HELP! question regarding Prime and nitrite.
Its a very long story, but in essence I have had a catastrophe in my tank.
last night fish were acting weird hanging at the surface, etc. so checked water. showing slight ammonia and high nitrates, no nitrite though!
did a good 25%water change and added the API water conditioner which I never normally use, I just leave my water to sit over night (another long story which doesn't need to be explored at present)
changed the water, things seemed ok.
This morning, I come down to all the fish hanging at the surface again even my botia loaches! I checked the water again and it was showing NITRITE! arghhh, at least .25ppm maybe even .50ppm I was in turmoil! I did another water change, had to go to my LFS for something so they recommended adding Prime to detoxify and ammonia and nitrite etc.
So out of desperation I got some, and heavily dosed a water change bucket with it. I have added the prime to the tank now, and left it for a while and done another check on levels, and ammonia is fine at 0, but the nitrite is a definite 0.25ppm still.
My question is, even though prime detoxifies the nitrite would it still show a reading? as the test cannot differentiate between the toxic and non-toxic variation. I am pretty sure I read this in a thread some time ago.
Could someone please let me know, and if not I guess I need to add more to the tank? I did add way over the prescribed amount of drops per litre on the instructions for nitrite emergency.
No one has died yet, but I thought one of my platys look like it was starting to bend up a bit, which I presume is a bad sign!
Thanks in advance for any advice, I know you'll help me out!
A very stressed
Correct, the test will still show the presence of Nitrite, because it is still there just in a slightly different form.
Prime will only work for a limited time though... not sure exactly but it is only a day or two.
Hey there Simon,
It will still show up in the tests but it will be harmless for 24 hrs or so. Do you have live plants in the tank? If not, I might consider adding an airstone to increase oxygenation for the fish until you get levels where they need to be.
Keep up with those water changes in the meantime and use Prime as your conditioner. I wouldn't use two conditioners in conjunction.
Hang in there.
I agree with geo, it only works for a short period of time. I remember it being from like 18 to 30 some hours. I don't think it works too long on detoxifying the nitrite so you have to do a water change at least once a day until no Nitrites are present.
Would the airstone really help? Also, keeping it in there for a day or two shouldn't harm the plants too much right?
Thanks guys, I knew I could count you you lot!
Yes my tank is fairly heavily planted, never had a problem before.
I made a terrible mistake and added one more fish than I should have.... which terrorised the tank inhabitants, its been a few stressful few days of messing about in the tank, the fish being stressed and one fish too many. that fish has now gone back to the LFS and I have thoroughly slapped my wrists for being such a dumb idiot.
MAJOR LESSON IN FISHKEEPING LEARNED......
I think the bioload tipped, and my tank is in a mini cycle.
I will monitor closely and water change daily, already done 2 today! i will just use the prime from now on.
what a nightmare its all been i feel like crying seriously!
Ill keep you posted.
I think you will be alright, you are taking care of them really well.
Personally, I woldn't add it with plants. But I'm overly cautious anyway :)
i just need to keep on top of water changes and checking levels.
I'm not seeing where the nitrite came from. It might be possible that adding too many fish could do this, but I have added dozens of fish to tanks and never seen ammonia or nitrite above zero due to the plants.
Have you checked your tap water? One of our members had sudden nitrite and it turned out to be in the tap water that had never previously indicated nitrite. You want to cover all bases.
Another possibility is something happening in the substrate. Nitrite does normally occur in some biological processes, it is very complicated and i can't begin to explain it as i don't fully understand it; but it is another possible. And the filter maybe...?
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