Help! Nitrite Overload - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help! Nitrite Overload

The nitrite level in my 30G tank has spike to off the charts (5+ ppm). We did about a 60% water change yesterday and an 85%+ change this morning. The levels are still insane.

About 2 weeks ago, my husband did a major overhaul of the already established tank... same rocks and plants, but brand new substrate (from sand & small river rocks to larger river rocks and some flora max substrate here and there. He also added a piece of driftwood. He left the bio filter untouched.

Also (not sure if it's pertinent), we had some danios hatch and there are several very tiny (barely noticeable) fry hanging out in the river rocks. Doesn't seem like enough to effect the nitrite, but I could be wrong. We also had 2 ghost shrimp die (which is what prompted me to test the water in the first place). I should also add that the ammonia level is at 0 and the nitrate level is a reasonable 10ppm.

I'm assuming the tank is cycling again. The problem is, there is a sick fish in there that was recouping ok earlier in the week but has taken a turn. How can I get my nitrites down in a hurry? Would adding biozyme help at all?

I don't have anywhere else to put this fish (Bolivian Ram full-grown adult)- as it is, he was removed from our other tank, because he was getting attacked by a Festivum.

Last edited by Aoibhell; 01-27-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 11:02 AM
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Do you know your Tap water numbers? Are water changes adding NI? I have .25ppm Ammonia in my tap water.
There are products available to remove NI but I have not used them. Some are "rechargable" I believe.
Hopefully someone else can chime in here... but knowing your Tap water numbers would be helpful. Could you post them here. Thx.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I did test my tap water to be sure... definitely no nitrites there.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 12:16 PM
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Just went through this myself. Mine was due to adding 12 new fish. I did what you did and the levels dropped back to zero in a couple or three days. My initial test looked to be top of the chart, I did a 75% change and retested to 0.25 then another 30% it was lower then no more changes. It was zero on day three. I didn't know when the nitrite actually spiked as I hadn't tested for it in 10 days. Oh, I stopped feeding for a day, I really don't know how much that affected anything though.

I bought a small bottle of Prime to help with this in the future as it detoxes the nitrites until the system can deal with them... actually, only a day or two so it may need a re-dose every two days BUT it should not need it after the first... hopefully.

That just helps the fish deal with it short term, I don't like adding chems but sometimes it may be in the best interest of the fish.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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