newbie here with a spec 3 -- high nitrites!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cool newbie here with a spec 3 -- high nitrites!!

Hello there! Nice to meet you all

So the bettas looked sad in their cups at the petstore. I bought one, along with the 1.5 gallon plastic tank (bowl) that they recommended. The motor was loud, and I just felt so bad for the fish in that small space. So the next day I went out and bought a spec 3.

Everything was rushed and I don't really know what I'm doing yet. I'm trying to get this tank to cycle (with the fish alive). I didn't know anything about cycling until very recently.

- The tank is 2 weeks old.
- In the filter compartments I have the fluval biomax and seachem perigen.
- 1 betta fish (i feed him 2 pellets, twice per day, 4 in total per day. He eats every piece)
- 3 types of plants (anubias of some variety, Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini', Staurogyne repens)
- Dosing:
-- 0.1ml Prime per gallon on PWC
-- 0.1ml/day Excel Flourish (i read the plants need this because i dont have pressurized co2)
-- 0.75ml/day Stability (i read this helps cycle the tank)
-- 1ml/day StressGuard (i read this helps the fish)

- Water parameters before water change: PH 7.4, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 5ppm, Nitrate 0ppm
- Water changes almost every day (33-50% depending on ammonia and nitrite levels)
- Ammonia was very high for first week or so. Now the ammonia is 0 and Nitrites are high.
- I am using the API Master Test Kit and shaking the Nitrate bottle #2 according to specifications.

- There is a green algae in the tank that arrived when I planted the 1-2-Grow plants. I have been scrubbing the glass and driftwood every second day or so.
- Tank Temperature: Recently lowered from 80 to 78.
- Lights are on a timer now. 9 hours per day (was longer previously).


I'm not sure what else I should be doing to cycle the tank and keep the fish safe. I am going on vacation in 5 weeks, so I'm trying to do what I can to get things somewhat stable before I go.

I appreciate any help I can get
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Tested my water again this morning and nitrites are still high. No ammonia, no nitrates. I'm not sure if I am supposed to continue with daily water changes or let things take their course. Will the betta die?


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 07:26 PM
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Your tank isn't cycled yet, it you see any NO2. 5 ppm is horribly high. I would do 50% water change every day till ammonia and nitrites reach 0. You could try adding Seachem Prime to bind any ammonia/NO2 for now.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Your tank isn't cycled yet, it you see any NO2. 5 ppm is horribly high. I would do 50% water change every day till ammonia and nitrites reach 0. You could try adding Seachem Prime to bind any ammonia/NO2 for now.


Thank you for your help. I increased my water change to 50% today and I'll repeat tomorrow. I added 0.2ml of prime to my tap water before adding it back into my tank. I waited a few hours before testing again and the nitrites are now down to 0.25. Are you suggesting I try a bit more Prime (0.1ml?)?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 09:44 PM
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On the bottle there is written that in some cases you can dose up to 5x dose. So maybe try adding 0.5 ml with the next water change and see how it goes.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 08:04 AM
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newbie here with a spec 3 -- high nitrites!!

9 hours per day is pretty long for a new tank, I would move it down to maybe 6. That is probably contributing heavily to the algae growth.
You may also want to look into fertilisation but that depends on your substrate. Not super important yet because the tank is new and you don't have pressurised CO2, but still will be something that needs to be considered in the future.
As for everything cycle related Nel is spot on.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your post. I will reduce the lighting further. I read that 8-10 is good so I went with 9. I was wondering if it was too much light. I'll try 6.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Opare View Post
9 hours per day is pretty long for a new tank, I would move it down to maybe 6. That is probably contributing heavily to the algae growth.
You may also want to look into fertilisation but that depends on your substrate. Not super important yet because the tank is new and you don't have pressurised CO2, but still will be something that needs to be considered in the future.
As for everything cycle related Nel is spot on.

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Regarding the gravel, I'm using Estes spectra stone gravel right now. I have some UP aqua sand being shipped to me but I haven't even thought about how/when I will change it out. I'm not opposed to adding pressurized co2 and/or fertilizers. I'm guessing that would eliminate the need for Excel Flourish. I'd likely go with a nice regulator on a sodastream can since I can buy those nearby.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:20 PM
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It all really depends on what your goals are you can have a perfectly nice tank without CO2 and it will be heck of a lot easier to maintain as well.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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I tested my water before my water change. Nitrites seem to be improved. Between 0.25 and 0.5. I proceeded with the 50% water change and added 0.3ml prime. I though 0.5ml might be higher than necessary since it has dropped so much, but I wasn't sure. Ammonia and Nitrates still at 0. Algae seems to be improving a bit but I can still see it on the glass after a day.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrites still at 2ppm each day. Continuing 50% water changes and dosing 0.5ml prime. Nitrites usualy at 0.25ppm after water change. Ammonia and nitrates remain at 0. I'm still dosing Stability and Excel Flourish.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:53 AM
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Did you add any API quick start or any other cycling bacteria?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Did you add any API quick start or any other cycling bacteria?


I have been using Seachem Stability for about 7 days. Does that count?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I bought the API phosphate test kit today because I was curious what my levels are given the algae problem. Tap water is between 1-2ppm. Aquarium water is the same, maybe closer to 2ppm. Should I add Seachem PhosGuard?


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