Nitrite question for a friend - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrite question for a friend

Hi
I promised I'd post this to get feedback for her last night, and she's emailed me about it already!
She has a 20g tank with a HOB rated for that size and an airstone. Regular Lowes pea gravel an inch or two deep, plastic plants.
She used bacteria supplement and water conditioner when she set up the tank a few weeks ago - maybe as long ago as a month. Then she added a bunch of fish within two days. Now she has skyhigh nitrites. She does up to 7-ish gallon water changes every day to every other day, and they still stay off the chart hot pink. She's been doing water changes by scooping out the top water with a cup - now she has a gravel cleaner and did use it to clean the gravel the last time.
She stocked (right off the bat) with this; 10 or 11 cardinals, 3 killifish, 3 albino corys, and I think something else I can't remember. I think she said she had 20 fish.
I told her she over stocked too fast, she says the rule is 1" of fish per gallon (forget these are not full grown) also, she says you are supposed to be able to put all your fish in the same day if you treat with water conditioner. I said I think you're supposed to gradually build up to that point.
So what do I tell her, she wants to know what people here advise. I don't think she like mine! lol

I should edit this to add that the nitrites have been skyhigh almost since week 1. The other readings she says are near zero all the time.
Thanks

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:10 PM
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A nitrite spike is the last stage of the cycling process, when it drops everything should be fine...im surprised "she" didn't lose any fish.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:35 PM
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:39 PM
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Your advice to her was correct. The frequent water changes probably saved her some fish deaths.

As for the nitrites, if they've been this high for this long, and nitrates haven't shown up in significant quantity; then either she's got some bad test kits, or she's not telling you the whole story.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:45 PM
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Ugh! the hits keep coming. The partial water changes are prolonging the cycle too.
Long term these fish have been hurt but this does help.

From Walstad 5/10/09: Nitrite (disscusion of nitrite toxicity in my book, p. 22) should be kept be below 0.01 ppm for chronic effects. A one-time addition of salt (1 level teaspoon uniodized salt per 10 gal) will take care of your nitrite levels quite handily. This salt concentration (about 0.015%) should not hurt plants. To make sure salt gets quickly disbursed in the tank water, I would dissolve the salt in some water and then add the resulting salt solution to the tank.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 03:29 PM
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this hobby's mean learning curve strikes again

keep up with the testing and water changes...shes gonna be at it for a while


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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well, she's not using any live plants at all - they're plastic.
I use salt on occassion in my tanks, but the lfs told her to never add salt unless it's a brackish tank. When I told her I do at times, she said she bought some. She didn't mention if/when/how she used it. She says the nitrates are reading zero, and always have, and when I asked her the ammonia reading, she said "what?" lol. She was initially using test strips from my own kit (I have the 5n1 strips you dip in the water) I gave her some with an empty bottle so she could read the results. She went out the other day & bought her own since she ran out - it's the same strips.
They don't show ammonia (I forgot that when I asked her), but nitrites. nitrates, hardness, total alkalinity, and ph.
When I'm not so broke from my columnaris outbreak, I'm going to get the Big Dog test kit for myself! lol
So, do I tell her to keep up the water changes and watch for readings dipping in the nitrites & rising slightly in the nitrates?
More importanlty, can I say "told you so!" in regards to adding so many fish at one time the day after getting the tank? ; )
Thanks,
Cin

PS - joekidwell! I get the "she", and I'm not talking about myself! LOL Trust me, after my prolonged posts about columnaris, everyone knows I owe up to my mistakes : )

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 06:08 PM
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yep...keep up the water changes and tell her told ya so

also test strips suck...get the liquid kits


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