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Nitrite High,


Guest Deliriumfish

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Guest Deliriumfish

My tank is new, about 4 weeks but suddently the ammonia and nitrites are really high, ive been doing 40% changes each day, but it doesn't seem to dilute them. Is it something to do with cycling?

Today the ammonia is slightly lower at 0.25ppm, but the nitrites are high at about 0.5ppm, the temp is 72 F and then ph is 7.6. (i didn't buy a nitrate tester as they are expensive and not that toxic-i also have plants)

I have also been using neutrafin cycle to help the tank cycle.

The tank is also slightly over stocked by one small goldfish and a corydora, which could be a problem, and they were treated for Ich last week using malachite green which may have upset the water, i don't know.

What should i be doing??

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Hi there. :)

Well, firstly, I need a little bit more info first.

How big is the tank?

What is the name and size of your filter?

How many fish and how big?

Can you test your tapwater for ammonia and nitrItes?

Have you recently done anything to the filter, the cartridge or anything to the tank, like cleaning anything, adding any chemicals? New fish?

For now, if you can, get some aquarium salt and add 3/4 level teaspoon of salt, pre-dissolved in tankwater, to the tank. Do this once a day for 3 days and then stop. Your tank is now at a 0.3% solution and your goldies will have a good level of protection against any nitrItes that are forming. If you do a waterchange, you have to add back water that is dosed with salt as per the gallonage you are adding back. Salt cannot be filtered out nor can it evaporate, so you have to be careful with your additions and calculations,

Keep the salt in the tank untiul the nitrItes have dropped to 0ppm for 3 days.

About nitrAtes:

You should eventually get yourself a nitrAte test kit. I mean, you might be able to get by for a little while doing standard waterchanges ech week, but they can and will eventually creep to high levels. NitrAtes might not be toxic in small amounts but once above 60ppm, problems can surface. The key is prevention. ;) Otherwise, you ought to be doing 50% waterchanges twice a week to be sure they are indeed at low levels (below 40-50ppm).

Post back soon.

PAul

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Guest Deliriumfish

Hi,

I did put salt in, for the Ich at first then for nitrites, but the readings stayed high, and we've diluted the salt out with water changes this week because i put plants in to try and help the water conditions.

I don't know what filter i've got, it came with the second hand tank, i think it is called Fluval though, as that is the name of the filter pads. I haven't done anything new to it. It is about 25cm long.

The fish are new, but i got them when i first got the tank. I've got 3 shubunkins, two are about 1.5 inches and one is about 2 inches, and a common goldfish a bit smaller than an inch, and a corydora smaller than the goldfish.

My tapwater was 0 for ammonia and nitrites.

Is there anything i can do, or will it resolve itself (with regular water changes)? Will doing 40% water changes every day or two mean the tank will take longer to cycle?

Thanks for replying

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Ok, i need a little clarifying:

What is the gallonage of your tank?

What does the filter say on it? I know it says Fluval but what else does it say?

You might have too small a filter for your sizd tank. But, I need the info above to tell you that.

Watechanges do not hamper the cycling process all that much. Besides, it is detrimental that you do the waterchanges or your fish will feel the pinch.

Get the salinity back up and keep running with the salt at 0.3%.

Post back soon. :)

Paul

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I did some research recently and 1 tsp of salt per gallon should protect up to 60ppm nitrIte. If the ich is gone and given your nitrIte levels, I'd think you could get by with something like 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons to protect against brown blood disease.

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Is that true, Betty? :huh:

I wonder why its recommended to add a 0.3% solution to cycling tanks? :blink:

Could I get you to expose your source of info to me?

Very interested......

Paul

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From what I've read yes. .1% is more than enough.

I don't recall seeing .3% recommended to protect against nitrIte poisoning before.

Here's where I worked it out:

http://www.koivetforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17351

I was hoping Roddy Conrad would put in his two cents since he's a chemist, but he didn't show up in that convo.

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As always, I am impressed by your sources and information, Betty! :exactly

After doing a little research of my own about salt, ammonia, nitrItes and even nitrAtes, I too have come to the same conclusion that you don't need as much as I previously thought true. So, it seems that I need to go and make a change or two to some of my informational threads I made here.

Not quite sure where I first got my info on nitrItes and salt but it certainly proved to be wrong. Of well, at least salt at 0.3% is well taken by goldies and koi.

Question: Do you suppose I should just leave it at 0.3% on the informational threads? Kindofa way to get newbies to have a preventative measure for ciliates going in their tanks, even if its unkown to them that this is what the extra 2% salt is doing. Ususally, someone seeking advice on a new tank experiencing problems has new fish in it that may be harboring nasties. Catch my drift? :huh:

Paul

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Question: Do you suppose I should just leave it at 0.3% on the informational threads? Kindofa way to get newbies to have a preventative measure for ciliates going in their tanks, even if its unkown to them that this is what the extra 2% salt is doing. Ususally, someone seeking advice on a new tank experiencing problems has new fish in it that may be harboring nasties. Catch my drift?

I should think so - I am no pro but being a true newbie - my gut reaction is - leave it - it's safer! Maybe just make sure people measure the salt very carfully - not use heaping teaspoons. I have been thinking about writing a little thing on salt (I have done research on it in the past for cooking) because there does seemt o be a lot of confusion about salt in general. Different size crystals have differing amounts of NaCl (conc.) so it would be important to take that inot account if you were using Kosher salt instead of finely granulated table salt (without additives, of course), for example. Especially if treating for illness! Most people don't have salinity meters (me neither but I am thinking about it). OK - enough salt geeking!

Deleiumfish - How are things working out? You are good hands here with Dataguru and Toothless!!!

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I usually treat cycling separately from the quarantine process for new goldies. but if one has new goldies and an uncycled tank, there's no reason you couldn't recommend .3% salt during the nitrIte phase of cycling to kill two birds with one stone. I think I would explain the reasons for that so not to give the impression that you have to have .3% to protect against brown blood disease. :)

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Guest Deliriumfish

Is salt really the only thing to treat high nitrites?? I've been looking to get another filter as i hope that will help with the overcrowding, will that reduce the nitrites then??

My fish have started getting red gills which must be the nitrites, they are at 2ppm today, with the Ammonia at 0, shouldn't they be being converted to nitrates soon?? (i don't have a test kit yet but im assuming they aren't as the nitrites are so high. Im still adding cycle. the filter doesn't say anything on it, im just assuming it's fluval because the filter pads i was given with it are fluval.

I really don't want to salt the tank as the plants are just starting to put down roots and get settled, and i know they will help when i have nitrates, any suggestions apart from salt???

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You have to let the filter go through its initial cycling phase to make the call on more filtration. If the nitrItes never fall to 0ppm, then you will need more filtration. If they eventaully get to 0ppm, you might very well be all good.

If your filtration equals 100gph for every ten gallons of water, then you should be within the accepted ten times per hour rule of thumb and your water will be nice and clean. But that is only if stocking densities arent too much. Remember, ten gallons per fancy goldie once they get sizable.

Paul

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Deliriumfish: what do you mean when you say red gills? do you mean the gill covers or the actual gills?

Gills are supposed to be bright red, crisp and well defined. With nitrIte poisoning they look darker and brown.

Here are some pics that may help.

http://www.amonline.net.au/fishes/students/dissect/gills.htm

http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/success/en/agr/0261e.html

http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/aquatic/drug_res...tz_5002563.html

With plants 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons should protect against 6-10 ppm nitrItes. I don't think those levels would mess with your plants.

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