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Old 02-11-2019, 04:49 PM   #1
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Exclamation High nitrites in a new setup

Hello All,


I recently just setup a new 29 gallon tropical community tank as of 01/01/2019. I have fish in said tank which according to Aqadvisor that I am at 112%. Here is my current setup - https://tinyurl.com/y5dtqmbn

I am about "halfway" through the cycle I believe although my water tests have been showing rather elevated nitrites. 2.0 to 5.0 PPM according to the API Freshwater Master kit. I did a 50% WC as of last night about 1800 local time and again this morning around 1200 local time. I did test again about 30-45 minutes later for several values -


Temp - 76 degrees Fahrenheit
PH - 7.2
High PH - 7.4
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 2.0




From everything I have been reading online and through my research, it appears water changes are the way to go however I don't want to stress my fish any further by doing multiple water changes a day. My plan is to do 50% each day this week to see if I can reduce those numbers further. I am using Prime and Stability through this as well. Just wanting to know if I am going about this the right way or if I am missing something in the equation? Would appreciate any and all opinions.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:46 AM   #2
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Are the fish looking ok? Pretty sure prime will detoxify nitrite for a day or two. A pinch of salt will also help protect the fish from nitrites.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:54 AM   #3
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That's a lot of fish to try and cycle a tank with. Usually you put a few in a tank that size to do a fish in cycle. That being said, you will have to change water daily. I'd say a 25-33% daily water change with Prime dechlorinator. I wouldn't be totally opposed to your daily 50% water changes either.

What does your nitrates test out at?
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:17 AM   #4
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Are the fish looking ok? Pretty sure prime will detoxify nitrite for a day or two. A pinch of salt will also help protect the fish from nitrites.

The fish seem fine as I am not seeing any gasping at the water surface and they appear healthy.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:20 AM   #5
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That's a lot of fish to try and cycle a tank with. Usually you put a few in a tank that size to do a fish in cycle. That being said, you will have to change water daily. I'd say a 25-33% daily water change with Prime dechlorinator. I wouldn't be totally opposed to your daily 50% water changes either.

What does your nitrates test out at?

Will grab my nitrite and nitrate test this morning after the water change. I did add some Matrix to my U3 internal filter along with the BioMax to see if that helps any.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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Hello Ne0...

You have some tank management problems. Hardy fish won't get stressed over less than optimum water conditions. Guppies, Platys, Sword tails, Danios or any of the species of Minnows are very capable of tolerating traces of nitrogen in their tank water. Once the fish are acclimated to the water, just feed them a little every day or two to maintain a steady source of nitrogen. Test daily for ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test for either, remove and replace one-quarter (25%) of the water, but no more. Large water changes are great for the fish, but starve the bacteria. Just test daily and change out the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. Then, you change half the water weekly for the life of the tank. The process should run it's course in roughly 30 days.

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Old 02-12-2019, 04:20 PM   #7
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Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 2 PPM
Nitrate - 5 PPM


I did another 50% water change today before reading BBradbury's reply. I did use Prime and Stability along with some stress coat after the water change. Will reduce my water change to 25% daily as well as keep on testing. Thank you for the replies all!
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:13 PM   #8
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Hello Ne0...

You have some tank management problems. Hardy fish won't get stressed over less than optimum water conditions. Guppies, Platys, Sword tails, Danios or any of the species of Minnows are very capable of tolerating traces of nitrogen in their tank water. Once the fish are acclimated to the water, just feed them a little every day or two to maintain a steady source of nitrogen. Test daily for ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test for either, remove and replace one-quarter (25%) of the water, but no more. Large water changes are great for the fish, but starve the bacteria. Just test daily and change out the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. Then, you change half the water weekly for the life of the tank. The process should run it's course in roughly 30 days.

B
this is also good to know. On another question posted I was told that larger water changes (50%) do not affect BB growth. That would explain why my tank is taking forever to finish its cycle.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:35 PM   #9
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this is also good to know. On another question posted I was told that larger water changes (50%) do not affect BB growth. That would explain why my tank is taking forever to finish its cycle.
There's more to it than that. If you keep ammonia levels in your tank it feeds BB. BB is not in the water column. If you have high nitrites or Ammonia you should absolutely do 50% water changes or multiple 25-33% water changes until the levels are lowered to acceptable levels in a fish in cycle.

I think the idea that 50% water changes is bad is if you are removing all the ammonia during the cycle with a larger water change. But with fish in cycles this doesn't really happen as they constantly produce ammonia.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:19 PM   #10
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There's more to it than that. If you keep ammonia levels in your tank it feeds BB. BB is not in the water column. If you have high nitrites or Ammonia you should absolutely do 50% water changes or multiple 25-33% water changes until the levels are lowered to acceptable levels in a fish in cycle.

I think the idea that 50% water changes is bad is if you are removing all the ammonia during the cycle with a larger water change. But with fish in cycles this doesn't really happen as they constantly produce ammonia.
ok, makes sense. i read somewhere if Ammonia and Nitrites add to less than 1.0 dose prime and let it be, greater than or equal to 1 do a water change. thoughts? I enjoy the whole learning process and appreciate everything that all members have to offer.
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