Nitrie spike after waterchane - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrie spike after waterchane

Hello. I woke up this morning and found 4 of my fish dead and the others gasping at the top. I quickly checked the water and found nitrites were high i think about 1 ppm? To me this is strange because 12 hours ago i did a 50% water change. My ammonia was 0. Ph was a bit higher then normal at 6.4 but given that the CO2 hasnt been on yet i am assuming thats okay (normally at 6.0 at the end of the day). My first thought was lack of oxygen because the water level was a bit higher then normal and perhaps the fliter output wasnt creating enouph oxygen. Then i was thinking maybe I forgot to dechlorinate the water? The 4 fish i lost were the biggest in the tank so oxygen and nitrite seems to be the only things i can think of. Any thoughts?

My tank is 72 bowfront, been running for about 8 months. Never had a cycling problem with it to date.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 10:04 PM
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At pH in the 6's ammonia is rarely problem even if higher than zero.. within reason


not de-chlorinating could be a problem in 2 ways:
1) chlorine for the fish
2)chlorine killing your bene. bacteria..


Oxygen, or lack of will be the same as above , but doubt if that is the reason..

Somehow it looks like you seriously damaged your Nitrite to Nitrate bacteria..
Need to add Prime and check for a few days so it goes down..Water changes atm won't help much (though a bit) since your ammona will still be converting to nitrite..hopefully.

did you clean the filter and the tank gravel?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 10:37 PM
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When I find anything off in the tank, I almost jump to do a water change as it can do so many good things for us. High ammonia, nitrite or even nitrate will be diluted with new water, assuming the new water matchs. New water brings in O2 too as well as reduces any excess of CO2. Then once I get the tank to a point where fish are less likely to be getting more damage, I begin to look for the what and why.
Any info on what the fish were doing before dying? We can sometimes pick up things like breathing problems if we see them at the surface gasping. Then I also do a really good check of what I was doing in the days /hours just before the problem became obvious.
Some thought about how close you might have been running to having too much CO2? If you might have been running on the ragged edge, overnight may be prime time for gassing fish as the plants stop using CO2. Anything like moving plants, moving or rearranging the substrate as it can kill the bacteria living on the surface if we stir too large percentage. Any chance of doing an extra heavy job of wiping down the walls or scraping algae off to leave it as excess debris to overload the bacteria?
Sometimes it is not one single thing we do but a combo of things that we might get away with if done on different days but can be fatal if we rock the boat too hard all at the same time.
Not sure about using dechlor? Bad, bad boy! But you already knew that.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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@PlantedRich @jeffkrol

Well, I did a 50% WC last night around 6pm and finished around 7... nothing major just trimmed a few overgrown plants. My CO2 shuts off at 9pm, lights at 10pm. I found the dead fish at 530 am so 7 hours have passed when i last seen the tank.

Whats interesting and why im pointing towards oxygen is the 4 fish that i lost were all my larger rainbow fish that I have had for a few years (4+ inches). The rest although gasping at the top seemed to calm down after i did another 50% WC right away. (Larger fish need more oxygen?) My filter output didnt seem like it wasnt creating alot of motion on the water surface.

This doesnt explain the Nitirite spike however. Its also strange that the fish i have lost mever shown any illness since i have had them so i would expect they would have been hardy enough to atleast shown signs before they died. As for not using the declorinator, i am not 100% sure if i used it or not. It became such a routine thing that i dont even think about it. It was just the first thing that popped in my mind.

I have yet to check on the fish since 730 and i wont be home for a few hours still. Hopefully i will come home to an okay tank.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 12:26 AM
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If there is not a film on the water surface, I feel just getting the tank water to the top will be enough for most of us to get the bad out/good in going. A short period spike of any sort can be a bit hard to pin down. Sometimes I almost feel like it may be as simple as a fish dies for any reason they choose and then the fish decays so quickly that it may overwork the bacteria and by the time we get there to test, the bacteria may be catching up and just leaves us guessing and grasping at straws for a real firm answer.
I fully know what you mean about maybe /maybe not on the dechlor. My best bet on that point is not going to be any hope of better memory but I do try to add the dechlor as soon as possible, just to avoid forgetting but even then I leave myself some slack! I read that Prime and most of the others do allow for a big overdose of Prime before it becomes a hazard. Something like a ten times amount before being a problem? So when in doubt, I go for a second dose!
Kind of thinking that I'll never be perfect so go for the second step that two doses is far less likely to hurt than missing?
When all else fails, I place the blame on gremlins! I've killed so many fish, I'm sure I will never, ever do it AGAIN.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrite spike after water change

@PlantedRich

Got home and everything seems fine. Tested the water and ammonia, nitrite are both at 0... ph is at 6.4.

Looking at the fish they seem fine as do the plants. I have an old air pump that im going to place in the tank just in case. I decided to not run the CO2 today and run the lights at half intensity. Seems to have calmed things down.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 08:40 AM
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Have you tested your water supply?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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No! Good point, I will do that shortly
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 03:12 PM
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Not remembering if you added dechlorinator....my question is kind of moot.
I would ask if you overdosed Prime. I killed half a tank of fish doing this. I was stupidly treating RODI water with an excess amount of Prime, so there was nothing for the Prime to bind to except trace levels of nitrates and then...oxygen. Finished the water change at 5 pm, I came in to check on my tank at 3 am, half my fish were dead with the other half on their way out. Looked at my drop checker, I had never seen that thing so yellow(CO2 is on a timer, shuts off 1.5 hours before lights out at 5 pm, yes it was off). Did a quick 50% water change, threw in an air stone, by the next day everyone that survived was right as rain.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting thought. I typically do 2 caps before adding water then 2 caps after (i use a python). Its about double the requirement but I have been doing this for years.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo-snickers View Post
Interesting thought. I typically do 2 caps before adding water then 2 caps after (i use a python). Its about double the requirement but I have been doing this for years.
Lack of surface agitation + OD of Prime may have caused the "perfect storm". In my case, I had also forgotten to plug my power head back in which would have created additional surface agitation along with my filter outflow.
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