Ok, really really weird nitrite readings.
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Ok, really really weird nitrite readings.

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Ok, really really weird nitrite readings.
Old 06-03-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
 
Ok, really really weird nitrite readings.

Hey guys, so my 26 gallon went under a mini cycle after I added some fish, and the nitrites have been going up steadily. I added some Dr Tim's one and only *got a 8 oz for 21 bucks* just to see how it would work, and ever since then my nitrite reading has been going way up. The tank is heavily planted, so ammonia isn't a problem. What made me really start scratching my head was tonight. I did a pwc of roughly 8-9 gallons in 2 parts. My nitrite was above 2 ppm *or at least thats what my liquid test kit told me* so hence the large pwc. I treated the new water with prime *did a capful and a half, so a little overboard* and then added the water. After adding the first part, I measure after 20-30 minutes and found the nitrite to be around .5 to 1 ppm. So after that I decide to do another water change, about 3-4 gallons. Treat that with prime as well. I waited about an hour or so, and now my nitrite is back to 2 ppm+. My fish are fine as far as I can see, acting normally and not showing signs of nitrite poisoning. Also, my red cherry shrimp aren't dieing *for now, knocks on wood* and I know any deaths would be signs of any nitrites. So I'm really wondering on why after a total of 8-9 gallons of water changes and 0 ammonia, that my nitrites would spike back up to 2+ ppm? Granted my nitrite bottle is at the dredges, but that shouldn't affect the test results, should it? And I'm pretty sure my kit isn't that old...unless I'm reading the expiration date wrong. It has a lot number of 26A1110, so technically it was manufactured 11/10, and should have a shelf life of 3-4 years. Also, would my test tubes affect the results if any residue was left on them? I do my best to rinse them out and clean them, but it could be a possibility. I'd be really freaked out if my nitrite was really that high after just an hour of changing the water. Thanks!

Last edited by excal88; 06-03-2011 at 04:05 AM..
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
 
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I can't explain the fluctuating nitrite, but if you are using Prime it detoxifies nitrite for about 24 hours. I'm not sure (can't remember) if it still shows up on tests like the ammonia does (as ammonium), perhaps someone who knows will step in here.

Have you tested your tap water for nitrite (and ammonia and nitrate for that matter)?

Byron.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
 
Yes, my tap does have ammonia and nitrate, but no nitrites. If it does, it is less than .25. It's kinda crazy on how high the nitrite levels are, as now its showing up as a deep violet color, which indicates that its in the super toxic zone, but my fish aren't gasping for breath or showing any signs of nitrite poisoning. Also my shrimp are all still there *2 died in transit* but other than that everyone is still there as supposed to. Its the jump from .5 to above 2 ppm after a water change that really got me worried. Granted it was an hour, but still.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
 
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I'm at a loss to explain. Plantsd using ammonia do not produce nitrite, so its not coming from there. I might suggest your test kit is faulty. Nitrite is highly toxic and fish will show symptoms above .25 and certainly be dead at 5 (assuming that is the deep colour level). I would only be guessing if i suggested anything, and that could be worse.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
 
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I don't have a clue sorry, but do you have another tank you can compare readings with? just to rule out if the kit/vial might be faulty/contaminated in some way. I would try using another test kit if possible or get your LFS to double check your readings and perhaps use another brand of dechlorinator for a while to see if it makes a difference.

If all this happened after using "Dr Tim's One & Only", could that possibly have something to do with it?
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
 
Hey guys, I do have another tank to test, and its coming out at .25 nitrites. Funny thing is its a shrimp only tank, and none of them have died. If anything, I started getting odd readings just recently, as my bottle of nitrite liquid test is pretty much gone. Maybe the dredges of the bottle give really weird readings? And yea, I'd expect the fishes, and the shrimp at least, to drop like flies if the levels are as high as they are. I'll probably buy a new bottle, and hopefully see something different. I'll let you guys know. And yea, the amount of plants that I have SHOULD prevent a nitrite spike, or at least a large one like I am having. Really really weird stuff.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
 
Ok, so I just got a new test kit. Apparently my nitrite reading really is 2+ ppm, so it is time for the red lights to go on. Just did a 50% water change, and will test it in about 20-30 minutes.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #8
 
Ok, update guys. I decided to do a back to back testing of the new nitrite bottle versus the old. So the old bottle gave me a reading of .25 ppm. The new one is closer to 0, so I'll say less than or equal .25 ppm. Interesting results indeed. At least the 50% water change did help bring the nitrites down. I did lose 1 shrimp though *but got like, 50 more. Hahaha* so maybe the nitrites might of been off in terms of measurement, but there were some nitrites there. Will see how things go.
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:17 AM   #9
 
Pretty late update, but 6 hours later after a 50% water change, my nitrite readings have gone back up to 1-2 ppm. Which, in my opinion, is pretty dang silly. I have no idea where these nitrites could be coming from, as far as I can think, the ammonia is nice and under control, I'm not over feeding, and there's plenty of plants in the tank to take care of it. Very odd indeed. And also frustrating as well
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:33 PM   #10
 
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Very odd indeed. I once (suddenly) started experiencing nitrite spikes after water changes and really never figured out the EXACT cause. I added an airstone that kicks on at night (on a timer) to make up for the O2 consumption of the plants in the evening, it appears to have helped. Tap was testing 1.0 nitrite, would spike to 2.0 after W/C, I lost numerous fish because of it. Your nitrite situation is very strange, to say the least.
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