Nitrite Levels - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-20-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Have you tested the tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (all three are good to know) now that you have the API liquid kit?

Is ammonia showing with the API liquid test (in the tank water here)?

What is the tank pH, and what is the tap water pH for comparison? When testing the tap water, put some in a jar with a lid and shake it briskly for several moments to out-gas the CO2.

What are the fish in the tank? How often are they fed? What is the temperature?


Edit: I came across another new thread on this same issue and merged it into this one. It is better to keep a topic in one thread. B.
Hi Byron,

I'm using the API liquid test kit.
No ammonia in the water.
Tank pH is 6.0. Tap water pH is 7.6. Why the big difference? I assume I need to get the pH levels up. How do I do that?
Temp is in tank is about 76 degrees.
I used to feed them twice a day; now it's just once a day.
I have 3 fish that are orange with black tails (one of them had a bunch of babies). I have two cat fish that are small and white. I have another two cat fish that have long whiskers and they have white bellies with black spots on the top. Sorry I don't know what they are called.

Thanks for your help.
Eric in Fairfax, VA
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-20-2012, 05:59 PM
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I'm not sure where the nitrite is coming from. Ammonia can inhibit Nitrospira bacteria (the ones that handle nitrite) but ammonia is zero. I would continue with the alternate day water changes using Prime as previous members suggested, until this nitrite is zero.

Some live plants would not hurt, something simple like stem plants or floating. This would (or should) get the biology settled faster.

Keep feedings minimal, once a day is plenty, and not too much. Missing a day (like water change days) won't hurt as well.

On the pH, that is quite a drop, which probably means you have little or no carbonate hardness (KH or Alkalinity) in the tap water, as this buffers pH. I would leave it alone until the nitrite is resolved, otherwise it is just going to add more stress if the pH starts fluctuating. Looking ahead, to raise it, we need to know the GH and KH of the tap water; you can get this from the water supply folks, they probably have a website.

You should try to identify the fish; we have profiles with photos, check the catfish for the spotted (I'm wondering maybe a Pictus Catfish?). The white is likely an albino cory, which would be the albino form of Corydoras aeneus or Corydoras paleatus, more likely the former species. [Clicking shaded names brings up that profile.] The orange fish sound like platy.


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 #13 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Byron,

I did another 50% water change last night (6th day in a row). Tetra Easy Strips indicate that nitrite levels are going down (from "danger" to "stress"). The API Liquid test kit indicates nitrite levels are still at 5.0 ppm. The only positive thing I can say is the the water is incredibly crystal clear and the fish appear to be a bit more active. I also have good water circulation. I am going to continue with the water changes (I think I've become obsessed with this) and will see about getting some plants. I will keep you posted.

Eric in Fairfax, VA
"No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise"
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nitrite poisoning , nitrite spike

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