Time for water change? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-20-2007, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Time for water change?

I recently set up my 240l tank. I added Nutrafin cycle and Left the heater and filter running for a week. I cut my filter media in my fluval 3 in my older tank and replaced half with half a new insert. The old half i added to my external filter in my new tank.

I then added 3 sword tails, (1 male and two females) and 3 orange platties.

Today is day the 3rd day and I performed a water test.

Ammonia 0
Nitrite between 0.3 and 0.8
Nitrate is clearly present

I'm wondering wether i need to perform a water change to dilute the nitrite and nitrate or i leave it until there is only nitrate present?

I always thought ammonia appear, got converted to nitrite then the nitrite was converted to nitrate. I have since been told that the ammonia spike can come after the nitrite. I'm a bit confused to tell you the truth.

The fish seem to be fine, no sign of stress that I can tell, they seem to be enjoying their new big home to be honest. The male swordtail is chasing the females about but nothing overly aggressive.
I believe the first sign of distress with chemical poisoning is gasping at the surface? I haven't seen that to date.

I would really appreciate a bit of guidance :)

Thanks guys
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-20-2007, 02:17 PM
fish_4_all's Avatar
Re: Time for water change?

Originally Posted by FishN00b
I always thought ammonia appear, got converted to nitrite then the nitrite was converted to nitrate. I have since been told that the ammonia spike can come after the nitrite. I'm a bit confused to tell you the truth.
I don't know who told you differently but that is totally wrong. Ammonia is first which causes the ammonia eating bacteria to grow and reproduce. They produce nitrites which causes the nitrite eating bacteria to grow and reproduce which in turn creates nitrates.

With the tank being so new and the levels so low I would say the normal water changes are all you need to do, nothing more. A weekly change will make sure the levels stay low and that the fish don't suffer from either ammonia or nitrites. It may increase the length of the cycle by a week or so but when cycling with fish you need do them regularly.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-20-2007, 05:20 PM
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fish_4_all is correct, ammonia appears first, but since you moved over some of the media from your other tank, you will speed up cycling. You may not see Ammonia in this case.

As your running with fish in the tank, I would recommend water changes to lower the nitrites. You don't want to see any nitrites in the water. Nitrates are ok, these will be addressed with your weekly water changes.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-21-2007, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, you've both confirmed what I already thought.

Last night I did a 20% water change to try and dilute the nitrites.

I'll test again tonight and if they're still at high levels I may do another.

The water is quite cloudy, is this normal for a new tank set up? Didn't have this problem with the smaller one.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-21-2007, 11:25 AM
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Cloudiness can be from a couple of different things. Bacteria bloom, over feeding, not vacuuming the substrate completely, .... It may also just be from particles in the substrate that get stirred up. I've got flourite in one of my tanks and vacuuming the substrate puts small particles in the water, but they sink back into the substrate shortly enough.
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