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jsm11482 09-24-2006 06:46 PM

Where are my nitrites?!?!
Ok, I have had my 15gal running for about a month now, added bioballs from the LFS after the first week or so. I have been doing regular readings and have still NEVER seen any nitrites. I just did a reading tonight and the nitrates are steady - haven't changed in weeks. The ammonia was high a couple days ago so I did a couple big water changes to bring it down. Is the tank done cycling and how can I be sure? Where are my nitrites??? There are 5 lil fish in the tank (zebra danio's) and live plants. Thanks.

You can check out my reading here:

Nick 09-24-2006 06:55 PM

Hmm... well if there is no ammonia and no nitrite's and there is nitrate than your tank is done cycling. Well thats what I think anyway! And its a good thing you dont have ammonia or nitrite

Lupin 09-24-2006 09:37 PM

Your plants will try to consume nitrites so it' could be the reason why you have zero nitrites.
At least, your danios are getting to be on the safer side.:wink2:

jsm11482 09-24-2006 09:38 PM

Yes they are swimming around happily and just went to bed (the lights turned off :wink:). I assume it is done cycling, I am going to check the ammonia again now and will report my findings. Thanks!

jsm11482 09-26-2006 08:22 PM

Ok I just tested the water tonight and updated my stats in track my tank. I now have Nitrites! They are between 0 and .25 so I say .125 - is this ok? I have fish in there and I do have 5ppm nitrates so I expect the nitrites to eat the ammonia and the nitrates to eat the nitrites. Need I worry?

Lupin 09-26-2006 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by jsm11482
I have fish in there and I do have 5ppm nitrates so I expect the nitrites to eat the ammonia and the nitrates to eat the nitrites.

I don't understand this one.:mrgreen:
Bacteria is supposed to convert the ammonia into nitrites, then nitrites into nitrates.
With fish, you have to do another water change to dilute the nitrites.

crazie.eddie 09-26-2006 10:58 PM

In the aquarium nitrogen cycle, nitrosomonas bacteria feed on the ammonia from decaying food, fish waste, etc. The bi-product of the nitrosomonas bacteria is nitrItes.

Nitrobacter then feed on the nitrItes and the biproduct is nitrAtes.

Levels of ammonia and nitrItes are dangerous to most fish and only extreme levels of nitrAtes are very dangerous.

If you're cycling with hardy fish (most livebearers) then the ammonia and nitrItes will elevate and drop. When they constantly remain at 0, with a nitrAte level above 0, then it is completed the cycle. UNLESS, the tank is not fully stocked with fish, which will require you to add more fish, which will then continue with the cycle again.

jsm11482 09-26-2006 11:30 PM

So what should I do?? It is a 15gal with only 5 zebra danios. Should I add more fish? I did a water change (maybe 30-40%) tonight and I have been doing big water changes around 50% for the last few days on and off to get the ammonia levels down. Should I just leave the water alone and monitor the levels or should I keep doing water changes?

crazie.eddie 09-26-2006 11:40 PM

They should be ok to handle the elevated ammonia/nitrIte levels. 5 danios in a 15 gallon is allot. I say continue with water changes and do a gravel cleaning weekly.

What type of filter do you have?

Reduce the feedings, to maybe about a little every 2-3 days. Fish can survive about a week or so without food anyways.

jsm11482 09-26-2006 11:42 PM

5 danios is a lot?? What happened to the 1inch per gallon rule? I have a Fluval 204 canister filter. Currently I just drop an algae wafer in every morning. Is that ok?

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