Nitrite Spike in established tank. How/Why?
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Nitrite Spike in established tank. How/Why?

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Nitrite Spike in established tank. How/Why?
Old 02-06-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
 
Nitrite Spike in established tank. How/Why?

60l tank containing 4 junenile F8 puffers. Temp 80, not planted, biological filter, light on 12 hours a day

Yesterday I tested my 60l tank water before doing a water change, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 Nitrates 40 (this is because of my tap water) PH 8.2. Did a 30% water change, treating tap water with dechlorinator before replacing, and adding a small amount of marine salt to make an SP of 0.002 (slowly raising my levels from freshwater to eventually go to Brackish at 0.008)

This morning I came down to discover all 4 fish gasping at the top of the tank and immediately tested the water to discover nitrites off the scale of my API test kit. Straight away I did a 70% water change.
The fish were then fine, however this evening they started gasping again so did another 30% water change as nitrites were at 0.25 and have raised the pump to airate the tank and put an air stone in.

My tank was established for 1 year with goldfish, then these were removed and puffers introduced after 1 week as LFS said tank was mature and fully established. I have had my puffs for 3 weeks now and have moved them from the first original tank into a bigger one, as I discovered it was too small. On moving to a larger tank I did nothing to the filter or ornaments/plastic plants other than to put them in the new tank, used the old tank water mixed with new, but did change the gravel for sand. Yesterday I added a new filter to my tank that contains carbon so I can run it in conjunction with the old one to get it to colonise before removing the old one

Yesterday was the first time I'd added salt and I did put a new cave in the tank (aquarium safe)

Why has my tank got high nitrites yet not had an ammonia spike (test water weekly) is it something I did during the water change, was it the salt? What should I do other than daily 20% water changes until the nitrite levels drop?

Please help, I desperately don't want my little puffs to die.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:57 AM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by Pufferfish22 View Post
60l tank containing 4 junenile F8 puffers. Temp 80, not planted, biological filter, light on 12 hours a day

Yesterday I tested my 60l tank water before doing a water change, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 Nitrates 40 (this is because of my tap water) PH 8.2. Did a 30% water change, treating tap water with dechlorinator before replacing, and adding a small amount of marine salt to make an SP of 0.002 (slowly raising my levels from freshwater to eventually go to Brackish at 0.008)

This morning I came down to discover all 4 fish gasping at the top of the tank and immediately tested the water to discover nitrites off the scale of my API test kit. Straight away I did a 70% water change.
The fish were then fine, however this evening they started gasping again so did another 30% water change as nitrites were at 0.25 and have raised the pump to airate the tank and put an air stone in.

My tank was established for 1 year with goldfish, then these were removed and puffers introduced after 1 week as LFS said tank was mature and fully established. I have had my puffs for 3 weeks now and have moved them from the first original tank into a bigger one, as I discovered it was too small. On moving to a larger tank I did nothing to the filter or ornaments/plastic plants other than to put them in the new tank, used the old tank water mixed with new, but did change the gravel for sand. Yesterday I added a new filter to my tank that contains carbon so I can run it in conjunction with the old one to get it to colonise before removing the old one

Yesterday was the first time I'd added salt and I did put a new cave in the tank (aquarium safe)

Why has my tank got high nitrites yet not had an ammonia spike (test water weekly) is it something I did during the water change, was it the salt? What should I do other than daily 20% water changes until the nitrite levels drop?

Please help, I desperately don't want my little puffs to die.

hi there!!!! welcome to the forums!!!!!

I have heard that nitrItes have to do with oxygen. Definitely add plants, add lots of plants to your aquarium if you can and the sooner the better(cryptocorynes are really easy to take care of). get more air stones, get enough airstones to cover the entire surface of your tank(maybe im exaggerating just a bit) but definitely get some more!! and powerheads too!! anything that helps with oxygen go for it thats the only thing I can recommend. you have a big tank so you need much movement in the surface of the water!!! dont forget to stay on top of your frequent water changes!!!I really hope your problem gets resolved soon!!!

just keep asking questions anything that you might have in mind ask it could make a big difference to the health and well-being of your little fishies!!!!

take care and again welcome to the tropical fish keeping forums!!!!!!

Last edited by leogtr; 02-07-2011 at 04:01 AM..
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
 
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[quote=Pufferfish22;582261]60l tank containing 4 junenile F8 puffers. Temp 80, not planted, biological filter, light on 12 hours a day

Yesterday I tested my 60l tank water before doing a water change, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 Nitrates 40 (this is because of my tap water) PH 8.2. Did a 30% water change, treating tap water with dechlorinator before replacing, and adding a small amount of marine salt to make an SP of 0.002 (slowly raising my levels from freshwater to eventually go to Brackish at 0.008)

This morning I came down to discover all 4 fish gasping at the top of the tank and immediately tested the water to discover nitrites off the scale of my API test kit. Straight away I did a 70% water change.
The fish were then fine, however this evening they started gasping again so did another 30% water change as nitrites were at 0.25 and have raised the pump to airate the tank and put an air stone in.

My tank was established for 1 year with goldfish, then these were removed and puffers introduced after 1 week as LFS said tank was mature and fully established. I have had my puffs for 3 weeks now and have moved them from the first original tank into a bigger one, as I discovered it was too small. On moving to a larger tank I did nothing to the filter or ornaments/plastic plants other than to put them in the new tank, used the old tank water mixed with new, but did change the gravel for sand. Yesterday I added a new filter to my tank that contains carbon so I can run it in conjunction with the old one to get it to colonise before removing the old one

Yesterday was the first time I'd added salt and I did put a new cave in the tank (aquarium safe)

Why has my tank got high nitrites yet not had an ammonia spike (test water weekly) is it something I did during the water change, was it the salt? What should I do other than daily 20% water changes until the nitrite levels drop?

Please help, I desperately don't want my little puffs to die.[/quot


]

When goldfish were removed for one week? Nothing left to feed bacteria and bacteria began to die off.Add to this a substrate change, and more bacteria was lost for bacteria is largely found on hard objects like decor,wood,glass,and substrate along with the filter.
Tank will take time to establish new bacteria and until then,, water changes perhaps daily will be needed.
Reducing amount of food and frequency can help keep toxins more manageable.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
 
I agree with 1077: the tank didn't have anything to feed the bacteria so they probably died. Since you introduced the tanks new inhabitants the amount of ammonia spiked in the tank. There was probably bacteria dying and the addition of the new fish caused the nitrites to spike in your tank. You are going through the normal cycling process again, unfortunately. If you have any filter media from the other tank and you still have some fish consider seeding some stuff from the other tank.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
 
Thank you so much to everybody who took the time to help me, I have followed allthe advice and am now pleased to report that ammonia and nitrite have both read 0 for the past week
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Pufferfish22 View Post
Thank you so much to everybody who took the time to help me, I have followed allthe advice and am now pleased to report that ammonia and nitrite have both read 0 for the past week
Glad to hear it, I hope you didn't lose any of your fish either!
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
 
All 4 little puffs pulled through amazingly, wern't too impressed with the syphon pipe that kept appearing in their tank but tolerated it grudgingly!!!!
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