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A General Nitrite Question


Lolafish

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There seems to be variable information available suggesting that nitrites can/should be lowered with WC's, when cycling with fish, when they are anywhere between .5ppm and 1ppm.

My question is this:

What is happening in a tank where ammonia is zero, and nitrites are leaping from .25ppm to 1.5ppm in 8 hours? Does this mean the beginning of the nitrite to nitrate phase, middle, or end? Or does it not have a meaning?

What I find during cycling right now, is that sometimes the tank can go 24 hours with only a .5ppm nitrite rise, and sometimes it will jump dramatically much sooner than that. Right now, it seems to coincide with lowering the nitrites to .25ppm with a large WC. Why would the lower starting point, cause the nitrite to rise faster?

I used to think that in order for the ammonia or nitrite to do its job during the nitrogen cycle, it had to reach a certain point. Is that untrue?

I am terrible with chemistry, and only understand simple laymen's terms. But I would like an explanation to the variables I've been seeing..if anyone happens to have that answer. :blink:

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If the nitrites are jumping very quickly it sounds like that really none are being converted to nitrate, so I wouldn't say you're very far along in the second step. The key to knowing how far along your nitrite-eating bacteria are is to see how much nitrAte they produce. It does seem to imply you have a well established first step (amm -> nitrite) though.

Why would the lower starting point, cause the nitrite to rise faster?

It shouldn't as far as I could think. Rather it would relate more to the amount of ammonia or food that you're putting in the tank. If the nitrites are jumping too fast, you could try reducing that input.

I used to think that in order for the ammonia or nitrite to do its job during the nitrogen cycle, it had to reach a certain point. Is that untrue?

Its 'job' is to attract bacteria that consume it. So its true to an extent, but I don't think that point is very high. Higher may mean faster, but even modest amounts should still attract the BBs.

That's the best I can think of as far as explaining the variables. Hope it helps some.

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That's the best I can think of as far as explaining the variables. Hope it helps some.

I do have nitrite to nitrate conversion happening, should'a mentioned that.

This does help! Thank you! I am going to use this info along with the info in my other thread about what Seachem said, and see if I can't incorporate some change in my tanks.

I'm gonna figure this out if it kills me. :yeah:

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