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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am new to keeping fish, and want to setup my first 30g tank. I've done a lot of reading about nitrAtes and nitrItes and the tank cycle, and I get it... so, before I even start with the tank setup, I went ahead and testing my tap water, as this will be my primary source for water....

It constantly tests as follows:

Zero nitrAtes
0.5 nitrItes
150 hard
0.5 chlorine (I will treat before adding to tank)
120 Alkalinity
6.8 pH

Knowing that I need to have ZERO nitrItes for healthy fish, can I use my tap water? Should I even be drinking this water with 0.5 nitrItes present?

I live in South Florida, if that adds anything to the conversation.

My kids want me to get GloFish ...
 

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First thing, is to welcome you to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D And to the hobby too.;-)

Now to your question. Are you using the API liquid nitrite test for this, or another (and liquid or strips)? I ask because some of these are not always that accurate.

Second question, can you confirm this with your municipal water authority? Most of these now have websites with water data, and something like nitrites would certainly be included in the data if they are present. If you can't discipher their data, post the link and I can take a look; I know some of these sites are pretty convoluted.

I will leave discussio of how to handle this until we have confirmation. Not to worry though, there are methods.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

The first tests were done using the Tetra 6-in-1 easyStrips, but as of this Sunday morning, I have purchased the API Freshwater Master kit. Using this test, the color is in the 0.5ppm to 1.0ppm range! I think its time to call the water authorities of South Florida and get their input. I will also google for information...

The water is city tap water, not a well. I am taking the sample from the kitchen faucit.
 

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API liquid is a reliable test. I would still want to confirm this, or at least see what they say, so contacting the water people tomorrow is advisable.

Assuming this is accurate, there are water conditioners that detoxify nitrite. I know of two, Seachem's Prime and Aquarium Solution's Ultimate. These will detoxify nitrite in the source water at the water change, but they remain effective for up to 48 hours. Once the tank is established with bacteria, and live plants will greatly help here, this should not pose a problem. Water changes can be carried out though not with too much volume each time, the conditioner will handle the initial influx, and by then the system will take over.

I've never had to deal with nitrites, so there may be some other options that members can help you with.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Filtered water.....

Again, thanks for the repaid response.

I went to the local supermarket this morning, I filled two 5 gallon water bottles with their filtered water ($1.50 for 5 gallons). I am more than happy to spend $3 to $9 a week for the next month to get good water in the tank....

I will also be contacting the complex management company, as well as the water authorities tomorrow... and for now, I will be drinking bottled water!

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Things are working....

Just want to give an update.. I purchased API's QuickStart and added the recommended amount to the tank this morning... and within minutes the nitrItes were reading zero.

So, I think going forward,if I use my tap water, and do a 20% water change every week, I will add 5ml to the tank...

Now to populate the tank!
 

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Just want to give an update.. I purchased API's QuickStart and added the recommended amount to the tank this morning... and within minutes the nitrItes were reading zero.

So, I think going forward,if I use my tap water, and do a 20% water change every week, I will add 5ml to the tank...

Now to populate the tank!
That makes sense, the bacterial supplement dealing with the nitrites. As I mentioned previosly, once the tank is established, the bacteria (and plants) would be able to deal with this just as this has now.

Byron.
 
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