Gotta question for all
I'm currently battling a weird problem in my 55 gallon, nitrites. Tank has been running for three months, First three weeks fishless, had the Bacterial Bloom. Started the beginning of the second week in September. On the 2nd of October I added two corys and a pleco. On the 2nd of November I added three more Corys and four Angelfish. I was doing a 25% water-change each week until the week after I added the AngelFish, then I stepped up the water-changes. The last five water-changes I've done were 50% water-changes, two in the last four days.
I'm using a fresh API master test kit(Expiration date is 2017), every time I get the same readings, 0 ppm Ammonia, 5 ppm nitrates and a whopping 5+ ppm of Nitrites! I've been running a pack of Nitra-Zorb in the filter for the past couple of days and treated with Quick Start(Shows how desperate I'm getting) today. I'm going to test again tomorrow and if it's the same, another 50% water-Change.
Have any of you run into this before?
If it was me I would continue doing smaller partial water changes (to control the nitrites somewhat) and leave it alone for a while without adding any more fish or chemicals in the filtration unit. I would imagine the spike in nitrites is normal after your second addition of fish on Nov. 2nd. Once this "spike" is taken care of maybe 4 or 5 months of no new stuff in the tank to let everything settle in and your nitrogen cycle to take hold again. If your fish start showing symptoms that are abnormal you can always step up the water changes. Your filter is adjusting to the new additions to the aquarium-- it takes a few weeks for this to happen. Currently it has only been 12 days...
I agree with testing the water, but this might be an example of where testing gets out of hand a little. Most of the time if you just stick with a good, solid maintenance schedule based on certain things (i.e. you added a lot of fish at once, change a little more of the water for a couple of weeks) everything will be ok.
I'm confused. Why did you start adding fish after a bacterial bloom? Did you take readings and find 0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrites and a large amount of nitrates?
It sounds to me like your fishless cycle never had a chance to finish and then you started it over by adding fish, which would offset the amount of ammonia you were supplementing beforehand, probably slowing your cycle. Now you're doing a fish-in cycle, which will take much longer to complete and become much more of a hassle.
Now you just need to carry on as if you never started a fishless cycle, and perform daily water changes to keep your readings of ammonia at .25ppm or less, and keep your nitrites as low as possible.
Continue to do your water changes until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and a spike in nitrates. Then you'll have completed your cycle.
Tank 1: 20gal Long Planted Freshwater - 1 Crowntail Betta + 8 Oto Cats + 1 Horned Nerite Snail + 2 Orange Rabbit Snail + 5 Amano Shrimp
Tank 2: 75gal Planted Freshwater - 6 Serpaes + 1 Black Phantom + 3 Golden Wonder Killies + 1 Opaline Gourami + 2 Striped Raphael Cat + 4 SAEs + 5 Assassin Snails
Tank 3: 10gal Planted Brackish Water - 4 Nerite Snails
Tank 4: 10gal Planted Freshwater - 5 Rabbit Snails + RCS
My 75 Gal Journal
My Snail Breeding Journal
Kevin, the bloom occured two days after I first filled the tank, it then cleared and the tank ran for almost three weeks afterward, fishless. I didn't put the fish in as soon as it cleared. The only test kit I had at the time was for Ph. You have to remember, I've been out of the hobby for nearly 20 years. I had no idea they had kits for testing Nitrites and nitrates at the time. We never had those problems back then as water treatment plants didn't use all the chemicals they use now( I'm guessing here that may be part of the problem). As soon as I found out about the kit I went and bought one.
Last edited by Dave Waits; 11-16-2012 at 05:30 AM.
Dave, I was much like you untill recently. All I used was a pH test kit and did my water changes every two weeks. Suddenly for the first time in years my tank crashed so I bought the whole test kit (wife's Idea) and found out my ammonia levels were way out off whack.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
SHE......Lest We Forget
welcome back to the hobby and sorry to have to learn the hard way.
but if you only could test the pH during your fishless cycle-then you didnt really cycle it at all
you would have had to known the ammonia/nitrite levels for when the cycle would be complete.
so now you are experiencing and going to go through a fishIN cycle. and thats okay, many people go that route.
what dechlorinator are you using for your water changes?
know anyone around you with an established tank? grabbing some of their filter media will help the cycle along.
also-what is your current filtration? if it is under filtered-then your cycle will struggle to get going and complete