please help big nitrite problem - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-05-2011, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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please help big nitrite problem

ok im half way through my third week of my cycle with eight fish i have no ammonia but my nitrite is off the charts do i do water changes and slow my cycle or see if my fish withstand the cycle? please help and comment
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 12:06 AM
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What size tank?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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20g
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 12:43 AM
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I suppose that would depend on what kind of fish...8 fish is quite a lot to be trying to cycle your tank, especially since it's only 20 gallons. I would try and acquire some old media or gravel from a lfs and use it to jump start your cycle. Some of the hardier fish may withstand an excessive high amount of nitrite, but not all. I would think to do a water change so tolerable levels can be acquired. Again, tolerable is kind of subjective based on fish.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:03 AM
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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.
\edit; no such thing as tolerable NO2


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:04 AM
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More water changes. As long as there are fish supplying steady ammonia, you can't really slow your cycle down with water changes. +1 on what High Thinker said about gravel and media, if it's possible, having fish keeping friends or another tank helps there, that can bring in other nasties depending where you get it. More plants. Can't go wrong with water changes, but be warned that it seems 3 times harder than ammonia to get down, definitely the hardest part of the cycle. Dr. Tim's One and Only can cycle it within a few days. This is one instance where I do recommend salt, the concentration is low and very effective for it's intended purpose.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishman333 View Post
ok im half way through my third week of my cycle with eight fish i have no ammonia but my nitrite is off the charts do i do water changes and slow my cycle or see if my fish withstand the cycle? please help and comment
Depending on how high your chart goes, doing a water change with "off the charts' nitrite may even speed rather than slow your cycle. It will almost certainly make it clearly cycled sooner (if for no other reason than you don't have to wait for a ridiculously high nitrite level to drop... a "Cycled" tank only needs to deal with the nitrogen produced by the bioload on a daily basis... if your nitrite goes sky-high whiel waiting for your Bacteria Mark II to take hold, you'll end up cultivating more of the Mark II's than you really need to deal with the huge nitrite content of your tank, which will of course take longer than getting just to a "reasonable" level).

I believe (but haven't gone back to doublecheck) that Dr. Tim claims high ammonia and nitrite levels are detrimental to the bacteria we want, and I tend to believe him (even if he is trying to sell us a product). He may even have some scientific research to back that up, but I haven't bothered to go see.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:44 AM
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but is it worth possibly killing his fish?Try to do a 15 then come back in a hour and see. You could use water from an established tank. When I start a new tank I soak the media in one of my tanks. Then I drain the water I would pour down the drain for the water change into a bucket, and add that to the new tank. Then fill the other half of the new tank with fresh water.

I don't know if I would put 8 fish in a 55, never mind a 20
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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ok thankyou just to make clear i would never torture 8 fish by dumping them in there i started with one and added one every five days for three weeks and will salt be bad for my cory i know thar they can be sensitive to salt
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:51 AM
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i kept a cory with pretty decent levels of salt

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 02:01 AM
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The amount of salt it takes to avoid methemoglobin buildup in the blood is far less than what is required to kill bacteria, and surely far less than what it takes to kill a fish.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by fishman333 View Post
ok thankyou just to make clear i would never torture 8 fish by dumping them in there i started with one and added one every five days for three weeks and will salt be bad for my cory i know thar they can be sensitive to salt
The amount of salt recommended to me and posted here eliminates the toxic effect of the nitrite and is safe for fish (including cory), used it a couple times.
In both cases NO3 tested within 48hrs. and NO2 zeroed out.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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ok so i just get some aquarium salt dissolve it up and put it in? and if i do this ot wont mess up my plants or shrimp right?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 10:39 AM
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It didn't bother any critters in my tank dosed as directed in my post.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 01:11 PM
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but is it worth possibly killing his fish?Try to do a 15 then come back in a hour and see. You could use water from an established tank. When I start a new tank I soak the media in one of my tanks. Then I drain the water I would pour down the drain for the water change into a bucket, and add that to the new tank. Then fill the other half of the new tank with fresh water.

I don't know if I would put 8 fish in a 55, never mind a 20
There is not much bacteria in the water.
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