need help cycling - nitrite problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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need help cycling - nitrite problem

so first off here is what i got.

10 gallon tank
3 guppies
3 banana plants
and one other plant i don't know what it is. about 6 inches long with 3 leaves coming off it that span half the plant.

in the past i have always had bigger tanks with the smallest ever being a 29 but i don't have the room where i live so i decided to set up a 10 gallon.

i am a month into the cycle and the fish are all doing fine so far but the nitrites are through the roof

ammonia is .50
nitrates are 10
but nitrites are through the roof reading at a very very dark purple. every other day i am doing about a 10 percent water change but it doesn't seem to be doing anything and since the fish seem fine should i even bother.

anybody got any advice for me about getting nitrites down or should i just leave it as it is.

like i said I'm use to dealing with bigger tanks and everything has always worked itself out but this 10 gallon tank is being weird.

also i have a penguin bio wheel filter and with my other tanks i have always waited till after the cycle to rinse it out. should i wait just the same like i have before?

advice, comments, anything.

thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 01:24 PM
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Judging from the nitrite levels, the tank is not cycled yet. You should get a 0 reading from a cycled tank. The fish might not show signs of suffering now, but they will eventually, especially since the ammonia level is high, too. I would do a 20% water change every day until the levels normalize. In fact, it probably wouldn't hurt to do a 30% water change right now, then 20% tomorrow, etc. Since you are a month into cycling you shouldn't have to keep doing daily water changes for long.

~46g with angel fish, bn pleco, cherry barbs, lemon tetras, rainbowfish
~37g with guppies, otos, swordtails
~29g with platies, CPD's, female bettas, bn pleco, apple snails
~20long with 24k and silver mollies, glass catfish, apple snails
~14g with opaline gourami
~10g with male betta
~pond with adult and juvenile goldfish, and several frogs
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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i'll definately give it a shot. i did a 10 percent change before i posted but ill do another 10 percent tonight then start doing 20 percent daily till i start seeing levels drop.

anyone else got any ideas, suggestion??? this is the first time i have had troubles during cycling and i know its because of the size of the tank. i never wanted a 10 gallon but i just missed having fish and didnt have room for anything bigger.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 01:46 PM
+1 - think I'd do a 30% water change, wait an hour and test. If numbers are still high, I'd do another 20% - It should stabilize in the next few days, but don't be afraid to do slight water changes daily as tests dictate.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 03:20 PM
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The advice so far is correct, but there is something else. I have to question those test results, but I've no idea what the nitrite dark colour signifiies, so can you give us the corresponding number?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
The advice so far is correct, but there is something else. I have to question those test results, but I've no idea what the nitrite dark colour signifiies, so can you give us the corresponding number?
Could simply be so high its off the charts, or the test could be bad. How old is your test kit? why kind is it? dip sticks or liquid drop test kits? I think the liquid API test kite for nitrite expires after 2 or 3 years from the date printed on the bottle.
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