Hello all. Im somewhat new to the fish aquarium life, so please bear with me.
About a month ago I purchased a 60gal tank. I was about 3 weeks into the cycle (I added some filter media from a turtle tank we have to help it along) then went on a small 4 day trip. When i came back, ammonia was 0, nitrites were at 2, nitrates were at 20-40. The next morning i tested and nitrites went down to about the .5 range, everything else the same.
I may have rushed it, but I went to my LFS
and picked up 2 Orandas. I didnt feed the fish that day. The next morning i checked the levels. Ammonia was still at 0, nitrates were still at 20-40, but nitrites had shot up to 5 ppm
. I thought maybe it was because i had added the fish. So I did a 25% water change. Again i fed the fish but a very small amount. The next morning the levels we the same, but the fish seemed fine so I did not do a water change, and fed them again. I tested my tap and there are no nitrites present.
The next morning the ammonia was at .25, nitrite still at 5, nitrates still at 20-40. I knew the ammonia was from the feedings and fish poo, but I worried about the nitrites not going down even after large water changes. Again, the fish seemed ok but the little one did spend more time at the top of the tank. I decided against feeding but did a 50% change. Someone suggested adding a nitrifying solution and continuing the water changes until it lowers.
The next day i went out and purchased Microbe-Lift Nite Out II. I'm not sure if this is great stuff, but it had good reviews and it was easy to find locally. Over the last 3 or 4 days: I've done 50% water changes every day, fed them only small portions every other day, spot cleaned all the poo I saw, and added the Microbe-Lift Nite Out II. Ammonia is back to 0 and has stayed, nitrites have stayed at 5 and nitrates have stayed at 20-40. The fish seem no worse, they actually seem more active since i started using Microbe-Lift Nite Out II.
Im worried about the constant high nitrite levels though because I know they are deadly.
Is it normal for nitrites to stay this high even after large water changes?
How long should I expect it to be this way?
Is there anything else I should be doing?