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question about lvls

This is a discussion on question about lvls within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by SpyderMike about a week ago was when i was told my nitrites were high and to do a 20% water change ...

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Old 04-04-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by SpyderMike View Post
about a week ago was when i was told my nitrites were high and to do a 20% water change

today i went out and bought my own test kit so i can do daily testing w/o having to drive all the way to the store
Good thinking; it pays to have a test kit. Once the tank is cycled, you shouldn't need to worry about ammonia and nitrite; they only cause problems if you overfeed, or fish die and aren't removed, or you add too many fish at once; all of these overload the biological balance. But you should test for pH regularly, as that can fluctuate as the tank matures.

I'm still of the view that partial water changes should only be weekly--but if there are signs the fish are suffering, do a partial water change. You should notice the nitrite lowering and down to 0 within the next few days.

If this is the 37g tank in your photo, there were a lot of fish put in before the tank was cycled. It's probably been hard on them, but if you haven't lost any they are tough.

You want the bacteria to continue to multiply, which they will do to the level that will handle their "food". Don't add any more fish until things are balanced which should be after 8 weeks from setup, and then add few at a time and allow the bacteria to multiply to handle the additional bioload. Don't clean the filter until the tank is biologically established (cycled fully), it won't need it and cleaning the material only kills off the good bacteria. When you do the water changes, gently vacuum the bottom, not into the gravel, as that also removes bacteria you want. When you do finally clean the filter, rinse the material in water from the tank to avoid killing more bacteria than necessary. And always do the filter on a different day from a water change, and don't add new fish for a few days after the filter is rinsed.

I'm assuming this is new to you (fish tanks) so I've tried to make sense of it for you. If the nitrite isn't 0 by mid-week, let us know, but I think it will be. Don't overfeed, that adds to the bioload as well.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:54 PM   #12
 
thanks for the good advice!
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:55 PM   #13
 
ok..tested just now and got a 5ppm Nitrite, and a almost 40ppm Nitrate (im guessing 30ppm cause it was kinda orange tinted red)

fish still seem to be doing good, real excited to see me when we got home, i think ill be keeping a close eye on them and maybe doing another water change if they start acting funny
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:00 PM   #14
 
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You should notice the nitrite lowering and down to 0 within the next few days.
you are very correct!!

last night i tested the water at about 11pm and i finally dropped from 5ppm to 1 ppm
just finished testing and im at 0.5ppm, so im guessing i should be at 0 by tomorrow night
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:48 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by SpyderMike View Post
you are very correct!!

last night i tested the water at about 11pm and i finally dropped from 5ppm to 1 ppm
just finished testing and im at 0.5ppm, so im guessing i should be at 0 by tomorrow night
The biological equilibrium in the tank is establishing itself, that's good. Remember to let it mature a bit and don't overload the system with new fish, it has to be gradual so the bacteria have a chance to multiply accordingly. It is possible to crash a system by overloading the bioload and then you have a new cycling all over again, and more stressed fish. I would test the ammonia and nitrite once a day for the next few days, maybe every second or third day, and it will (should) be 0 for both if you don't add any new fish; once it is continuously reading 0 for both, I wouldn't test further unless something is done to alter the equilibrium.

And maintain a regular (preferably weekly) schedule of partial water changes, that will maintain the nitrates at an acceptable level; in a prior post you mentioned nitrates at around 5ppm, (initial post had them at 30-40ppm) and that's good. Test for nitrate periodically over the next few weeks, it may rise a bit once the nitrite is 0; this reading should then remain fairly stable if you do regular water changes. It's a good idea to test water immediately prior to and then after a partial water change, as this tells you where the tank was and where it is after a water change so you know if there are any significant changes. This applies to pH particularly, also nitrate.
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