Can't seem to get ntirites down! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-11-2006, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Can't seem to get ntirites down!

Hi, sorry to be posting so much about this topic. My tank has been running for over a month. I had some mollies in there, thought I was done with my cycle, and added some more fish over a few weeks. However, sadly I realize now (after many fishy deaths) that I put too many fish in too fast. My cycling apparently wasn't done.

My nitrites have been high for weeks. I have been doing 60-70% water changes every single day, and yet even right after filling it back up, when I test the water, the nitrites are still VERY high (they were over 10; now they are down to about 3-5). I have one molly still living somehow and all 6 of my gold barbs are still acting normal. It's very, very frustrating to do water changes and not see the nitrites come down for even a few hours.

I put in some live plants (about 10 in a 50-gal) today. Will they live? Will they help bring down the nitrites? What can I do to ensure their survival, besides continuing with the water changes??!

Thank you!!!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-11-2006, 07:26 PM
Lupin's Avatar
Sorry to hear about that, starcollector.

Your live plants should hopefully consume some of the nitrites. Have you seeded your tank using your lfs' established filter media? You can try adding another to ensure there is enough bacteria to break down the nitrites.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-11-2006, 10:43 PM
What kind of filter are you using again?
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-18-2006, 03:02 PM
bettababy's Avatar
Be careful doing that large of water exchanges every day, that can be very dangerous. I would never do more than 20% in a day. Nitrates remain high for many reasons... for starters, have you done gravel vac'ing with any of these water exchanges? How big of a tank is this and how many fish are in it? How often are you feeding the fish? The thing to know about nitrates is that they are the end product of ammonia breakdown, which means ammonia levels were very high and the bacteria has broken it down to nitrates, but there is an overwhelming amount of waste coming from somewhere, so the key is to finding it and eliminating it. How long has the tank been set up?
The more info you can provide the easier it is for someone to help you.
Good Luck!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-18-2006, 11:23 PM
Have you checked the nitrate levels in your tap water?
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-19-2006, 12:48 PM
girlofgod's Avatar
nitrItes or nitrAtes?...very big difference...if your nitrItes are still high after a water change then it would seem that your tank doesnt have enough bacteria built up to handle all of the decomposing food/fish waste. you might want to consider getting some substrate from an established tank from your local fish store to help seed your tank. if your nitrAtes are high, then normally a water change will bring them down. i cant imagine your nitrAtes being so high that a 70 percent water change wouldnt bring them down...and i wouldnt recommend doing such large water changes every day b/c you will most likely cause your tank to mini cycle needs time for the bacteria to re-establish itself in your tank after a change so large.

"everything happens for a reason...the hard part is figuring out what that reason is."
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