Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lexxx 09-30-2007 06:05 PM

Nitrite Spike...Sick Fish...Need Advice

A few days after I added a blueline trigger and clown trigger (also had a cinammon clown and a blue damsel) to my 90 gallon FOWLR which has a protein skimmer and sump with bio balls. When i got home last night from a friends house, i noticed that my fish were in bad condition (pale and non-receptive). I immediately transferred 5 gallons of water from my other saltwater tank and put it in a clean 5 gallon bucket and transferred the fish into the clean water and have an aerator pumping oxygen in it. The fish are doing alright in there. After running a water test, I found that my nitrite level is @ .25 (API testkit). I did a 30% water change and let the water filter in the tank for a while. The nitrite level still appears to be at about the same spot (although the bottom quarter of the test tube that i put the test solution is light blue indicating 0 nitrite, and the top three quarters of the test tube are purple indicating .25 nitrite). I would be grateful if anyone had some advice on what to do. I'm nervous about putting the fish back in the tank since there is nitrite present. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated...the LFS in town is currently closed.

Thanks in advance,


lexxx 10-01-2007 12:20 AM

Update: I started out by putting the blue damsel back in there after getting everything back up and running after the water change, and he seemed to do well. So I ended up putting the other fish in one at a time throughout the day. The fish definately seemed revived. The Nitrite level is still @ .25. Any have any advice on where to go from here?

Lupin 10-01-2007 01:06 AM

The solution to the removal of nitrites is plenty of water changes. Have you checked your tapwater's parameters?

lexxx 10-01-2007 09:28 PM

I use RO water that I buy from the store. I was under the assumption that is the best option for a saltwater tank. Does anyone else use their tapwater??? If so, that would save me some trips to the store, and a little bit of money. I did another water change today..about 20%. It looks as though the levels in the tank are decreasing when i test.

caferacermike 10-02-2007 03:36 PM

I refuse to even use tapwater on my freshwater tanks. It's to variable for my taste. I prefer to actually know what I'm putting in my tank. I've found that our tapwater fluctuates week to week, month to month. There are significant differences between seasons. If it rains our nitrate levels can go through the roof for about 3 days. I bought a huge RO/DI unit and a 125g holding tank so that I always have plenty of clean water on hand. If you don't like the trips and hate carrying or spending money on water, buy a unit from Buckeye Field Supply for about $130. They sell the best for the cheapest. Genuine Filmtech membranes.

lexxx 10-02-2007 06:19 PM

Thanks for the info, mike! You are right, those are pretty cost-effective systems they have. Is it better to have the RO/DI or will just the RO systems be enough? I'm definately going to order one.....are they easy to install. Thanks for the help, this is going to save me trips to the store lugging around 5 gallon buckets full of water...not to mention it's going to save me some money as well. Just want to make sure i get the right system.

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