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Old 08-28-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Very High Nitrite! Please help!

Hello all. I am somewhat new to fish keeping and have a 20 gallon tank. I started out really small with a 5, 10, and now the 20. I am having troubles with my nitrite converting. This tank is about 6 weeks old and should be established already. I do 25% water changes once a week to try to help it along. I have not done a full water change because that is probably the worst thing you can do to a tank. I heard aquarium salt and or Nutrafin Cycle supplement can help speed up the process. Any ideas? Thanks in advance to all that respond.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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As far as I know, salt has no additionally helpful qualities as far as cyclin a tank. Some of the "pour-in" bacteria & enzyme products temporarily do add some sort of something, but the general consensus is that there is little overall benefit to those products.

I didn't catch if you had done a fishless or fish-in cycle...
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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It is a fish in cycle. Two gouramis, Bala Shark, Clown Loach and a Pleco. Things seemed really fine and established. The tank had been really cloudy for a week and right before I ddecided to do a partial water change it cleared up on it's own. So right now here is how we do the tank changes..

We do a 25% water change. I add conditioner, clarifyer if it needs it, bacteria supplement, and just recently started adding the nutrafin stuff. We test the water ourselves. We bought the 30 dollar testing kit with the tubes and all the chemicals. Usually everything seems fine except for the nitrites. Today the amonia an nitrites were high. Luckily, the fish all still seem happy and are not ill and have not died. I am surprised because the guy at teh pet shop says he can't believe they are not all dead. So that's where we are at. It has been high for about two and ahalf weeks. I know it could take a couple more weeks but I just don't want to be missing something. I don't want to kill our fish.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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Whoah! That's a pretty serious bio-load to do a fish-in cycle. Clown loaches are pretty sensitive to water quality issues. My past experience w/gouramis is that they are kind of "dirty" as far as waste quantity- and if that is a standard/common pleco- it is a big pooper who will outgrow that tank pretty quickly.

I would do 50% water changes for sure and daily water testing (API Master kit).

Also- how much and what kind of filtration are you using?
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:24 AM   #5
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We have the API test kit (which is amazing to have)! Yea we are upgrading soon to a larger just gota get a bigger table. We have the Aqueon Queit Flow 20. Same Filters. Would you suggest once a week 50% water changes or more frequent 50% water changes?
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:27 AM   #6
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Welcome to the site.

Here's the best guide to follow-
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...now/Page2.html

Good luck

*Also, Bala Sharks are gonna need a much, much, much larger tank and should be in schools. They're one of the types of fish which IMO shouldn't be sold regularly in stores. I believe the last I heard was ideally a minimum 6 foot long tank.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:38 AM   #7
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Oh Whoa! The lady told me it would be ok since I am planning on getting a 40 gal here soon but even that wont surfice! Hmm thanks for the website! I will browse it. I guess I will just do another water change. Is it okay to do them every few days at this point since I am at such scary nitrite levels?
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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As long as the numbers are out of whack, I would do 30-50% every time. 50% a week is not "too much" under the circumstances. And with the fairly high bio-load, more often shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:41 AM   #9
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She also said the whole school thing for the balas isnt necessary. Grr. I trust people that are supposed to be experts.. and they dont send me in the right direction!
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:43 AM   #10
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Thanks Batt! I will do one tomorrow! Will let you guys know how it goes after 24 to 36 hours of being cycled.
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