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Old 11-17-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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High nitrite! Help!

I am having a sudden spike in nitrite and ammonia (ammo is almost under control) The nitrite is at 5ppm. Is this really harmful for my fish and plants?
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:15 AM   #2
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:40 AM   #3
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Water changes, waterchanges, water changes. You can also use aquarium salt, as it helps the fish resist the ammonia/nitrite.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pleechford View Post
I am having a sudden spike in nitrite and ammonia (ammo is almost under control) The nitrite is at 5ppm. Is this really harmful for my fish and plants?
Yes it is very harmful for your fish. It will cause nitrIte poisoning.

You should read up on fish-in cycling: I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!



The cause of this is because you are doing the nitrogen cycle in your tank, fish and food cause Ammonia, which is converted to NitrIte and ultimately converts to NitrAtes. Cycling produces beneficial bacteria that will convert the fish waste quicker than the waste can hurt your fish. You seem to be in the NitrIte spike phase of your cycle. The way you will keep your fish alive is by doing daily water tests and changes, maybe even twice a day.


I would do this: 50% water change, wait 1 hour and do another 50% water change. Test your levels, if you have anything over .25 NitrIte or ammonia, do another 25% water change. Judge your water changes by the testing kit. Meaning if you have .25 ppm do a 25% change, if you have a .5 ppm do a 50% change, etc. You're going to have to keep the levels down by doing water changes. Don't go to a store and believe that the chemicals will do anything, because they won't. The only thing you need is clean water and a good water dechlorinator like Seachem Prime. Prime will help you keep the fish alive because it will DETOXIFY the nitrItes for you for 24hrs, NOT remove them.


Good luck and keep us posted, if you put in the work your fish should be ok.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:01 AM   #5
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I have read some about adding limestone and gave rock as buffers against these type spikes. I keep them in my tank for the look. But I have had a very stable system, I would like to think they have contributed... But ur immediate problem needs water change and possibly consideration of the filtration Amd population. Avoid chem fixes as they often harm bb. Amd don't last.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:18 AM   #6
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What size tank do you have & how many/type of fish? Is it newly set up? Please read the links about fish-in cycling & start doing lots & lots of big pwcs with a good water conditioner (prime or amquel plus) because your nitrite levels are dangerously high! If you are unsure about anything, please ask & we will help!
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
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What size tank do you have & how many/type of fish? Is it newly set up? Please read the links about fish-in cycling & start doing lots & lots of big pwcs with a good water conditioner (prime or amquel plus) because your nitrite levels are dangerously high! If you are unsure about anything, please ask & we will help!
I have a 10g with 3 neons, 1 Cory cat, 1 platy, and 1 Molly. My tank has been set up for 3 to 4 weeks now. I definitely use prime for a water conditioner. My tap water had a very high level of ammonia in it so there might be high nitrites in the water as well. I am going to start to go back to using RO. I truly believe it's my tap water harming my tank
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:01 AM   #8
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Definitely a possibility of your tap causing you all your water issues! If you have used RO water before, you probably should switch back to using it again. It doesnt sound like your tank is fully cycled yet so please keep up with the pwcs to keep your numbers for amm/nitrite under control (as close to zero as possible).
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk
Definitely a possibility of your tap causing you all your water issues! If you have used RO water before, you probably should switch back to using it again. It doesnt sound like your tank is fully cycled yet so please keep up with the pwcs to keep your numbers for amm/nitrite under control (as close to zero as possible).
Alright will do. I was going to change my substrate to fluorite should I wait until my tank is full cycled before I go ahead and do so? Also I have a new filter (AC 30) but I havent put it in yet. Should I keep the other filter in there as well for a while so I don't lose all my bacteria?
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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I would wait on the substrate change-because you have a bunch of bacteria building up in it right now. And def run your new filter with the old one (for atleast 4wks, probably longer because your tank isnt fully cycled yet)-you may even want to consider keeping the old filter running indefinitly because you will then have a cycled filter/media to run on another tank if you need it (such as qt tank). I dont think there such a thing as too much filtration as long as you dont have a whirlpool happening or your fish are getting sucked up in the filter! Good luck & keep us posted!
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleechford View Post
I have a 10g with 3 neons, 1 Cory cat, 1 platy, and 1 Molly. My tank has been set up for 3 to 4 weeks now. I definitely use prime for a water conditioner. My tap water had a very high level of ammonia in it so there might be high nitrites in the water as well. I am going to start to go back to using RO. I truly believe it's my tap water harming my tank
The nitrite phase is normal for being 3-4 weeks into a new tank. It would happen regardless of your water source. Ammonia rising and then falling and then nitrites rising are part of the nitrogen cycle. If you're concerned about your tap water having nitrites in it, test it with the test kit, but as I said this phase of the cycle is normal. You want to do water changes as stated above until the nitrites fall to 0 and stay there on their own (which means the tank is fully cycled). The nitrite phase can last up to a few weeks so be committed to daily water testing and changes.

Also if you do use pure RO water you would have to reconstitute it with minerals, something like RO Rite or Seachem Replenish. Pure RO water is stripped of everything including minerals that the fish need so they would need to be added back in. Fish like stable environments so I'd be cautious about changing water sources too quickly if you were to do so.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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Will high trites make my water cloudy?

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Such as this?
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