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Water Changes Not Working?!?


Guest cathyg

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Guest cathyg

I am in week 4 of my cycling tank. I have a black moor in a 12 gallon tank.

My ammonia level is pretty much 0.

I started getting high nitrites last week --- and with the advice of great ppl on this site I started do consistent water changes and I got Amquel+.

Over the last week I have changed the water atleast 4-5 times - averaging about 50% change each time.

I also added Amquel+ on a couple of occasions.

The nitrites aren't up to the crazy levels they were previously 2.0-5.0, but they are staying at around 1.0.

Is this normal or should I do even more changes until I can get it down to 0??!?

Pls help.

Thanks in advance,

Cathy

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Hey there -- I just got over this very frustrating hump with my 75 gallon tank. I had high nitrite for over 8 weeks.

I am assuming that everything is okey-dokey with your filtration? You need a minimum of ten times your tank volume in filtration each hour. And stuff every available nook and cranny with extra biomedia. And make sure that you swish the gunk off your filter media at water changes (in discarded tank water) so that the beneficial bacteria don't have to compete with other bacteria for that space.

What is your pH and KH? The beneficial bacteria, especially the ones that convert nitrite into nitrate need KH in order to grow and thrive. If your KH is marginal, you might look into buffering it up a bit. If your pH is high, then that is good. Nitrite is less toxic to fish at high pH. If you pH is on the low end, then you have to be more persistent with the water changes to get the nitrite down.

Have you added salt to your tank? Salt will help to protect your fish against nitrite-related stress, but in my experience 0.3% salt can stall out a developing cycle and can therefore make nitrite hard to control. I maintained 0.1% salt until my cycle was completed.

I know that a lot of people around here think it is a waste of money, but I found that Seachem Stability really helped me over the final hump of my cycle. But you have to use a lot more than the label indicates. I used 1 mL per gallon of tank size every day for 3-4 days.

Good luck!

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Guest cathyg

Thanks for the feedback!

When you say to stuff every nook and cranny with biomedia...what do you mean?

Sorry for the potential naive question...I am a very new fish owner.

-Cathy

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Do you have any room in the filter to add any 'biomedia' (example)? Basically stuff that the beneficial bacteria can stick to.

Also, have you done water readings from your tap? I doubt there are nitrites in your tap, but I've seen a few folks who do have that problem

It took about a week and a half for my nitrites to go down... So patience and water changes may be all you need. (the two trickiest things!) :D

Edited by uberleslie
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I think you just need to increase the volume you change. Let the reading dictate the amount.

Example: your nitrite is 1ppm. If you change 50% you still have 0.50ppm, 75% leaves 0.25ppm - so an 80-90% is going to be the best target. Really boring at this stage but it won't last for ever :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the feedback!

When you say to stuff every nook and cranny with biomedia...what do you mean?

Sorry for the potential naive question...I am a very new fish owner.

-Cathy

Sorry it took so long for me to get back with you on this... try to get some small ceramic rings or the Biomax media intended for the AquaClear filters. Put it in net bags and cram them into the corners or spaces behind or between your filter cartridges. It will provide lots of extra area for your beneficial bacteria to grow.

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