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Old 02-15-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
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Exclamation Sudden nitrite spike?

I've been doing a fish-in cycle since 1-20-13. Every 2-3 days I make a 40%-50% water change. Last weekend, I test my water on Saturday: 0ppm Ammonia, .50 Nitrite and 5.0 Nitrate. Sunday night I tested and it read 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite and 5.0 Nitrate. The past four days, it has read the same. This morning, I have 0ppm Ammonia and .25 Nitrite. Why would it spike again after four days of nothing?
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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Thats a good thing, part of the cycle process. Watch to make sure it goes down. If it does not go down then you might have a problem. Also you really only need to do a 10-15% water change.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:23 AM   #3
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Thats a good thing, part of the cycle process. Watch to make sure it goes down. If it does not go down then you might have a problem. Also you really only need to do a 10-15% water change.

It is a part of the cycling process? It read 0 for four days and then showed up again, that's why I was worried. Maybe I'm doing much of a water change too frequently?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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Check again in 1-2 days and tell me what you have for nitrite you should see it lower.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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What test kit are you using?
What are you feeding and how much and how often?
Did you remove anything from the tank or the filter, or add anything such as new fish?
Have you tested your tap water for nitrate, nitrite and ammonia?
What's the PH of the tank and has it been stable? PH drops are common when cycling and if it drops too low it can cause the bacteria to stall out, which can then cause a rise in toxins.

The early stages of the cycle are delicate, so there can be temporary blips in the readings. Just keep testing and dong water changes as needed. If nitrites get any higher than what they are now I'd do a 50% water change to get them back down. Water changes will not disrupt the cycle.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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What test kit are you using?
What are you feeding and how much and how often?
Did you remove anything from the tank or the filter, or add anything such as new fish?
Have you tested your tap water for nitrate, nitrite and ammonia?
What's the PH of the tank and has it been stable? PH drops are common when cycling and if it drops too low it can cause the bacteria to stall out, which can then cause a rise in toxins.

The early stages of the cycle are delicate, so there can be temporary blips in the readings. Just keep testing and dong water changes as needed. If nitrites get any higher than what they are now I'd do a 50% water change to get them back down. Water changes will not disrupt the cycle.
I use the API master test kit. My tap water does test positive for nitrates, about 5.0ppm. My pH has been a steady 8.4.I feed twice a daily, Omega One Betta Buffet pellets, 2 in thr morning and 1 at night. I haven't added or changed a single thing.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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What is your nitrite level now?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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What is your nitrite level now?

Ugh, I'm not sure what is happening. Here is a bit more info: Seems from day one, looking back at my journal, I've always had around .25 Ammonia. On day 10, I saw a rise in Nitrites, to about .25ppm. The next four days, same readings. On 2-8, I saw my Ammonia rise to about 1.0ppm and Nitrite to .50ppm. I immediately performed a PWC of 50% with a siphon. The very next day, Ammonia was 0ppm, Nitrite .50ppm. I had to leave town so I was unable to perform a PWC until the next morning but I decided to test my water before doing so. To my amazement the very next morning(2-10), I had 0ppm Ammonia and 0ppm Nitrite. My Nitrates were around 5.0ppm...nitrates have always tested at 5.0ppm which led me to test my tap water and I found out my clean tap water tests 5.0ppm for nitrates. On 2-10, 2-11, 2-12, 2-13 I had 0ppm for both Ammonia and Nitrite. On 2-13 I peformed a 45%ish PWC with a siphon. I didn't test on 2-14. I decided to test my water before work on 2-15. Ammonia was 0ppm, Nitrite at .25ppm. Confused the heck out of me since they both read 0 for the past five days. On the night of 2-15 I tested again before doing a PWC of 50%; Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrites just a little darker than 0ppm but not .25ppm either. 2-16 tested the very same. Now, on 2-17 my Ammonia is at 0ppm and my Nitrites are back up, this time at 1.0ppm, Nitrates are closer to 7-8.0(ish)ppm. I immediately performed a PWC of 50% with a siphon.

Is this normal cycling? Am I siphoning out too much good bacteria (I use it all over the tank)? I know it takes awhile, but are these ups and downs with nitrites to be expected? My Ammonia has tested a consistent 0ppm for a good while now but my nitrites keep fluctuating. Just today I've seen a slight rise in nitrates, like I said...from the day I started my tank, my water tested positive for 5.0 nitrates which led me to test my tap water. I should also note that I use a thermometer to temp match my water before adding it to my tank every time; I use Prime to treat my water; feed Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets 1-2 times daily, only feeding about 3-4 pellets per day; my tank is set up with a heater that sometimes fluctuates between 76-80 degrees (it's an older one), filter and lots of silk plants.

I guess I'm just worried that I'm doing something wrong. Anyone have any advice?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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I would read more into this, there is a silent cycle you can do. Its what i did on my 75gal. You use plants to help control your levels, just make sure you pick plants that does not require a lot of O2 to thrive and you do smaller put more freq pwc.

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Here is a picture and my levels have never change sence day one. 0ammo, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate, ph around 6.9.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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A nitrite fluctuation in a newer tank is not too uncommon.
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