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Help! Nitrite Jumped From 0 To 10 In 5 Days!


gialeigh

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OMG I have no clue what happened. When I changed my water last Friday the nitrite was 0. Now its at 10!!! How could that happen??? I am so scared for my fish right now I am going to change about 80 or 90 % and see if that helps.

My tank has been up for about a month and a half, could it still be cycling??? This has never happened before...

Could it be faulty test strips???I tried two and they both said the ame thing. OMG Im so scared. Im going to go change the water right now but please leave any suggestions or help. I will keep the computer on.

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ok well its not the test strips. I just read my other tank and it was fine.

OMG Im shaking. I cant believe it.

My fish seem to be acting normal though!!! Im just so thankful I havent lost any yet.

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i wouldnt do that large a water change! You'll loose your cycle, and stress the fish more!

I would do 15-20% water changes every 24 hours untill it comes down. they have had 5 days to get used to that high of chems, dont stress them my suddenly changing it all!

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Oh no. I took out that water already. I thought it was the bacteria in the filter I should worry about! I didnt know it was in the tank too. I cant believe I am getting so upsett over this. I have tears streaming down my face I am so scared. Ok well I guess there is nothing I can do but continue filling it back up with fresh water. The damage is done I guess. I just dont know what happened...I thought I was being so good with taking care of my tank.

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ok I filled my tank back up and the nitrite level is 0.5. Im so worried I may have over-done it by changing so much of the water at once. If anyone has any clue as to why this happened can you please help me? I dont want this to happen again. I will answer any questions I can in order to find out what happened here today.

PS I dont get it, but the goldfish seem to be doing just fine! I guess that is why I never suspected anything was wrong these last few days. They are swimming around, poking at the gravel, swimming over to see me and beg for food. They are not showing any signs of nitrite toxicity.

The only thing I did notice is that my lionhead looks like he now has a yellowish "stain" on the white part of his belly. The blue oranda, who has chocolate patches, now appears to have light orange patches. Could this discoloration be a sign of something?

Also it seems as if brown algae is starting to grow in the tank....can all this point to why the nitrite spiked like that?

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Before this spike, did your tank go through any other nitrite spike and if so did the ammonia rise and then the nitrite?

Is your ammonia reading 0 now?

Need dataguru on this i think.

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It has never spiked like that before.

I do not have a test for ammonia yet. Truth is I cant afford a very nice test kit at this time. All I have are these test strips that test for nitrite, nitrate, hardness, alkalinity, and PH. Maybe I should ask hubby for one for my b-day on Sunday! :lol:

Im going to try to give you all the info I can about my tank. Maybe then someone can tell me what happened.

Fish:

I have explained in other threads that my tank is overstock at the moment. There is nothing I can do about this. I cannot afford another tank right now. These fish were in a pond that had to be taken down. My only options were to put them in a 55 gallon that we just bought, or give them away (which to me really wasnt an option).

I have 14 fish in the tank. 12 of which are under 1.5 inches and the other 2 are about 4 inches.

Tank:

The tank is 55 gallons and has two external filters. One is large and is made for a 55 gallon tank. The other one is made for a 20 gallon tank. They are waterfall type filters. That is all I know about the types of filters they are. They have biological filters in right now, I took the charcoal out while I was giving treatment to one of my fish.

The tank has been running for about 1.5 months. The fish have been in there since the begining. Unfortunatly at the time I did not know about cycling tanks.

A nitrite spike like this has never happened. The level has always been 0.

Maintenance:

I do 25% water changes twice a week. I have rinsed the filters out 2 or 3 times in a bucket of tank water.

Other info:

Brown algae has started to grow the last week or so. I dont know what to do about it or what causes it.

My fish seem to have a yellow discoloration in some areas of their body. Maybe it is just color change, Im not sure.

The only thing I can think of that may have killed off any bacteria is that I might have poured a cup of untreated water in the filter while doing the water changes last week to get the filter to start running. Im not even totally sure I did that, but that is all I can think of.

Water Parameters:

:::Last water change, 4 days ago:::

Nitrite: 0

nitrate: 20

hardness: 75

alkalinity: 120

PH: 7.8

:::Today:::

same as above except nitrites were 10!

I think IVe given all the info I can...I hope someone has some answers.

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I would do small daily water changes every day still. Thats alot of fishes (but you know that :) ) How long are they gunna stay in the 55? becuase the ol' rubbermaid bucket thing works wonderfull, and you could decrease your load by putting some in storage containers.

good luck

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yeah I was thinking of still doing water changes...I have a feeling my tank is cycling still and that is just what happened...still not sure though...the rubbermaid thing is a good idea! I am not entirely sure how long the fish will be in there together. At the most a year and a half. At the least maybe until late December, early November. We just got news that we are going the be stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. When we get there we will probably get a house, so we may have room for another 55 gal. If we have room, and we have the money, I will get another 55 gal. If not, I will have to wait the other 1.5 years until we get out of the army.

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Maybe you could do a search on putting auarium salt in the tank. I am sorry I cannot remember if that helps with nitrite or nitrate, but it does help with their slimecoat which protects them. I know there is a whole posting about it because it got into how much to add. I just read it a day or so ago.

Best wishes on the fishes!

Lori :D

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Yes, salt can help prevent nirtrite poisoning. I am not sure how much or how often, though. Look on the water chemistry forum and you'll probably find a posting about it.

Good Luck with your fish!

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Thank you guys for all the help! I was about to have a heart attack when I saw my test strip!!!!

It seems to be under control....for today...but Im going to test every day to make sure.

Oh and does anyone know about the yellow discoloring on my fish? It is on all of them, and most noticable on the white parts of some of my fish. Any clue what this means??? It looks like stains of yellowish patches. I have never seen this before so I have no clue. Ill keep researching though

Thanks guys!!!

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Your fish could have burns from high ammonia. Since we don't know what the ammonia readings are/were, it's tough to be sure.

It sounds like your tank is going through the cycle process, since you said you only had it for a month and a half. If you have read up on the cycling process, what happens is first the ammonia will spike, then the nitrItes, then the nitrAtes will increase. As the nitrAtes increase the nitrItes go to zero, and the ammonia will have already been at zero.

Here is a link for cycling if you haven't already taken a peek:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

You should salt the tank if you see your nitrItes continue to increase. It will protect the fish. Add 1 teaspoon per 1 gallon of water. Predissolve the salt in tank water and add it in. The salt will protect the fish from nitrIte poisoning. As you perform water changes, add salt back in to the amount of water you are replacing.

Because of the large fish load, you are going to experience a more difficult time keeping your params in check. You will have to test more often, and perform water changes more often as well.

You didn't mention if you are using any sort of water conditioner or dechlorinator?? Prime is a great product if you are not already using one.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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