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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Chicago, IL United States
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    Default Nitrites!!! Help!!!


    0 Not allowed!
    Ok, so I've got one of those Ammonia Alert things stuck on the inside of my tank and it is reading 0 toxic ammonia and has been for at least a week or so now. The problem is, though, that I now have a serious nitrite problem. My nitrites are through the roof so much that they don't even register on the color chart, meaning they are well above 10ppm. My nitrAtes are also super high up around 100 or so. I've been doing daily water changes of about 5 gallons (on a 65 gallon tank) but I upped that to 15 gallons on the last three water changes. No matter what i do, even right after a big water change, the nitrites just won't go down! Almost all of my shrimp have died and my two rubber lip plecos died. The gold dojo loaches and the goldfish all seem to be fine for now but I'm sure they aren't happy.

    I have two filters on my tank. One is a marineland biowheel 50 gallon filter. The other is a tetra whisper filter for up to 70 gallon tanks. I use seachem prime with every water change and seachem stabilizer as well. I do not overfeed my fish, either. In fact I switched to using algae wafers because they are less messy and apt to getting stuck in the substrate.

    What can I do to bring down the nitrites and nitrates? Please help!!!
    Just Keep Swimming

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    50% water change and another tomorrow

    PS......you are just about done with that cycle.
    Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 06-16-2010 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree, your water changes should be at least 50% daily until you get this under control.

    Do you know what's causing the buildup in toxins? Maybe if we figure it out, once you get it under control with the large water changes, we can prevent it from happening again.
    My thoughts are:
    -not enough filtration or filter media
    -too many fish, or too big of a bioload
    -your tank maintenance is insufficient

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You really do not have very good filteration on a 65 gallon with goldfish, They are heavy hitters on the bio-load and your filters are just barely getting it, IMO.

    Filters are rated to filter just about half of what they claim to filter. They are more accurate if you barely stock a tank but not to what stock normally is. I had a 50 on a 20 gallon tank and two-350's on my 55 gallon.......later to change to one canister + one of those 350's.

    You really should be running a good canister filter on that tank and it would not hurt a bit to run a canister + a HOTB as well.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Simple math.... on a 65 gal tank, changing out 15 gal is only removing between 20% - 25% of your Nitrates. Best case, with Nitrates at 100, you now have 75. Do another 15 Gal change and you are left with around 60. (75 - 25% (18.75) = 56.25) This doesn't allow for all the new Nitrates that are building up.
    So, 2 50% water changes won't get you to 0, but should get you into some safer numbers.

    With Nitrites present, you are either going through a mini cycle or you haven't completed your original cycle. Once your cycle has finished (Ammonia 0/Nitrites 0), you can do a larger WC (80%) and really reduce you're readings.

    To figure out why your numbers are so high.....

    How long has the tank been running with fish?
    What are your "normal" water parameters? (Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates)
    What kind of tests are you using? (Liquid/Strips/etc...)
    Have you added any new fish to the tank recently?
    Did you replace or clean any of the filter media?

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    He's been using Stability so possibly is converting very quickly.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well my tank is still cycling. It's been running for a little over a month now. I had a big algae bloom so I did add two small algae eaters. Also I added a new very small goldfish about a week ago. Once the algae eaters clean up my tank I'll be moving them over to a different tank to lessen the bioload on my goldfish tank.

    I had a huge ammonia spike so I doused the tank with a lot of Prime and Stability which eliminated the ammonia problem but obviously I now have a nitrite problem. If they make ammonia neutralizers then why can't they make a nitrite neutralizer?

    I did a 50% water change today which brought the nitrAtes down to around 35-40 but the nitrItes are still pretty high, though lower than before of course. I'll do another 50% water change tomorrow. I was worried about being able to do such large water changes because I didn't want to disrupt the tank's cycle.

    Oh and as far as filtration goes I forgot to mention that I also have a large sponge filter in the tank as well. I can't afford a canister filter. I do have an extra Aqueon 30 gallon filter lying around, though. Would it make a big difference if I stuck that one on the tank with the other two filters? From my experience having a multiple filter set up like that causes the filters to battle for suction, making the filters inefficient. Has anyone else had that problem? I ended up moving the two filters to opposite ends of the tank and that seems to work but I think that adding the third HOB would disrupt the filtration of the other two or vice versa.

    Also, I only rinse the filter media when it absolutely needs it, which has only been twice since I set up the tank a little over a month ago. I rinse the media in tank water when I do water changes.

    Thanks for all of your support!
    Just Keep Swimming

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Yikes!!! I just saw my little comet goldfish showing major signs of stress. In fact, Now that I watch them more closely I'm seeing stress from all of the goldfish. I'm going to do a 75% water change. If it messes up the cycle, oh well. I really need to get this nitrite down because I just can't take losing any more fish, especially my beloved goldfish. :( Wish me luck.
    Just Keep Swimming

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    A flounder for you - my favorite fish - jaysee   time for new fish - Lady Hobbs   so other will not be lonely - Lady Hobbs   oops..now ya need a mate - Lady Hobbs   Discus always look best in schools!lol - Northernguy   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Large water changes won't mess up the cycle, they just slow it down a bit. :)

    Good luck.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Fish seem less stressed today after I did a 75% water change yesterday but the nitrItes are still out of control. The nitrAtes are in a safe zone finally but I'm gonna have to do another large water change today to get these nitrItes down. Oi ve. This cycle needs to be over already. I don't know who's more stressed, me or the fish?
    Just Keep Swimming

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