Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   Nitrite levels are high and can't bring them down (

Karebear13 11-09-2012 12:16 AM

Nitrite levels are high and can't bring them down
so here is the deal:
I started cycling the tank on August 9th It was going pretty well I would do about 25% water changes twice a day. And finally after about a month and a half it cycled. but then I moved. ANd I transfered the filter in the water so I thought the cycle would not get destroyed. But then the tap water here has ammonia in it which I was unaware of and it seems to have destroyed my cycle. For the past month I have been trying to cycle it but see it going nowhere. Ammonia stays consistently and .5ppm and Nitrite just rose this week to about 2.0 ppm and I can't bring it down. I constantly do water changes everyday.

Because the water has ammonia in it I switched my dechlore to prime to help reduce the toxics. I also started using stability. That didn't seem to help. I also have java moss, Java fern, and pothos roots in there.

Any suggestions are helpful Im in desperate need of the tank to cycle before November 20th.

Also I do have one axolotl in the tank. He seems fine and doesn't seem bothered by the water quality. But I still would like for everything to read 0 as it should except nitrate of course

Byron 11-09-2012 10:23 AM

There are several factors at work in the nitrification cycle, and aside from this it is possible to have nitrite occur naturally from outside the nitrification issue.

A few more details might help. Temperature, pH and GH.

beaslbob 11-09-2012 04:42 PM

I would try not adding food for a little while and see if the ammonia/nitrItes drop down.

FWIW prime and other ammonia locka and dechlorinators will lock up the ammonia but normal test kits like the api ammonia test still reads ammonia. The danger is you read ammonia, add more chemicals and read ammonia etc etc etc. All the while that first dose may have totally locked up the ammonia and the following doses were unnecessary.

But one side effect is the chemicals also lock up oxygen and you can actually suffocate the fish which has the same symptoms as ammonia.

so you could try

1) adding some fast growing plants like anacharis. (or perhaps you plants are just fine)

2) stop adding food

3) stop doing water changes

4) stop adding the chemicals.

then see if ammonia and nitrItes drop in 3-4 days.

But that's just my suggestion which is worth at most.


Karebear13 11-09-2012 05:16 PM

Okay the temperature is 70 degrees and below sometimes. The pH is 7.6. I don't know what gH is or how to test for it. If its the hardness of the water the water is pretty soft.

I tried the no water change thing and that is how this nitrite problem happened. Ever since I didn't change the water for about 4 days the nitrite spiked. I am also no longer using Stability .

I have some bamboo and some water lettuce with gigantic roots but they are in quarantine so I won't be able to add them for a while

Byron 11-10-2012 12:17 PM

No water changes during cycling is fine only if there are no fish in the tank. I've no experience with axolotls, but as they have gills I would assume they will be just as vulnerable as fish to ammonia and nitrite above zero. So water changes should be daily until nitrite is zero.

Karebear13 11-10-2012 03:05 PM

Yes I have been doing daily water changes and the nitrite just won't go down. I actually didn't feed him last night to see if it would help. And I did notice a small drop in nitrite this morning then last night. I don't how many days I can go without feeding him though. I was thinking of moving him to a small container to feed him but I don't want that to stress him out but I think If i def don't feed it will lower the nitrite

Karebear13 11-12-2012 11:03 AM

thinking of tearing it down. i bought a new filter that is much better than the tetra whisper. It should be here in about a week!

Also I didn't realize that carbon is bad in a tank with plants. Can I just turn remove the tetra whisper for a week. I would still have the sponge filter in there and add the new HOB filter when it comes in I was just going to use a sponge and biomax

Reefing Madness 11-12-2012 11:13 AM

By all means feed him. Once a day is fine, that will not bother him. Watch the numbers, only way to get em down in a cycling tank is through water changes. Do them every day if you have to. Thats not a problem. First is getting them down to a managable level, so do big WC until your at 0 or close, then do maintenance ones, once you know what those levels will be like day to day. For this you will have to test day to day.

Karebear13 11-12-2012 01:53 PM

Yeah but what I don't get is that I did an 80% water change and even after that the nitrite still read above 3.0 ppm I just don't get it and the tap water reads 0 ppm

Reefing Madness 11-12-2012 02:01 PM

We did 75% water changes 3 days in a row before we saw numbers drop on a friends tank.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:25 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome