Questions about pH, nitrite, etc. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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water changes

I did a water change tonight; I changed 20% of the water. I'm really panicking, tho', 'cos now my fish are acting weird, especially the bala sharks. Seems either the toxicity finally got to them, or something about the water change is hurting them. A partial water change is supposed to be a good thing, right?!

My nitrites are still very very high, I figure it may take awhile for them to go down after water change?? However, I'm still freaking out that it may be too little too late; why would the nitrites be so sky high? I did cycle the tank for over a week and I thought it was done. Ahhh, this is horrible! :( Even if it wasn't completely done cycling, would nitrites get that high normally??? I don't understand why that is the only thing out of whack and why I can't seem to get it under control! I thought the water change would fix the problem, at least temporarily. Can I expect to see it balance out soon??

46-gallon bowfront freshwater w/
6 tiger barbs
5 gold barbs
4 blue (3-spot) gouramis
2 kribensis cichlids
2 albino cory catfish
1 featherfin syndontis catfish
2 mystery snails
2 marble snails
various live plants (12)
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post #12 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 03:05 AM
Have you tested your water for chlorine/chloramines? If it's positive, do you add dechlorinator?
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post #13 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 04:25 AM
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Re: water changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by starcollector
I did a water change tonight; I changed 20% of the water. I'm really panicking, tho', 'cos now my fish are acting weird, especially the bala sharks. Seems either the toxicity finally got to them, or something about the water change is hurting them. A partial water change is supposed to be a good thing, right?!

My nitrites are still very very high, I figure it may take awhile for them to go down after water change?? However, I'm still freaking out that it may be too little too late; why would the nitrites be so sky high? I did cycle the tank for over a week and I thought it was done. Ahhh, this is horrible! :( Even if it wasn't completely done cycling, would nitrites get that high normally??? I don't understand why that is the only thing out of whack and why I can't seem to get it under control! I thought the water change would fix the problem, at least temporarily. Can I expect to see it balance out soon??
Check your tapwater for nitrites.
In the meantime, adding half a teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons should help. Don't be hindered by myths saying table salt is toxic due to addictives and salt intolerance by other fish. Salt is much comfortable than the toxic nitrites itself. Nitrites can kill your fish but not salt.

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post #14 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. You're the best, seriously!

This morning I was sure I was going to wake up to a tank full of dead fish. Not so. They seem to be doing okay. I did add decholorinator with the bottled water that I added; I also added some well water which does not have chlorine in it. Neither has nitrites, nitrates, or ammonia (before adding it to tank). However, the well water does have a high pH and is very hard, according to my test strips. I have added aquarium salt (from the pet store) as well, so maybe that's helped keep the fishies alive. I just hope they're not damaged too badly. I most fear for the sharks and gouramis. So does anyone know what might cause nitrites to be so high? Am I missing the second type of bacteria? I must have the first at least, 'cos my ammonia levels are in check.

46-gallon bowfront freshwater w/
6 tiger barbs
5 gold barbs
4 blue (3-spot) gouramis
2 kribensis cichlids
2 albino cory catfish
1 featherfin syndontis catfish
2 mystery snails
2 marble snails
various live plants (12)
starcollector is offline  
post #15 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 11:56 AM
I think you did add the fish too quickly...5 weeks for the tank and 3.5 weeks with the fish.

Your filtration may not be sufficient. Reduce the feedings a bit. What model filter are you using?
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post #16 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure you're right, too many fish too fast. My nitrites, etc. were okay when I first added them, and I did so in stages, but maybe still too fast. My main question is, what causes the nitrites, and will I see them balance out eventually??!! I'm doing water changes religiously every day but not seeing my nitrites affected. I've now lost 2 more fishies. :0( I feel like a total noob!

46-gallon bowfront freshwater w/
6 tiger barbs
5 gold barbs
4 blue (3-spot) gouramis
2 kribensis cichlids
2 albino cory catfish
1 featherfin syndontis catfish
2 mystery snails
2 marble snails
various live plants (12)
starcollector is offline  
post #17 of 25 Old 10-04-2006, 11:58 PM
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Conversion done by bacteria:
Ammonia->nitrites->nitrates.

I may have miss on this question. But have you cycled the tank? If you haven't(now that you have fish), you have to concentrate on making sure ammonia and nitrites are at zero as both are toxic to the fish. Ammonia is more toxic if pH is high.

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I'm ready for the pressure.
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If there is one thing I want to see here, it's HUMOR.
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I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day!
I stand in awe of my body.
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post #18 of 25 Old 10-05-2006, 02:57 PM
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I think that your tank hadn't finished cycling when you added the fish. the Nitrogen cycle takes 36 days. You probably got to the part where ammmonia is converted to nitrites which will then be converted to nitrates which will then be absorbed by plants. Doing small water changes might help the fish survive or else you could get a starter kit with bacteria. I know they exist but have never used one.

Oceane cichlid and cats mostly
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post #19 of 25 Old 10-05-2006, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceane
I think that your tank hadn't finished cycling when you added the fish. the Nitrogen cycle takes 36 days. You probably got to the part where ammmonia is converted to nitrites which will then be converted to nitrates which will then be absorbed by plants. Doing small water changes might help the fish survive or else you could get a starter kit with bacteria. I know they exist but have never used one.
Oceane, cycling doesn't really finish in a specific number of days. It can vary. Some were able to finished cycling in just 10 days. If it were 36, then it appears that cycling may have been stalled several times.

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I'm ready for the pressure.
The drama and the pleasure!
If there is one thing I want to see here, it's HUMOR.
I believe I can fly!
I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day!
I stand in awe of my body.
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post #20 of 25 Old 10-06-2006, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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I thought mine was done cycling in about 12 days. I did it without fish, and then I added them slowly, starting with mollies. Things seemed okay up until last week, when I suddenly saw a spike in the nitrites. Despite religious water changes every day, they are STILL very high. Ammonia, nitrates, pH... they are all within range. I am getting so panicky that the nitrites will NOT go lower, even after I change 25% of the water! (Yes, I tested the water I'm putting in - it has 0 nitrites). Can I expect the bacteria to form (apparently it wasn't there to begin with, altho' all my stats were low a few weeks ago)?

46-gallon bowfront freshwater w/
6 tiger barbs
5 gold barbs
4 blue (3-spot) gouramis
2 kribensis cichlids
2 albino cory catfish
1 featherfin syndontis catfish
2 mystery snails
2 marble snails
various live plants (12)
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