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Old 09-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #1
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New semi-planted tank with high nitrites

I have been cycling my 60 gallon tank for a little over a month now. I added fritzyme and fishfood to get it started after running about a week. I added some fish after 3 weeks and now have the usual new tank issue of high Nitrites. Ammonia is fine but Nitrites are off the chart. I'm doing water changes and adding Prime but Nitrites are still very high and NitrAtes aren't coming up any, they are still Zero. I know plants use Nitrates but I really don't want to have to remove them from the tank. I've never had a planted tank before so just want to make sure the Nitrates will eventually catch up with the Nitrites even with the plants in there. The tank is about 75% planted and 25% artificial. Thanks for any input you can give me!
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:53 PM   #2
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I have been cycling my 60 gallon tank for a little over a month now. I added fritzyme and fishfood to get it started after running about a week. I added some fish after 3 weeks and now have the usual new tank issue of high Nitrites. Ammonia is fine but Nitrites are off the chart. I'm doing water changes and adding Prime but Nitrites are still very high and NitrAtes aren't coming up any, they are still Zero. I know plants use Nitrates but I really don't want to have to remove them from the tank. I've never had a planted tank before so just want to make sure the Nitrates will eventually catch up with the Nitrites even with the plants in there. The tank is about 75% planted and 25% artificial. Thanks for any input you can give me!
Keep doing LARGE water changes to get the Nitrites down.

Plants will not utilize significant amounts of NO3 unless you have a high light / CO2 setup.

You'll want very low nitrites until they bottom out.

Then you'll want 0 nitrites and 10-40 ppm of NO3.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thank you so much! I do have a Current light but no CO2 yet. I am doing 25% water changes almost every day and adding Prime. Is that suffcient or should I be doing a larger amount every other day...or?
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:20 PM   #4
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Thank you so much! I do have a Current light but no CO2 yet. I am doing 25% water changes almost every day and adding Prime. Is that suffcient or should I be doing a larger amount every other day...or?
If you can do a couple 50%+ water changes in a row to get the NO2 down a bunch that would be best.

10ppm NO2 w/ 25% water change will yield 87.5ppm NO2

10ppm NO2 w/ 50% water change will yield 5ppm NO2


So best case would be back to back 50% water changes. This will bring, for example, 10ppm down to 2.5ppm.

or 5ppm down to 1.25ppm..... etc. etc.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:34 PM   #5
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It helps a lot, thank you again! One more question; I realize that high nitrites are very harmful to the fish so back to back water changes may be the lesser of the two evils but just want to know, is there any down side for the fish in doing big water changes often?
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:52 PM   #6
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It helps a lot, thank you again! One more question; I realize that high nitrites are very harmful to the fish so back to back water changes may be the lesser of the two evils but just want to know, is there any down side for the fish in doing big water changes often?
Nope, not unless you have drastic TDS / pH differences between your tap and you tank water.

But, since you've been doing a bunch of daily water changes, those values are likely very close. Just make sure the new water is as close as you can get it to the same temp as the tank water. If you drain water below the heater, make sure to shut it off (and remember to turn it back on )


I personally run my tank at 78 degrees and perform 1 x weekly 60-70% water change with room temp (mid 60's to low 70's) and I've yet to encounter an issue.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:56 PM   #7
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Awesome! I appreciate the info!
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
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I second Z. Solid advice. I'll add one thing about heated water changes. If you can get yourself a digital meat thermometer and put it in the bucket of water, or whatever you use to fill it, you can adjust the tap to exactly the temp of your tank or within a degree or two.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:55 PM   #9
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We have been using our aquarium thermometer to measure the temp but the meat thermometer would be much easier to read! Thank you for your advice!!
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:05 PM   #10
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Something like this with a cord is what I have.

ThermoPro TP-16 Large LCD Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer for Smoker Oven Kitchen Candy BBQ Grill Thermometer Clock Timer with Stainless Steel Temperature Probe https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017613C3C..._6lQQBb5ZTW5SK
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