is established and has a healthy colony of nitrifying bacteria. I see what you are saying though and I honestly have never had problems with the way I have done it, but everyone does it a little different eh? Thanks
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:51 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by undertheseagirl01 View Post
Thank you so much everyone for the helpful information! It is so hard to understand whats going on in my tank without seeing it, like you said. I do keep getting frustrated cause I want to add more fish, but know that it is a death sentence if I do. I will go to the shop today and pick up a liquid test kit, even though more expensive...it is well worth it to me!
Good choice in not rushing this and good luck!
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