New tank...high nitrites need advise! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-20-2014, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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New tank...high nitrites need advise!

I'm new to this forum so i'd like to start with a hello to everyone. That being said, my tank is 120 gallon 48"x24"x24". I set it up, filled it with water. Ran about 5 days before i went to lfs to get some live plants. The lfs owner there talked me out of a fishless cycle and into a fish cycle. I guess being impatient, i was vunerable enough to get sucked right in. So i put, a 6 inch poly(birchir), 2 inch nandus nandus, and a 4-5 inch gar characin in the tank. The advise was like 12 inches of fish to cycle. The nitrites are crazy high, and i know why. I also know that now i have to do daily water changes which i didnt want to do.

The main issues i guess are, even with a 50% water change the nitrites are still up. Fish were fine the first day but now the gar characin and nandus nandus look like they're hurting. The poly is the only one that is fine. Using seachem prime and stability. Testing ammonias, nitrate, nitrite, chlorine, hardness, and ph. I feel horrible for the two fish. Is there anything else i can do to help this. The nandus nandus looks as though he might tough it out, the poly doesnt look like he's going anywhere for a long time, and the gar characin looks as though he is all messed up. He flaps as though he is floating but cant pick his nose up. I know the nitritesare toxic but are they permenently damaging. Please no one freak out on me, i only put them in there because i was told they were hardy fish and can take the nitrite spikes "no problem".
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-20-2014, 08:14 PM
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What is the nitrite reading on your test? ~5 ppm is toxic. Obvious you want a 0 reading but I would really go with getting it to 1 ppm or below. A 50% water change may not be needed every day. It truely depends on the results of your test are. A 50% cuts the test results in half assuming there are no nitrites in your water source.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-20-2014, 08:28 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum. If you love fishkeeping you'll be very happy here!
Nitrites are very toxic to fish, but not permanently damaging as nitrAtes are. If your fish are showing any symptoms of nitrite poisoning you must correct the situation asap. Birchir and most gar are extremely tolerant of poor water so if they are hurting you must have a serious problem. Daily water change is essential to protect your fish in my opinion. I would do 25%/day. The water changes will extend the time it takes for your tank to cycle by lowering the cocentration of chemicals that the bacteria need to populate, but the alternative is to remove the fish ...
Good thing is that with your high nitrites, bacteria should be flourishing. Shouldn't take long to develop colonies capable of processing it into nitrate. Maybena week or two. Temp of 78-82 is perfect for growing bacteria, and keep as much aeration/ circulation as possible because bacteria colonies thrive in high oxygen levels.
Also be carefull to remove the excess nitrAte that will be produced when all that nitrite is processed.
Good luck!

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-20-2014, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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AMMONIA 0.1
NITRITE 2.0ppm
NITRATE 10ppm
HARDNESS 150ppm
CHLORINE 0ppm
ALKALINITY 300ppm
PH 8.4!!!

PH IS HIGH BUT STABLE. AT ONE POINT THE NITRITE SPIKED BETWEEN 5.0-10.0 ON MY SCALE. DID ANY EMERGENCY TREATMENT WITH "PRIME". BROUGHT IT DOWN A LITTLE. DID 20% WC LAST NIGHT AND A 50% TODAY ABOUT TWO HOURS AGO. ADDED MORE PRIME WITH NEW WATER, LIVE BACTERIA TOO.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-20-2014, 08:43 PM
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Don't worry about ph, most fish will adapt as long as it is stable. Nitrite that high will kill most fish though.
No need to freak out, just be carefull and kkeep changing water till the tank gets established.
And prime is great for situations like this.
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Last edited by rsskylight04; 01-20-2014 at 08:46 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-21-2014, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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