New tank - nitrite level very high
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New tank - nitrite level very high

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New tank - nitrite level very high
Old 10-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
 
New tank - nitrite level very high

I'm about 5 days into a new 15 gallon tank, cycling, currently has 5 tetras in it.
Looks like the nitrites are beginning to rise quickly right now. Just tested and my levels are pH 7.6(highest on the chart I have), ammonia .5ppm, nitrites 5.0ppm(highest as well), nitrate 5.0 or 10.0ppm(hard to tell)
A couple of the fish are acting funky this morning, I think the levels are getting to them. Should I do another 5 gallon water change to help them out? I'm about to be out of town a few days and having a friend feed them when I'm gone, so I won't be able to monitor it closely, I'd like to leave it safer rather than risk a fish dying while I'm gone.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
 
water change is your best bet right now, large and frequent. don't be surprised if you loose fish anyway, though.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
 
Thanks - changing another 5-6 and a good dose of Prime. I'll test again late late tonight to make sure it corrected it decently. I think I need to cut down feedings too - been doing it nightly, I'll go to every other day until this is established.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:21 PM   #4
 
it will take time for the levels to come down. you have to establish two different bacteria populations. cycling often takes several weeks; if you are only at day five you have a ways to go.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
 
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Daily water changes of half the tank volume are essential if nitrite is above zero. Using Prime will help as it detoxifies nitrite; it will still show on tests though. But Prime is only active for 36+ hours, so daily monitoring is still essential. As Prime wears off, the nitrite will be toxic.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
 
Thank you - I'll check again in the morning and do one last one before I leave if necessary. If I had known anything about this process I would have waited to start a tank but - lesson learned I suppose.
The guy feeding them over the weekend owns a tank himself so I'll have him monitor.
I appreciate all the help/advice.
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