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Somethin' Fishy Goin' On


imtammyo

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OK, I wasn't confused (thanks to the kind people on this site!) the entire time I was fishless cycling... until today that is!! This morning I was still registering 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and between 5-10 nitrates, so I did my big water change in preparation for getting my fish this afternoon. I added prime (had been using cheap, non-ammonia-binding stuff before, to not compromise my cycle) and some fertilizer (flourish by seachem) for my one lonely amazon sword plant. Tested the water... my nitrites had spiked off the charts! What is going on?! I postponed my fish adoption until I get it sorted out, but it was very hard...

Are the nitrites from the fertilizer? It does have nitrogen in it...? Is it some kind of weird masking effect of the prime? Any ideas? Nothing else has changed.

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OK, I wasn't confused (thanks to the kind people on this site!) the entire time I was fishless cycling... until today that is!! This morning I was still registering 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and between 5-10 nitrates, so I did my big water change in preparation for getting my fish this afternoon. I added prime (had been using cheap, non-ammonia-binding stuff before, to not compromise my cycle) and some fertilizer (flourish by seachem) for my one lonely amazon sword plant. Tested the water... my nitrites had spiked off the charts! What is going on?! I postponed my fish adoption until I get it sorted out, but it was very hard...

Are the nitrites from the fertilizer? It does have nitrogen in it...? Is it some kind of weird masking effect of the prime? Any ideas? Nothing else has changed.

It could possibly be the fertilizer. Is it a liquid fertilizer? Have you tried putting a little bit in a separate container of dechlorinated water and tested to see if it registered any results on your tests?

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No, but I will try that. I had used it before and the nitrite had not spiked (I've been testing my nitrites every day, watching them steadily drop until today). I'll check it out though, thanks for the suggestion.

Oh, the fertilizer is Flourish by SeaChem. Not the nitrogen formula, just the original, but it does have nitrogen in it. I assume this form of nitrite is just as dangerous as that which the ammonia-eating bacteria produces? Too bad, my plant is thriving on it!

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No, but I will try that. I had used it before and the nitrite had not spiked (I've been testing my nitrites every day, watching them steadily drop until today). I'll check it out though, thanks for the suggestion.

Oh, the fertilizer is Flourish by SeaChem. Not the nitrogen formula, just the original, but it does have nitrogen in it. I assume this form of nitrite is just as dangerous as that which the ammonia-eating bacteria produces? Too bad, my plant is thriving on it!

I'm not very familiar with the ingredients in that particular product, but you may want to email SeaChem about your situation too. :) They're very good at responding back.

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Thanks, Nenn :)

Well, that's out - the experiment with the tap water/conditioner/fertilizer showed that the fertilizer is not the culprit. Came up 0 nitrites. Tested the tank water again and it is 5. Glad I don't have fish in there!

OK, so next idea? I do have a bit of carbon in my filters - just what came with the original cartridges - could these have dumped the excess nitrites into the water? Don't really know if that's how it works or not. I don't want to remove them because my bacteria was doing so well and it would start me all over again. I also have ceramic media and extra filter floss in my filters.

Another thought I had was maybe that I had a bump in my cycle from the water change? Could my bacteria still have been in the water? It's been quite a while, I thought that only took about a week for them to attach to media?

Edit - Don't think it's from the carbon, as it would have dumped ammonia too if it were full right? Just tested ammonia and it is zero. Guess I'm going to assume it was a bump in the cycle and continue to feed ammonia for a while longer. Any other ideas about what might have happened?

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Hmmm... I thought I heard that about carbon, but maybe I'm thinking meds.

Nenn, I wasn't sure how long before the water change because I have a plant that seems to suck all the nitrates - they are up and then they are gone day after day. Hungry little bugger. I'm on cycling day 17...18... the days all run together now. I had days of zero ammonia, zero nitrite, some nitrate (plant leftovers lol), even though I was still adding ammonia. So I figured I was good to go? Guess I still have some waiting to do. Weird.

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Hmmm... I thought I heard that about carbon, but maybe I'm thinking meds.

Nenn, I wasn't sure how long before the water change because I have a plant that seems to suck all the nitrates - they are up and then they are gone day after day. Hungry little bugger. I'm on cycling day 17...18... the days all run together now. I had days of zero ammonia, zero nitrite, some nitrate (plant leftovers lol), even though I was still adding ammonia. So I figured I was good to go? Guess I still have some waiting to do. Weird.

If you really want to, try another large water change and see if you see another change in your parameters. *shrug* If you're adding ammonia and getting 0's, I don't know what's going on. :idont

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Well I didn't have to wait very long - my nitrites were almost gone this morning (just barely over the 0 mark), from a level of 5 yesterday! Not sure what happened, but it seems that I'm back on track.

Well, that's good! I guess live it for a few days and do another water change and see if you get another weird bump.

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