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Old 05-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Nitrite and Ph question

I have had my tank a little over a week and a half now it's a 10 gallon with 4 coral red platies, 5 rummy nose tetras, 1 black molly and 2 nerite snails my ammonia is fine so I believe the bacteria for it has formed in the filter but my nitrites is maxed out (3.3) and I just changed the water yesterday, is this cause the ammonia is being turned into nitrites and I need to wait for the cycle to keep going and turn the nitrites into nitrates? Do I do partial water changes daily or every other day to keep the nitrites down or should I let the cycle go on its own. The only fish that seem affected are the tetras so far. When I change the water their faces get redder and healthier looking but after leaving it for about 24 hours its starting to go pale again. Also my Ph is around 8-8.5 I've tried black water extract doesn't do much and I have a piece of driftwood in there isn't doing anything it's till at 8 how can I lower it a bit naturally? I don't think the fish mind the Ph but still I'd like to have it at that 7-7.5 range.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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With readings like that, i be doing two water changes a day, with that stocking you might have to do more. Thats alot for a fish-in cycle.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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I don't mind doing two, three whatever, as long as the fish live! Was just making sure it doesn't hurt the cycle at all to change the water that frequently. I'm quite the newbie when it comes to aquariums :p thanks for the response!
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #4
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I don't mind doing two, three whatever, as long as the fish live! Was just making sure it doesn't hurt the cycle at all to change the water that frequently. I'm quite the newbie when it comes to aquariums :p thanks for the response!

I'm glad to see that you are willing to put forth the effort to keep your fish alive. It's way too common to see people that just aren't willing to do the work. That is good advice to keep up on the water changes. Two a day should suffice, but I would also monitor the levels regularly. Also, keep in mind that a 20% water change wont do much to the levels. If you have high nitrite levels I would try to do at least a 50% water change along with a good dechlorinator.

There is a lot of emphasis on keeping pH levels at certain ranges and as far as I am concerned the only reason to change the pH is if you are attempting to breed some fish. The fish will adapt to a different pH level waaaay easier than than they will handle fluctuating levels.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Yeah I do 50% changes I'm gunna start doing them twice a day, I did another test this morning was 3.3 so changed the water gunna do another this evening then test after. Every time I change the water the tetras become much more lively which is good. I probably will just leave the PH at 8 then if the fish can adapt cause my LFS uses well water too so his Ph is probably the same as mine or close. I don't use dechlorinator there is no chlorine in my water. Thanks for the responses guys, helps a lot
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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When you buy new fish after floating them in the tank for 15mins open the bag up and discard about a cup of water from the bag. After that add a cup of your tank water. Do that every 5 minutes for 15-20 mins and that should help any fish acclimate to your tank water.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #7
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When you buy new fish after floating them in the tank for 15mins open the bag up and discard about a cup of water from the bag. After that add a cup of your tank water. Do that every 5 minutes for 15-20 mins and that should help any fish acclimate to your tank water.
I always float them to adjust the temperature but I don't do the water swap, I'll start doing that from here on out thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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Did my second 50% change of the day tested after letting the water sit an hour and the nitrites are around 1.6 the nitrates are between 20-50
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
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Did my second 50% change of the day tested after letting the water sit an hour and the nitrites are around 1.6 the nitrates are between 20-50
If you did your second 50% water change of the day and your nitrates are still between 20 - 40 then you have a huge amount of ammonia production going on. When was the last time you changed your water before today? Also, how much are you feeding?

Lowballing the estimate of nitrates at 20ppm currently that means you had a concentration of at least 80ppm this morning. Assuming your last water change was yesterday then you have a huge source of nitrates somewhere. I would do a test of water straight from your tap for nitrates, I've heard of some people hitting 80ppm out of the tap due to farm runoff.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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Have you checked your tap water to see if there is nitrate in it?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:32 AM   #11
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If you did your second 50% water change of the day and your nitrates are still between 20 - 40 then you have a huge amount of ammonia production going on. When was the last time you changed your water before today? Also, how much are you feeding?

Lowballing the estimate of nitrates at 20ppm currently that means you had a concentration of at least 80ppm this morning. Assuming your last water change was yesterday then you have a huge source of nitrates somewhere. I would do a test of water straight from your tap for nitrates, I've heard of some people hitting 80ppm out of the tap due to farm runoff.
Yeah my last change was yesterday night, I'll test my tap water when I wake up tomorrow (it's late I'm tired :p) I do have a man that lives across the street with some animals (cows) but not many, there is also a swamp not to far from my house, could that have anything to do with it?
EDIT forget this post tested tap water it's at 5ppm
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:59 AM   #12
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I used to feed my fish everyday but now I'm doing every other day and putting less food then before, is that maybe why my nitrates and nitrites are so high? I decided to check my tap water tonight for nitrates and its only at 5 so it can't be my tap water. Could the leftover food that I haven't been able to suck out of the tank yet be the reason? Though I thought I was doing a good job at vacuuming it up cause I would stir the gravel up a bit to get it to float around then I would vacuum the gravel and net out any leftover debris...
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:03 AM   #13
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So far the only fish that seem to be struggling are the tetras I unfortunately lost 2, one got stuck on the filter he was smaller then the rest, and the other passed away today I'd assume from the stress of the water...my platies are the fish I've had in there since the beginning and are doing fine and the molly is too...I just don't wanna lose anymore fish. Now that I know about cycling a tank first I'm going to make sure I fishless cycle for my next tank, hate seeing them die.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:14 AM   #14
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Just a little miss informed that's all, people has there ways and just have to be prepared to do what they need to do. I always do a fish-in cycle but I am willing to do the pwc as need to keep the levels down so my fish are not affected. Read into a fish-in cycle so you know what else to expect. If you have not done so, get some filter or gravel from a tank that is all ready cycled, this will help as well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:20 AM   #15
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Just a little miss informed that's all, people has there ways and just have to be prepared to do what they need to do. I always do a fish-in cycle but I am willing to do the pwc as need to keep the levels down so my fish are not affected. Read into a fish-in cycle so you know what else to expect. If you have not done so, get some filter or gravel from a tank that is all ready cycled, this will help as well.
I'll see if my LFS can give me some gravel from his tanks, he's a pretty nice guy. How much gravel do you suspect I'll need for a 10 gallon to help cycle it, just any amount? I did pwc weekly, but didnt know id need more when cycling ive started to do more recently but levels are still high im starting to do 1-2 a day, also do you know of any articles or good forums I can read about fish-in cycles? So I don't read some misleading info, if not ill just look around. Thanks for all the help it's much appreciated!
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:25 AM   #16
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Any amount will help. Just put the gravel in a mesh back so you can remove it later, I will look real quick and see if I can find a good one for you to read
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:41 AM   #17
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Could not find a good thread on fish-in cycle so I will give you a quick run down. You will need to test your water everyday which you all ready been doing because you had high levels. Once you get control of your levels, you will want to do water changes everyday so suck any leftover food and poop so the spikes would not be that big. Once you see your levels are staying low you can reduce the amount of water changes to every other day. The nitrite can be the longest part of the cycle so be patient with that part but can be managed. After a couple of days if your levels are zeros except nitrate start doing water changes once a week but keep checking everyday to make sure that there is enough beneficial bacteria handle the bio load of your current stocking. If you see a rise in ammo or nitrite perform a water change. Note plants will help a fish-in cycle as it will absorb ammo and nitrates.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:44 AM   #18
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Could not find a good thread on fish-in cycle so I will give you a quick run down. You will need to test your water everyday which you all ready been doing because you had high levels. Once you get control of your levels, you will want to do water changes everyday so suck any leftover food and poop so the spikes would not be that big. Once you see your levels are staying low you can reduce the amount of water changes to every other day. The nitrite can be the longest part of the cycle so be patient with that part but can be managed. After a couple of days if your levels are zeros except nitrate start doing water changes once a week but keep checking everyday to make sure that there is enough beneficial bacteria handle the bio load of your current stocking. If you see a rise in ammo or nitrite perform a water change. Note plants will help a fish-in cycle as it will absorb ammo and nitrates.
Thanks a ton! I'll make sure to do everything you've said. What do you think of hornwort as a plant, I heard it can grow well just floating on the top? Assuming my LFS has some
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:58 AM   #19
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Those would work perfect.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:29 AM   #20
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Using plants for control of nitrates isn't nearly as effective as a lot of people think. I had a 29 that was filled with plants, good light, and fertilizers and it wasn't really touching my nitrate levels as I had to do a pwc twice weekly to keep my nitrates in check.

If you are showing nitrates in your tank it means that your cycle should be getting near its end. Adding anything from a lfs is a hazardous proposition because if there is any form of illness in the tank you would just be introducing it to yours. This is especially true with ich which lives in substrate for a few weeks.
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