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Why Slight Nitrite?


number20121

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I have the 55 gallon tank up and running for a little more than 3 weeks now. Everything was fine because I used their water from the smaller tank together with the gravel and filter media, so I didn't need to cycle because it was technically like a large water change.

The water parameters were fine until yesterday I noticed nitrite being at 0.25 ppm. I'm using the API master test kit. pH is 7.5, Ammonia shows around 0.15 (the color is something between 0 and 0.25 although someone on here told me that the color never shows all yellow even when 0, and the Seachem Ammonia Alert I got in the tank shows that ammonia is less than 0.02ppm), nitrate is 10 ppm.

So I did a 60% water change yesterday and in the evening I checked the water again, but it showed 0.25 ppm nitrate again. It was late so I didn't do another water change. Just now I tested it again and it is 0.25 ppm again, glad it didn't go up any more. Oh, and there was barely any waste in the gravel when I did that 60% water change, so it's not that there is too much chunk in the water.

What could cause that? The only thing I can think of is that I removed 50% of the gravel two or three days ago when I replaced them with river stones. Could that have caused a slight cycle bump?

The other thing I wonder about is when I did the last testing of the water, I forgot to empty the glass tubes and so the colored water was in there for several days. Could that affect the test kit? I rinsed the tubes and caps for a minute with cold water and they looked all clear before I used them yesterday.

Should I worry too much? Might it just adjust itself?

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Yes removing some of the gravel could cause a cycle bump. Are the two fish in the 55 gallon now? Their waste can cause the cycle bump too.

What two fish are you talking about? :blink: Same fish as always -- see signature. The tank usually has hardly any waste in it because I do a quick gravel vacuum every other day especially under Sucky Fishie's cave. After all he spends more or less all day sleeping in there and getting rid of what he ate the night before :D And as said, the tank was practically cycled when I added the fish, since I re-used almost all their media, gravel and water.

I had a couple small pouches of cycle/bacteria starter that came with the 20g tank when I bought it less than a year ago. They were good for 20 gallons together, so I added them to the 55gallon tank, to support my cycle a bit.

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If you exchanged some gravel for river rocks, that will be it. Its interesting when a cycle is transferred it is often nitrite that tweaks not ammonia. The bbs should catch up and isn't to worry about since its not increasing.

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I just tested the water again, nitrite is still the same. Since it is not getting worse and I got the gravel as reason, I am just not going to worry about it too much. I'll stilll keep testing every 12 hours, just to be safe.

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As of today, the nitrite is almost 0 again. The color of the test tube water wasn't exactly the same as the reference chart, but only a teeeny bit off. Looked nothing like the 0.25 anymore, so I guess it really was the removed gravel.

But I thought the gravel contains barely any BB, which is why I didn't worry when removing 50% of it. I want to get rid of the rest of the gravel too and replace it with river stones, but this time I will do only a 25% removal aka 50% of what is left right now.

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