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...and I thought I might avoid the whole cycling issue

This is a discussion on ...and I thought I might avoid the whole cycling issue within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron Jeff, are you using Prime as your conditioner? I don't use a conditioner, I don't even have any... rethinking that ...

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...and I thought I might avoid the whole cycling issue
Old 01-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
JDM
 
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Jeff, are you using Prime as your conditioner?
I don't use a conditioner, I don't even have any... rethinking that situation today for "just in cases". Something that detoxes might come in handy.

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If nitrite really was as high as 1 ppm, you would see it in the fish, they would be under considerable stress and some likely at the point of death. Which says to me that either the test is not accurate for some reason, or a detoxifier such as Prime is present to make these "nitrites" harmless.
Well, my first test showed around 4ppm... which is why I skipped a retest and went straight to water change. I was glad to see 0.25 upon testing after the change but would have been happier had it been zero and proven that the initial test was totally flawed. I thought that levels that high would have been so toxic as to see SOME signs in the fish.... nada. Got me to wondering how toxic nitrite was, I thought it was right there with ammonia without the whole balancing act of another ionic state... making 100% of it toxic rather than some ratio depending on various water parameters. I think the chart only goes to 5ppm and being so near the top was not a comfortable feeling.

Anyway, handling it best I can and I'll see where it goes tomorrow.

Jeff.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
 
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I have read that nitrite is even more toxic than ammonia. Fish tolerance varies of course, and pH plays into it apparently, though I do not understand this well. But what is certain is that damage is being done internally at very low levels, even 0.5 ppm.

Fish that are exposed to even low levels of nitrite for long periods of time suffer damage to their immune system and are prone to secondary diseases. Nitrite causes an increase of methemoglobin in the blood that renders the blood unable to transport oxygen. This causes the increased respiration, gasping, etc. As methemoglobin levels increase damage occurs to the liver, gills and blood cells. If untreated, affected fish eventually die from lack of oxygen, and/or secondary diseases.

Levels of 1 ppm are often fatal very quickly.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:49 PM   #13
 
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I've heard it suggested that AQ salt helps the fish cope with high nitrite. Don't know personally. Don't believe in salt, myself. Don't even own any.

To help mix the #2 nitrate bottle:
Remove the dropper part...carefully, with pliers.
Insert a pea-sized bead or pebble.

This makes a "rattlecan" out of your bottle for easy and thorough mixing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
 
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I don't use a conditioner, I don't even have any... rethinking that situation today for "just in cases". Something that detoxes might come in handy.



Well, my first test showed around 4ppm... which is why I skipped a retest and went straight to water change. I was glad to see 0.25 upon testing after the change but would have been happier had it been zero and proven that the initial test was totally flawed. I thought that levels that high would have been so toxic as to see SOME signs in the fish.... nada. Got me to wondering how toxic nitrite was, I thought it was right there with ammonia without the whole balancing act of another ionic state... making 100% of it toxic rather than some ratio depending on various water parameters. I think the chart only goes to 5ppm and being so near the top was not a comfortable feeling.

Anyway, handling it best I can and I'll see where it goes tomorrow.

Jeff.
How come you don't actually have any conditioner? Do you have zero chlorine/chloramine in your water? I cant remember now where you get your water from, only that you cut it....

Glad the situation is being resolved though via your water changes and the fish are showing no signs of illness etc, perhaps it was a short lived spike as suggested and you caught it early. We can hope.... keep us updated as to your discoveries on the matter!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
 
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please, pretty please don't do water changes.
I'm sooooo confused by this. I have seen it posted by you many times now and get that you are clearly against this, but as Jeff has showed above, doing the change IMMEDIATELY brought down the ppm of nitrites in his tank.......so why do you advocate against it. Is there scientific evidence to back up what your telling people etc?

This is in no way a criticism bealsbob.....I'm just Very curious etc
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #16
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How come you don't actually have any conditioner? Do you have zero chlorine/chloramine in your water? I cant remember now where you get your water from, only that you cut it....

Glad the situation is being resolved though via your water changes and the fish are showing no signs of illness etc, perhaps it was a short lived spike as suggested and you caught it early. We can hope.... keep us updated as to your discoveries on the matter!
Just hard well water. I only cut it once as the hardness reduces substantially in the tank very quickly.

I tested this morning and it was still at 0.25ppm nitrites. I'm going to change more out at lunch after testing to see if it moves.

I didn't feed the fish today, my daughter was all worried about that. I usually tell her when she whines about being hungry before supper "you can go three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food... stop whining". I told her the fish would be fine for a week without food, particularly as they scavenge off the bottom and plants anyway and she eventually decided I might be right.

No, she didn't sneak any food in there while I wasn't looking, she wouldn't do that.

The only thing I can remotely think of that has been different (other than the new tank, new plants, new everything really....) is that I fed them raw salmon last week one evening. They went bonkers for it fighting over the larger pieces, shark feeding frenzys' got nothing on my barb frenzy. I cut it into tiny pieces and, like the pellet feeding, made sure that none made it to the bottom.

Jeff.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:29 AM   #17
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I'm sooooo confused by this. I have seen it posted by you many times now and get that you are clearly against this, but as Jeff has showed above, doing the change IMMEDIATELY brought down the ppm of nitrites in his tank.......so why do you advocate against it. Is there scientific evidence to back up what your telling people etc?

This is in no way a criticism bealsbob.....I'm just Very curious etc
In a well planted tank it should be unusual to have a nitrite spike... particularly if all of the typical bacteria colonies are developed.

As Byron has mentioned in another post, there should be no reason to have an ammonia spike in such a tank unless some accident caused it... no concrete example of what that might be though. Extrapolating that to nitrites, the same reasoning should apply. Nitrate buildup could be a natural progression though.

BBob is probably correct as the nitrites should be looked after by the respective bacteria, stop feeding the fish will reduce the ammonia production which should help the bacteria assimilate the nitrites. Leaving things be would be better, particularly if the water is of different parameters than the tank, more shock to already stressed fish, assuming that the tank has all of the necessary bacteria in place.

In my mind, if all the bacteria (bacterium?) were already there, this would not likely have occurred. In a three week planted tank, I doubt they would be there in full force and therefore it will not auto-correct quickly. I basically end up with a nitrogen cycled tank only without the ammonia spike. I am still showing zero nitrates and I believe this further demonstrates that I am missing those second stage bacteria.

Heading home shortly so I will see what is up... hopefully not the nitrites.

BTW, I think that I may have muffed the initial nitrite test in such a way to make it show very high levels, 4ppm, so I just went into emergency water change mode without much thought other than "I am ever glad I didn't decide to mess with the water parameters, this would be next to impossible to do if I needed 30 gallons of pre-prepped and warmed farty water" . Had it shown the true 1ppm, not that it is healthy, I might have handled it a bit differently.... at least thought it more through than I did.

Jeff.

Last edited by JDM; 01-21-2013 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: added the BTW.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #18
 
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It's fair point what you say about missing the bacteria, or you may simply have not enough of it if the plants are out competing the bacteria for the ammonia it's likely any bacteria you do have will be minimal, especially in such a new tank, therefore leading to problems with it correcting the "spike."

At the same time though as far as I was aware plants would also consume nitrites so, hmm.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:27 PM   #19
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It's fair point what you say about missing the bacteria, or you may simply have not enough of it if the plants are out competing the bacteria for the ammonia it's likely any bacteria you do have will be minimal, especially in such a new tank, therefore leading to problems with it correcting the "spike."

At the same time though as far as I was aware plants would also consume nitrites so, hmm.
I've not seen anything mentioning plants and nitrites, only nitrates and they don't use nitrates, from the water, until after the ammonia is gone... it's chemically easier for them to "digest". It sounds to me as if they skip the nitrites altogether or perhaps they would be after the nitrates are gone. That could lead a little into why I have nitrites and no ammonia and no nitrates I suppose. Pretty far fetched assumption though.

Either way, creating less ammonia serves all cases.

Jeff.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:55 PM   #20
 
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I've not seen anything mentioning plants and nitrites, only nitrates and they don't use nitrates, from the water, until after the ammonia is gone... it's chemically easier for them to "digest". It sounds to me as if they skip the nitrites altogether or perhaps they would be after the nitrates are gone. That could lead a little into why I have nitrites and no ammonia and no nitrates I suppose. Pretty far fetched assumption though.

Either way, creating less ammonia serves all cases.

Jeff.
According to studies cited in Walstad's book, most aquarium plants first grab the ammonium(ammonia), and take this up as their nitrogen source until it is no longer available--which means that it becomes the limiting factor, so all other nutrients must be still available and light must be sufficiednt to drive photosynthesis.

Some plants do then take up nitrite if present, before nitrate. Last they take up nitrate (though some plants are inefficient at this and just stop). The reasoning according to Walstad is that taking up nitrate requires more energy from the plant than using nitrite, and nitrite requires more energy than ammonium. The plant has to change the nitrite or nitrate back into ammonium before it can use it.

Byron.
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