Plants, Fish & Nitrites?? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 25 Old 08-04-2011, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
Plants, Fish & Nitrites??

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to plants and need your advice. I started a divided 10 gal for 2 bettas. To make a long story short, I attempted a fishless cycle with no live plants. I crashed the cycle with .50ppm ammonia and .25ppm nitrites.

With the help of the forum, I did a 100% water change, added 9 stems of Brazilian Pennywort,6 stems of Wisteria, 3 stems of Water Sprite, 1 medium Anubias and 1 petite Anubias. My tap contains .50ppm of ammonia and I use Prime. My nitrites went down to 0.

I set up the tank with the plants and added one small betta. The next day I added a little Flourish Fertilizer. My plants are doing well. All week my nitrites were at 0 and the ammonia remained the same. Yesterday my the ammonia had gone down to .25 ppm and nitrite was still at 0. So I did a 50% water change and added my second betta.

This morning I checked my parameters and the ammonia was still .25ppm but my nitirites had gone up to .25ppm! I removed both of my fish to their QT tanks. I'm at a loss. Do I need more plants? I have a standard gravel substrate and my pH is 8.0. This is why I chose the plants I have. Again, my plants look good.

EDIT: My nitrates are 5.0 ppm

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP

Last edited by flowerslegacy; 08-04-2011 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Updated water parameters
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-04-2011, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
I've learned enough on this forum to do a 50% water change, which removed the nitrites from the water. I put the bettas back in. However, I checked the other divided 10gal I set up two nights ago and the nitrites were at .25ppm. I double checked my tap and I do not have nitrites in my tap. I'm doing a 50% water change in my other tank to remove the nitrites from there as well. I'm off to buy a few more plants. Looks like my commute back home was too long for my new wisteria and they're already turning brown. I'm buying some swords as well. Any insight on the nitrites would be greatly appreciated. I'll be adding Flourish tomorrow, as long as my nitrites stay stable.

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-04-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
I did a 50% water change on my second tank, and while it removed some of the nitrites, my API test kit isn't showing that light, light blue that is required for a 0 reading. It's blue, but not light blue. So I'd say my nitrites are somewhere between 0 and .25ppm. I did two tests just to be sure and shook the bottle well. I removed the browing plants and they were actually the Water Sprite that didn't survive. Wondering if the dieing plants could be part of my nitrite issue? I know that Prime detoxifies nitritesl, so I'll do another 50% water change tomorrow.

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
flowerslegacy is offline  
post #4 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 05:29 PM
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Something isn't working here. Aside from Prime and Flourish, is any other substance going in the tank water? I ask this because sometimes various chemicals can react causing ammonia or nitrite.

I am not sure if nitrite will still show on tests after it is detoxified by Prime; I have this question in to Seachem awaiting an answer. If the answer is yes, then obviously nothing to worry about.

As for the plants, can you post a photo of the tanks? Plants need to adjust to different water and frequently "appear" to be dying but usually recover. A photo might help me.

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 #5 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
Hi Byron, thanks for the response. The only thing in the tanks besides Flourish and Prime is half of an Indian Almond Leaf. I added one leaf per tank for the betta's, expecting a little stress in a new environment. Could it be the Prime? I just realized that I've had it for a couple of years. Does it expire? Attached are three pics. In the pic with the two red caves, you can see the water sprite(?) when it was starting to turn brown. The next day the leaves were almost black. I pulled them out, but placed them in a bucket of conditioned tap water with some Flourish. Obviously I'm a novice, but I didn't want to throw them out due to my inexperience. I laid them on a papertowl for the picture, so you could see their current condition. Also, in the tank with same two caves, I've added 8 more small stems of wisteria and two more medium sized anubias. I removed the silk plant. I also transferred a small stem of pennywort from the other tank, to give my betta some extra cover. All the plants in my other tank are doing well. They've been there for almost 2 weeks now. The only plastic plants I have in that tank are red in color. All the rest are live. I've been doing 50% water changes daily, since the nitrite is consistently .25ppm within 24 hours. I also just checked the ammonia in both tanks, since it's been 7 hours since the last water change. Both tanks are between .50ppm and .25ppm. I also rechecked my tap and the ammonia is between .50ppm and 1.00ppm. It's grossly high. I checked the parameters in my cycled 25gal and all is well. Ammonia and nitrites at 0. Any help is *greatly* appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_5571.jpg (96.0 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg 100_5583.jpg (118.8 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg 100_5584.jpg (95.5 KB, 44 views)

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
flowerslegacy is offline  
post #6 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 07:30 PM
I don't know a lot about aquatic plants, but do know a bit about houseplants. Plants when they are transplanted, can experience shock. If you want to try it, you could trim off the leaves that are black, but see if any new growth sprouts from the roots. Any roots that are soft and mushy are rotten. Those can be trimmed as well. Keep the plants you are trimming in a separate bucket of water and holld back on the fertilizer (for these plants only, not the ones in your tank).

Once you see new growth, you could add them back to your tank because, obviously, the plant is ok.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Thanks Brownmane - I'll do that. I kept them, but then didn't know what to do with them. The roots looks good. It's just the black, gooey leaves. I'll trim them back and keep them separate. I won't add anymore fertilizer. Hoping they survive by just floating.

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
flowerslegacy is offline  
post #8 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 07:56 PM
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Having seen the photos, they've had it. This plant is actually Wisteria, not Water Sprite. It requires more light. I can't keep it long in my tanks either for the same reason, my light is not strong enough. This looks much like mine did; I chucked it out. I would not move it to the "good" tank just in case something else is affecting this.

I would suspect the ammonia in the tap water is playing into this issue. The other tank is cycled, and with live plants that are growing they will handle the ammonia. At the water change, Prime detoxifies the initial influx of ammonia by changing it to ammonium which is harmless. Plants grab the ammonium as their nitrogen, so after Prime ceases to have any effect (24-36 hours) the plants are capable of dealing with the ammonia/ammonium easily. Nitrite won't be an issue because it is not a by-product with plants, unlike bacteria if no plants were present.

In the "trouble" tank I expect the ammonia is overwhelming the system. Prime also negates many of the minerals plants need, thus countering the Flourish, so that is not helping the plants with regular water changes using Prime.

Can you temporarily remove the fish in the trouble tank? If you could, I would suggest you then plant it well, ignore the ammonia (use the Prime initially, then leave the water) and let it sort out on its own, using Flourish too. Once the plants are growing, fish could be slowly added.

Byron.

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 #9 of 25 Old 08-05-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
I'll remove the fish right now. Being a betta owner, I'm already set up with individual 2.5 gals, heaters, etc. I'll add Flourish tomorrow and get the plants healthy. I'll chuck the Wisteria too. It's just gooey now. As always, I appreciate your help.

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
flowerslegacy is offline  
post #10 of 25 Old 08-07-2011, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Here's an update:
10gal #1) Yesterday morning the nitrites were at .25ppm. Did a 50% water change. Four hours later the nitrites were at .50ppm so I removed the fish. Live plants doing well for almost 3 weeks now. This morning, ammonia going down, now at .25ppm. But the nitrites are WAY up. Off the chart at 5.0+ppm!!! I can only surmise that the huge spike in nitrites is just the tank going through a typical cycle?? 5.0? Wow.
10gal #2) Yesterday morning the nitrites were at .25ppm. Did a 50% water change. Nitrites have been 0 for over 24 hours. Ammonia at .50ppm so 50% water change scheduled within the next hour. Fish still in because parameters can be controlled by water changes.

I'm wondering about the new bottle of Flourish I purchased. The small paper seal was askew and the product was leaking a little. I called the LFS and they stated it would have no effect on the product. I've used it 3x over the last three weeks in tank #1 and I'm wondering if this is what caused the nitrite issue? I've also used it only one time in tank #2. The nitrite reading in tank #2 is blue - not the light, light blue it shows in my fully cycled 25 gal.

********************************
BETTAS Chewy, Tiny & Roger

25 GAL COMMUNITY TANK
3 Feather Fin Rainbow
4 Pygmy Cory's
5 Zebra Loach
2 Neon Tetra's

30 GAL GOLDFISH TANK (under construction)
1 Black Moor
1 Calico Ryunkin
1 Orange Fantail

THE ONE WHO STARTED IT ALL
Flower (Comet Goldfish) RIP
flowerslegacy is offline  
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