High Nitrite levels..
I have a 10 gallon tank With an Aqua-Tech 5-15 with BioFiber filter (hang on back). a 2-10 Heater (keeps water around 76 Degrees)
I noticed I have high Nitrite levels, so I did a gravel vaccum clean and put in a new filter cartridge and changed 3/5ths of the water, i tested again a few hours after all that and the Nitrites are still very high,
My fish had Ick about a week ago and treated twice with some Ick Alka-Seltzer like tablets. all fish died but my betta and 2 ghost shrimp.
Any advise?? Thanks.
How long has this tank been set up?
I would not have changed the filter cartridge. Your filter is home to a huge amount of the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium, so removing the cartridge altogether removes a significant amount of these bacteria. Whatever bacteria were on the old cartridge and multiplying are now gone, and you've essentially started over. I never replace my filter cartridges unless they are physically falling apart. If they start to gunk up with a lot of junk (which means you're probably overfeeding your fish), you can still "clean" the cartridges by gently swishing them around in some old tank water (i.e. right after you've done a water change).
In the meantime, keep the new cartridge in there until it starts falling apart, and keep doing water changes to keep your nitrites down. Once your aquarium cycles completely, it will have zero ammonia, zero nitrites and some amount greater than zero of nitrates. At that point, all you have to do is routine maintenance including weekly partial water changes and gravel vacs to keep your nitrate levels in check.
It says to change the filter every 2-4 weeks (but never the BioFiber), and its been about 5 weeks. The old cartridge stank really bad and was very gunky looking.
I have 2 ghost shrimp as my 'cleanup crew' but am thinking about getting some sort of small sucker fish "Chinese algae eater maybe?" or a mystery snail.
But I don't want to get any new fish till I get the Nitrite's under control.
Is it possible the Ick medicine killed the bacteria on the BioFiber?
my chinese algae eaters are abt 8-9 inches each,so i wouldn't get them if i were u. Besides, no fish will get rid of the waste in ure tank...u're supposed to do that. fish wont eat rotten food, so limit the food u give them. Only change the white cotton layer of ure filter, the one that keeps the dirt(poo, plantpieces,..) out of ure filter. Dont change the rest, just rince it every few months.
Besides, a filter only helps to keep ure water nitrite free.
The best thing for a healthy tank is watching what u put into ure tank (fish,food,plant) and doing a WEEKLY water change.
With high nitrite levels i wd suggest more frequent water changes until the nitrite reading = 0. this might take a while cos u practically 'threw away' ure bacteria colonies with changing the filter and the gravel vacuuming.
when u vacuum the gravel, only vacuum the top few millimetres
To be clear, I only removed the Filter (the blue sponge) NOT the BioFiber (White Fiber that is supposed to hold the bacteria)
Btw... here are the levels as based on my test strip.
Nitrate = 20
Nitrite = 8 (no, not 0.8 )
kH = 300
pH = 8.5
I do not have a Ammonia test kit at the moment..
:| 8 nitrites? Even after that huge water change? What type of test kit are you using?? Do you have a tester for ammonia?
I am using a color coded 5 in 1 test strip, unfortunately I do not have a test for Ammonia..
That just might be your problem. Test strips are a huge waste of money, because a liquid test lasts longer and are more accurate. A lot of people like to use API liquid master test kit, it tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH. It may cost more at first but I promise you won't regret it.
I tested a strip in another tank (nothing in it yet) and the test came back with zero nitrites, I don't think its the test strip. I'm wondering if the Ich medicine i used killed all my Bactria that was converting nitrite into nitrate?
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