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Old 03-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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nitrites super high... help...

So , I am doing a fish in cycle in a 55. I have 8 rosy barbs in it currently and about 20 anachris stems. Filtration is an xp2 and a hob filter. The fish are in great shape and show no signs of stress at all. It has been set up for about six weeks and seems to be cycling just fine but now I am concerned because the nitrites are pretty high. Amonia-0 nitrites-2 nitrates-5
I have been doing 50% water changes every day. I have also added 2 tbs of salt per gallon and also using prime. My questions are as follows..
Are the large daily wc stalling the cycle?
Does the salt slow the cycle?
Is nitrite really that toxic? The reason I ask this is the fish are super healthy and don't seem to be stressed at all.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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What are you using to test the levels with and whats the nitrite level of your tap water?
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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Your 55G

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlucky923 View Post
So , I am doing a fish in cycle in a 55. I have 8 rosy barbs in it currently and about 20 anachris stems. Filtration is an xp2 and a hob filter. The fish are in great shape and show no signs of stress at all. It has been set up for about six weeks and seems to be cycling just fine but now I am concerned because the nitrites are pretty high. Amonia-0 nitrites-2 nitrates-5
I have been doing 50% water changes every day. I have also added 2 tbs of salt per gallon and also using prime. My questions are as follows..
Are the large daily wc stalling the cycle?
Does the salt slow the cycle?
Is nitrite really that toxic? The reason I ask this is the fish are super healthy and don't seem to be stressed at all.
Hello mr...

Good choice to cycle your tank with fish. You have the enjoyment of having fish in the tank right away. When I cycled my 55, I monitored the water daily. When a water test showed a trace of ammonia or nitrites, I changed out 25 percent of the tank water. That's all that's needed to get the chemistry back into the "safe zone" for the fish. When several tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrites, the tank is cycled.

I'd keep the water changes to a quarter of the tank's volume, no more. It's too much work and not necessary. Save the large water changes for later, after the tank has cycled and everything is set up like you want it.

I used a little salt in my cycling tank for the benefit of my "Livebearers" and Corydoras and the water was fine. A teaspoon for every 5 gallons of new water is sufficient. You don't need much or your plants will suffer.

Nitrites are definitely toxic to your fish. You must do a water change when a test shows a trace of this form of nitrogen in the tank water.

Just a couple of suggestions.

B
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for your reply. I am using the API liquid test kit. Tap water is zero
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:31 AM   #5
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Bump to BB, think that woyld be the right track. When I test the water i always do it twice to make sure i am getting the best readings.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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Change as much water needed to keep the ammo and nitrite down.

If it slows the cycle and adds afew days then so be it. Thats just another downside of doing a fish in cycle. You have to balance it so its still safe for fish.

Just wanted to add to be very careful with salt and corys, they hate it. I think 2 table spoons per gallon is too much. Teaspoons do you mean?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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To answer your questions: No, no and yes.

I respectfully disagree with BBradbury about water changes. If nitrites are 2, you want to get them down and small water changes aren't going to cut it. I'd do at least two 50% water changes a couple of hours apart; that should get nitrite down to .5 which is about the highest I'd let it go before doing another water change.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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Cycling and Water Changes

Hello library...

Just putting out information based on cycling my 55 G. The 25 percent water change, done daily, was sufficient to maintain reasonably safe water conditions for my fish. The fish were hardy and the idea behind the water change amount was to grow the good bacteria in a reasonable amount of time.

Just one reporter's opinion, though.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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You need massive water changes to get those levels down. 50% maybe bigger. Back to back even. Your fish in cycle so it's not gonna hurt or stall anything. I did a heavy stocked 55 cichlid fish in cycle. You can do it. Just keep doing your water changes and keep testing.

You want that level down to 0 and you can accomplish that.

I was going nuts!! But I got through it and so can you. Use a good conditioner and keep those water changes going. You'll see a drop if your changes are sufficient enough.

Fish love good clean water!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Cycling and Water Changes

Hello Con...

"Fish in" cycling in my 55 G didn't require large water changes. I used just a few hardy, female feeder Guppies. You can use other hardy fish like Zebra Danios, White Clouds, Platys or Barbs, that can easily tolerate traces of ammonia and nitrites in the water. Just don't get too carried away with the number of fish you use.

I didn't want to remove all the nitrogen, just enough to keep the fish alive and the bacteria growing at a good rate, so the tank cycled in a month or a bit more.

The job wasn't very demanding or difficult. I simply tested and removed 25 percent of the tank water when i noticed traces of either ammonia or nitrites. It's done daily, so the water stays in the "safe zone" for the fish. When several days of testing showed no NO or NO2, the tank was cycled.

This is just the way I saw things. There are always alternatives.

B
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