?? Nitrite out of control ??
Hi everyone, I posted a few days ago about my sad experience loosening all my fish and I thought I had tank back to stable. Well it's not . I did a 50% water change per advice given here , next day Nitrites were really high again, off the chart ! I did another water change yesterday , about 45% , 15g to a 36g tank. It's climbing again this morning. I picked up a liquid test kit , was using strips before to be sure I'm getting more accurate readings thanks for that advice. This is a new tank for me and I'm getting back into the hobby after a long time and trying to learn how to do it right for a community tank. Trying to understand this "cycle" and what to do and how long it lasts and how not to kill any more fish. Do I keep doing water changes ? Tap water is very hard and has high pH , no signs of ammonia, nitrate or nitrite. Is there a better conditioner I should try , almost out and need to pick up some today. Should I add some bacteria ? All help is much appreciated.
I would keep doing 25% wter change every day until nitrite and nitrate readings are 0. Hardness of water and ph are less of an immediate concern than nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate. I have very hard tapwater and never have had a problem because of it. I am very conservative aboutt water changes. Some people reccomend 50-75% water change daily. I never use artificial bacteria supplements, but I can't say that they don't work. Nitrites are produced by bacteria that process ammonia. A second type of bacteria process the nitrites into nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites will kill your fish fast. Nitrates( with an A) are much less dangerous, but are still harmful. Nitrites will continue to spike until you have a healthy population of those second-stage bacteria to process them. I would not add fish until nitrites are stable and very close to 0. Even after that, nitrates will usually build up in most tanks . I change 25% of the water in my tanks onxce per week to keep nitrates. down. Live plants will process some nitrates but usually not enough to prevent accumulation. So to boil it down- 25% water change every day till nitrites are 0, then 25% water change every week forever.
You will still need to feed the tank. A pinch of flake or pellets will do..every other day or so.The high nitrites are good. I would let it go on through until you see nitrates and no nitrites. Do a 50 percent water change and add no more than three fish within 24 hours.I am sorry you lost your fish. Next time, consider doing a fishless cycle or add beneficial bacteria. I recommend Dr. Tim's One and Only.
fixing things is difficult.. I know.. i was there just a month ago....nothing in nature that is balanced happens quickly... a normal cycle takes at least 6 weeks.... a bacteria addative (I've used/use a top fin brand but the name is drawing a blank right now)can speed the process by a few weeks .. bacteria can only be suppoerted by the amount of "food" available to it so the additive shouldn't hurt... I use 1 ML per gallon after each media change when i change /clean the filter each month... your process has begun.. you did not give us the parameters of your amonia or NitrAte... ( at least i didnt see them , I'm only on my first cup of coffee).. be patient and stay the coarse.. continue the treatment you are on... I did see that you said ALL your fish died.. sorry for your loss.. I'd make sure I have stable readings for one full week before i added fish... and then only a few at a time.. don't over do the bio load once fish are added lest you risk an amonia spike and end back at square 1.. it's a marathon...not a sprint...
as a side note.. IMHO.. the test strips are virtualy worthless... the liquid test kits are the way to go... get your self an eye dropper to fill the tubes..( I bought my measuring spoon and eye dropper together as a baby wellness set at CVS)... I've also found that a small container ..like those spreadable butter comes in good to dip out enough water to do my testing... then take your large sample...test kit and eye dropper and sit at the kitchen ( or any other table) table and do your testing... I find this controllled enviorment the most accurate and quickest way to do my weekly testing ( daily when cycling or adding new fish)... enjoy the journey... again.. its a marathon..NOT a sprint...
I put a post in another topic about my tank deviation and mistakes I made. Somehow the ghost shrimp have survived and are still in there. Taking it slow even though it's killing me to look at this awesome 36g bowfront with no fish. I choose to learn from my mistakes hence starting not to be smart but wise and ask for help. Glad I found this site and all of your combined knowledge. I will test everything when I get home and post right away around 4:30.
I need to pick up conditioner on way home and would like some ideas of what you all prefer , thanks
Seachem Prime is the only thing I use or recommend. The bottle is red/white.
I would suggested if establishing a new tank grabbing a bottle of live bacteria.. "Cycle" was used alot back in the day, but I am pretty sure there is better stuff out there today. Stress Zyme i think is another one.. If this stuff really works is up for debate, I find it helps speed up the cycling process if nothing else.
I'll probably be corrected here, but I wouldn't do any water changes until all I see are high levels of Nitrate and 0 Ammonia/Nitrite. Thoughts?
I would stop adding any food to the tank untill the nitrItes drop down.
I would also add live plants if you don't have any already.
once the nitrItes drop down I think you will find they just stay down. It's part of the (plantless) initial cycle.
I also supsect you lost the fish do to ammonia or high carbon dioxide.
so now's the time to take is slow
Ok I tested when I got home...
Nitrate 0+ (appeared to be inbetween 0 & 5.0)
Did a 25% water change . Picked up some Prime , used it along with Stress Zyme +
I've been thinking about live plants, what would be a good plant for a beginner to start with ? I am willing to learn. I'm happy to see nitrites going down. I would like to keep the addition of chemicals limited as much as possible.
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