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New Guy: Nitrite Problem "Fish In" Cycling Tank

This is a discussion on New Guy: Nitrite Problem "Fish In" Cycling Tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Thanks for the input 1077 - good stuff. But if I'm using Prime as a water conditioner - doesn't that detoxify the Ammonia, Nitrites ...

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New Guy: Nitrite Problem "Fish In" Cycling Tank
Old 07-27-2010, 11:05 AM   #21
 
Thanks for the input 1077 - good stuff. But if I'm using Prime as a water conditioner - doesn't that detoxify the Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates in the tank? That's the only reason i was going to wait until Sunday for the next WC while still testing the water.

So are daily or every-other-day WCs necessary until the tank cycles if I'm using Prime?

If the levels stay the same for almost a week, I'm almost finished cycling. I just want to do the right thing. If daily WCs will help heal the fin rot then of course I'll do it.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:32 AM   #22
 
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First off, I agree with what 1077 advised. Now to answer your latest questions.

Prime detoxifies ammonia by changing it to harmless ammonium. Ammonia test kits (most that we use, including API's) measure ammonia and ammonium as "ammonia." So seeing a number above zero for ammonia may or may not mean trouble [more in a moment].

As for nitrite and nitrate, Prime works by binding these with other compounds so they can still be used by the bacteria (and plants if present) but are "harmless" to the fish. I believe nitrite will still show in tests, same as ammonia. Nitrate we need not worry about because it is harmless at these low levels.

Now, Prime detoxifies for 24 hours, possibly a bit longer, but no more than 48 hours; so Seachem told me in response to my direct questions to them. So this means that if you do a water change using Prime on Monday, and on Tuesday you see ammonia or nitrite, it should be assumed that Prime may not be detoxifying it after 24 hours, and another water change should be done. And so forth. I would not risk the fish by accepting Seachem's "may last up to 48 hours", I would go with 24 hours.

Also, I haven't gone back in this thread, but--has your tap water been tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? It is important to know if any of these are entering via tap water during water changes, as opposed to occurring from within the tank.

Also observe the fish closely; if they appear "normal" chances are the ammonia and nitrite are being managed. I'm not suggesting you leave things until the fish show signs of trouble, not at all; continue the tests, daily water changes, etc, as above; but if you are and the fish are looking normal too, then chances are there is no issue.

Byron.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:24 PM   #23
 
Tap water had 0's across the board - so it's not that. Didn't know the extent of Prime's detoxification lasting so I will do daily water changes uintil the readings are where they should be. Thanks so much for the info, you guys rock.

Aside from the fin rot, the fish seems normal. Eats, is active, etc. The WCs will kepp the water where it should be or as close to where it should be as I can get it until it fully cycles, then weekly from there.

Seriously, thanks for the info. I was so excited by the good readings (in comparison to how awful it was) that i figured I could leave it for a week. Great heads up.

W.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:57 AM   #24
 
Did a 20% (2 gallon) WC last night, tested the water before I changed it and the readings were the same - Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - .25ppm, Nitrates - 5ppm. Used Prime. Will do another WC tonight for the same amount of water or maybe I should scale it back to 1 gallon daily?

Other than that - so far so good.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:55 PM   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavebeast View Post
Did a 20% (2 gallon) WC last night, tested the water before I changed it and the readings were the same - Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - .25ppm, Nitrates - 5ppm. Used Prime. Will do another WC tonight for the same amount of water or maybe I should scale it back to 1 gallon daily?

Other than that - so far so good.
As long as nitrite is above zero, 20% daily will be good. You're on the right track. I would expect nitrite to disappear very soon now that nitrates are showing.

By the way, if you are using the API nitrate kit, regent #2 has to be shaken for 2 minutes, not 30 seconds as in the instructions, to get an accurate reading. Make sure you do this, otherwise the reading could be inaccurate (high).

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Old 07-28-2010, 04:39 PM   #26
 
Thanks B. 2 gallon WC it is. BTW, you mentioned that before and I've been doing it ever since - the minute shake on bottle #2 for Nitrate testing using the API kit. Good lookin'-out.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #27
 
Ok, I have an issue. I did another 20% WC last night and tested the water before I changed it and the reading came out the same - Amm - 0, Nitrite - .25, Nitrate - 5ppm. That wasn't encouraging after I did a 40% WC on Sunday, then a 20% WC on Tuesday.

My issue is: I am going away for the weekend - unavoidable. I will have access tot he tank tonight and tomorrow morning (Thurs night/Friday morning) - then not until Sunday afternoon. So over 48 hours away from the tank and the Betta.

Do I do a 40% or more WC tonight before I go? Do I then add more Prime straight to the tank before I leave for work tomorrow morning? I think Bettas can go a bit without eating, so I'm not too worried about that but the water (and his progressing fin rot) scares me. I don't want to come home Sunday to find out I couldn't do enough to save him. I've had him in this tank for 31 days now.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:58 PM   #28
 
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Looking back through this thread,nitrite has gone from 2 down to .25 in a week, so I think that is on track. When you can do it close to your departure, I would test and if nitrite is present do a water change. The presence of nitrate at 5 (with your correct use of the kit) would assure me.

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Old 07-29-2010, 03:27 PM   #29
 
Thanks Byron. I'll do a 40% WC tonight and test tomorrow morning. If Nitrites are still there, I'll do another one. I appreciate the advice. I always make sure I shake the 2nd bottle in the API kit for 2 minutes and the test tube for one minute to test the Nitrate.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:42 PM   #30
 
Got home, tested water - almost 72 hours after my 40% WC, readings are Ammonia - 0 (thank you beat-up java ferns from PetCo), Nitrites - between .25 & .50ppm, and Nitrates - between 0 and 5ppm. Maybe the size of my WCs (third in a week at 40%) are stopping the tank from cycling quicker, not sure. Because of the Nitrite measurement I'm about to do a 20% change. I guess I'll keep it up daily until the Nitrites read 0. Thanks again for all the help.
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