Nitrites won't drop w/ 100% wc - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrites won't drop w/ 100% wc

I'm really perplexed. I started cycling on April 20th. I added pre-established 38 ceramic rings, 2 sponges and 250ml of Seachem Stability in my 40g with temp at 80F. I started off with 2ppm ammonia and I haven't added any since to not make the nitrites sky rocket. April 23rd there was 0.25-0.5ppm nitrites. Since April 25th, my nitrites have been off the chart purple. It looks like 5ppm on the chart but when I dilute the 5mls into half tap/half tank water it reads 5ppm, so it must've been over 10ppm nitrites.

Yesterday I did a 50% water change: nitrites didn't change but nitrates cut in half (they were 80ppm+).
Today I did a 50% water change: nitrites didn't change again, still reading 5ppm+.

What do I do? Leave it? I can't add more ammonia because it'll make it sky rocket again. I didn't want my cycle to stall due to the super unceccessary high nitrites. It obviously processed alot of nitrite if my nitrate was deep red a few days ago. I don't understand how I can change 100% of my water yet the nitrite hasn't budged? There's nothing in my tap water that would contribute to this, everything is 0ppm out of the tap. I'm using the API liquid test kit.

Right now, after doing a second 50% water change:

Right now, after diluting the 5mls into half tap/half tank water:

Last edited by Ravynn; 05-01-2019 at 05:19 PM. Reason: more pics
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 06:02 PM
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Nitrites come from ammonium.. so dirted soil releasing it?

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrites come from ammonium.. so dirted soil releasing it?
Sorry, I should have mentioned it's just pool filter sand that i'm using.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:29 PM
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Looks like it could be more like 2 PPM. I'd do another 50% to find out.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like it could be more like 2 PPM. I'd do another 50% to find out.
It was still 5ppm yesterday doing the dilution test yesterday, today 2-3ppm with dilution test... did another 50%. will test later

edit: did another 50% and it's still the same omg... dilution test is blue which makes no sense so i'll test again tomorrow.
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Last edited by Ravynn; 05-01-2019 at 10:35 PM. Reason: info
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 11:39 PM
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How old is your test kit? Are you using it properly, especially shaking hard when instructed to? Nitrate api test goes bad early if you havent shaken bottle 2 every time you test.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
How old is your test kit? Are you using it properly, especially shaking hard when instructed to? Nitrate api test goes bad early if you havent shaken bottle 2 every time you test.
Nitrite test is one solution..
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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How old is your test kit? Are you using it properly, especially shaking hard when instructed to? Nitrate api test goes bad early if you havent shaken bottle 2 every time you test.
It still has 3 years left before it's expired.

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Nitrite test is one solution..
This seems really absurd.. Tuesday I did 50% water change and yesterday I did two 50% water changes back to back and this is my reading now. The blue is doing half tap/half tank water so i'm not sure why it turned out 0... I don't know if I can physically do more than 60 gallons in 3 days

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:02 PM
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Have you tested the parameters of the water you are using for water changes? Perhaps that water has ammonia in it, so when you do a water change, the ammonia-nitrifying bacteria are generating more nitrite. And high levels of nitrite actually impede growth of the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, which can lead to a situation where the ammonia is cleared quickly, but the nitrite levels stay high.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:38 PM
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Those nitrite levels shouldn't stall the cycle. Nitrification is used to treat wastewater and levels get much, much higher.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Those nitrite levels shouldn't stall the cycle. Nitrification is used to treat wastewater and levels get much, much higher.
Regardless if it does or not, the issue is now I did these big water changes with no change at all in the nitrite level which doesn't seem normal.

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Have you tested the parameters of the water you are using for water changes? Perhaps that water has ammonia in it, so when you do a water change, the ammonia-nitrifying bacteria are generating more nitrite. And high levels of nitrite actually impede growth of the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, which can lead to a situation where the ammonia is cleared quickly, but the nitrite levels stay high.
I just re-checked to make sure and yes all parameters of my tap water are 0ppm.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 02:27 PM
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It appears it's a waiting game from here, unfortunately. Probably the hardest part about starting a new tank. I'd just wait a week or two and see if things improve. Also, plant heavily!


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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It appears it's a waiting game from here, unfortunately. Probably the hardest part about starting a new tank. I'd just wait a week or two and see if things improve. Also, plant heavily!
The tank has been at 0ppm ammonia for 4 days now. Is it okay if I wait another week without dosing? Really don't want to make the nitrites so high again..

This is my tank.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravynn View Post
The tank has been at 0ppm ammonia for 4 days now. Is it okay if I wait another week without dosing? Really don't want to make the nitrites so high again..

This is my tank.



Id test nitrate today, wait 3 days, then test both nitrite and nitrate. See if the former decreases while the latter increases.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Id test nitrate today, wait 3 days, then test both nitrite and nitrate. See if the former decreases while the latter increases.


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Sounds like a good idea. I'll update in 3 days!
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