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Old 08-17-2010, 07:36 AM   #41
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I don't have a sump; my substrate is ceramic media, not sand, but yes it is possible that the substrate is slightly stirred up during a waterchange (I add water slowly though). Is it possible to test for Hydrogen Sulfide in the tank?

Nothing new in the tank...
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:04 AM   #42
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It is very difficult to test for hydrogen sulfide so the only way is to smell the water for a rotten egg smell.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:33 AM   #43
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Definitely no rotten egg smell. I'm due a waterchange in the next couple of days (new salt and re-calibrated TDS meter), so it looks like all I can do is keep my fingers crossed...
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:41 PM   #44
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Yes, PWC can correct lots of problems. It will definitely bring down your nitrates.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:01 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by thincat View Post
Yes, PWC can correct lots of problems. It will definitely bring down your nitrates.
Hi Thincat,

It's the PWCs that have caused all the problems - the last three of them have caused fish deaths - with no explanation so far! I'm trying to find out a reason for it, but no luck as yet.

When I said "fingers crossed", I meant I was hoping that the PWC goes okay without incident, and that my remaining fish are still alive after it!
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:49 PM   #46
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If your PWC is the same temp. same SG and the same hardnest and the other basic elements there should be no problems. It's only fresh replacement water.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:28 AM   #47
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You'd think... but if you go back and reread Mark's posts, you'll find that's not the case. I'm still scratching my head on this one.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:58 PM   #48
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Guys, just had a major development with this.

I was due to do a PWC today; and as each of the last 3 waterchanges I've done have resulted in fish deaths, I decided to do a thorough test on the PWC water before I put it in (as opposed to the normal temp/pH/SG checks I usually do); yes I know I should have done this sooner, but this was the last thing I was expecting:

The new water has 1-2 nitrite in it, which I guess could be immediately toxic (death within 30mins-1hr) before it's mixed properly in the tank (approx 25% changed). I've tested this twice, and compared with a sample from my tank (0, ever so slightly pink as per test strip). Now, here's the strange thing: I've tested my RO water (made freshly yesterday, tested 001TDS) and the nitrite in this is completely clear (i.e. 0). No ammonia, by the way.

So, it looks like this is coming from the salt. This is Seachem ReefSalt. BUT, I used a brand new bag of salt for this as I was wondering if it was the salt that was the problem. I bought the two bags a month apart, from different sellers, so it'd be very coincidental that both bags have major problems and include nitrites; I've always used this salt without issue for the past 6 years.

I wonder if there's another explanation: bucket, powerhead, thermometer etc. I use that's got gunge built up inside it or something; could this cause nitrite to leech into the water? If not, is there anything else that could cause nitrite to develop, e.g. airborne or any other factors?

Hope to get to the bottom of this! I'm glad I've found this, as this was really questioning my interest in the hobby.

UPDATE: I've just tested a cup of RO water with a few spoonfuls of salt in it, and again this is showing 0. This wasn't even at the correct ratio/SG, or fully mixed (much more salt than normal, i.e. off the scale, just tested it out of interest). So, it looks like it's not the salt either.

I'm now going to mix just RO water (no salt) in my bucket as normal for the next 24 hours, and test it at different intervals to see how the nitrites change. I'll keep you updated...
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:35 PM   #49
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Nitrites do not mean instant death for fish, so I don't think that's you're problem. HOWEVER... this is the first time I noticed you commenting about using test strips. I'd highly recommend getting some liquid test kits - not sure of available brands in the UK. I've found test strips good to use during cycling to just get a "rough check" of your levels, but if you're troubleshooting with them... that's not a good thing.

Sorry if you've already mentioned it, but are you using a refractometer to check your SG?
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #50
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Hi Kurt,

I'm disappointed that the nitrites wouldn't be the problem, I thought I'd cracked it. Those levels of nitrites shouldn't be in my PWC water though, should they?

I'm not using test strips, I use liquid ones (Seachem usually, and I've also run a reference sample to check the accuracy. I've also had my LFS test my water before, and the results have been consistent with mine). When I said "test strip", I meant the results strip where you compare the colour of the water, with the strip.

Yes, refractometer. I try to do everything properly, where possible...
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