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Old 07-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #1
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Nitrite issues

So here's my situation. I posted three weeks ago about high nitrite levels and all the advice given suggested that I was "in cycle". Well....three weeks later, nitrites are still 5ppm. Fish are completely fine and healthy. They look amazing! Problem is, I can't get levels to drop. I have used Stability, aquarium salt, and done various water changes (10 in total). Level still reads at 5ppm. What now?? My LFS suggested a canister filter and swore I would see very rapid reduction in my tank. There are 16 fish in my 55 gallon tank so I'm not over crowded. Any other advice?


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Old 07-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
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Nitrite issues

Get a new test kit? Or borrow someone else's?

Make sure you rinse your test tube AND cap really well before filling with tank water to test. I get false positives (sometimes strong ones) if I forget to rinse the test tube lid. I retest immediately and it's fine. Has caused me a few panics before I figured it out.

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Old 07-22-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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I've brought samples to two LFS and we all get the same results .


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Old 07-22-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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When was the last water change and how much?

Are you changing out your filter media completely?

Have you added any medications?

Have you tested your tap water for nitrites?





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Old 07-22-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
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I've brought samples to two LFS and we all get the same results .


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Have you checked your source water for nitrites?


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Old 07-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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Source water was tested at both LFS and there was nothing out of the ordinary that conditioner wouldn't fix. I change my filters once per month. I am adding a second HOB in the next few days. I am going to add a canister filter if the second HOB doesn't do it. Once again, my fish are completely content and my Colombians, Odessas, and White Skirts look amazing! Their colors are beautiful. I have also never lost any fish in the 3 months the tank has been up and running. My aquarium professional near home says my tank has stalled in cycle but the second HOB should be enough to complete it.


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Old 07-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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If you are completely changing your filter media monthly, you are completely restarting your cycle every time you do it. The filter media is where almost all of your nitrifying bacteria live.


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Old 07-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #8
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My HOB uses two filters. I alternate replacing them monthly. Left side one month - right side the next. This keeps one bio laced filter in the tank. The filters that I take out are placed in the sun to air dry. They are then stored until the following month to be used.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #9
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My HOB uses two filters. I alternate replacing them monthly. Left side one month - right side the next. This keeps one bio laced filter in the tank. The filters that I take out are placed in the sun to air dry. They are then stored until the following month to be used.


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I don't think this practice is necessary. It is still the most likely cause of the nitrite issue. How long has the tank been up and running?

If you take a filter out after 4 weeks and destroy all the bacteria and replace it with a brand new one it means you have lost half of your nitrifying bacteria. If you then remove the other seeded half and replace it with the sun dried one you will have 1 empty sponge and one sponge that is just coming to the end of the cycle again. If you then remove the one that has just come to the end of its cycle and replace it with a sun dried one you are always going to be in the cusp of a full cycle which is the nitrite phase.

Just remove the sponge and rinse it in removed tank water.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:15 PM   #10
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To clarify....I am changing my carbon filters alternately but simply rinsing my sponge filters only when I notice water flow starting to slow.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:15 PM   #11
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And tank has been up and running for 3 months


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:21 PM   #12
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Nitrite issues

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To clarify....I am changing my carbon filters alternately but simply rinsing my sponge filters only when I notice water flow starting to slow.


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Are you rinsing them in tank water? Are you alternating rinsing them, or both at the same time?

Something you are doing is destroying your beneficial bacteria.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #13
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Actually, I was rinsing in tap water but using tank water completely makes sense! I think on my next WC, I will retain some of the old water and rinse the sponges in that.


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:43 PM   #14
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Actually, I was rinsing in tap water but using tank water completely makes sense! I think on my next WC, I will retain some of the old water and rinse the sponges in that.


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Ding ding ding we have a winner. Tap water has chlorine and fluorine which are toxic to bacteria.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #15
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Dang!!!! I literally tried everything!!! I guess in the process, I over thought things! Thanks!


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Old 07-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #16
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Don't forget about your LFS who was encouraging you to buy another HOB and then a filter.


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Old 07-22-2014, 05:40 PM   #17
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I know right! That was at the "big and reputable" store. I guess I'll stick with the small mom and pop store near home!


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Old 07-22-2014, 08:41 PM   #18
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Dang!!!! I literally tried everything!!! I guess in the process, I over thought things! Thanks!


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Keep it simple and stupid. Keep up with the water changes and you won't have to worry about testing.

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswatd View Post
Source water was tested at both LFS and there was nothing out of the ordinary that conditioner wouldn't fix. I change my filters once per month. I am adding a second HOB in the next few days. I am going to add a canister filter if the second HOB doesn't do it. Once again, my fish are completely content and my Colombians, Odessas, and White Skirts look amazing! Their colors are beautiful. I have also never lost any fish in the 3 months the tank has been up and running. My aquarium professional near home says my tank has stalled in cycle but the second HOB should be enough to complete it.


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Could be your tap water is naturally high enough in salt (or chloride ions) and this is protecting the fish somewhat.


'Salt can be used to prevent nitrite poisoning, if the chloride ions are 30 times the concentration of nitrite ions.'

http://www.algone.com/using-salt-in-...water-aquarium
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:44 PM   #20
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Just to make sure...you are dechlorinating your water at water changes as well, right?

Also, it might not be a bad idea to alternate which filter sponge you swish in tank water each week. You are still going to lose some BB when you swish away the gunk, even if it is tank water.


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