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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have had my tank setup for 3 months and have had high nitrite levels for the past two months that wont seem to go away with treatment suggested by my LFS and water changes. All other levels are normal and no ammonia is present in the water tests. I have java moss, wisteria, amazon swords and java ferns. Fish are two panther catfish, white convict, firemouth chiclid, spotted puffer, two chinese algae eater and one mono. I have visited 3 LFS and each tests my water says no ammonia present but high nitrites and then they sell me a product they believe will remove the nitrites but none have worked so far please help I am going nuts over this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh also fish do not seem to have any issues not gasping for air at the surface which is typically a sign of high nitrites. I have only lost one fish a black convict she kept laying eggs every two weeks since I got her and just died the other day after laying a fresh batch of eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sure sorry 20 gallon tank with a Emperor Power Filter 400BD for 80 gallon tank 400GPH, substrate is standard gravel with fert tabs underplants when they were initially planted which was when the tank was cycling back in week one and two. Plants include two java moss clumps, piece of drift wood with one dwarf anubis, two amazon swords and two mini swords, one java fern mat and five single stalk wisteria. Fish include one spotted puffer, one white convict, one firemouth, two speckled catfish, one mono and two chinese algae eaters.
 

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Sure sorry 20 gallon tank with a Emperor Power Filter 400BD for 80 gallon tank 400GPH, substrate is standard gravel with fert tabs underplants when they were initially planted which was when the tank was cycling back in week one and two. Plants include two java moss clumps, piece of drift wood with one dwarf anubis, two amazon swords and two mini swords, one java fern mat and five single stalk wisteria. Fish include one spotted puffer, one white convict, one firemouth, two speckled catfish, one mono and two chinese algae eaters.
I think those fert tabs are leaching nitrates into the water column since you don't have enough plants to utilize the fert tabs. I would add as many stem plants as I can plant in every square inch of that tank. The filter is good in denitrifying the fish waste but you need lots of plants to clean the water furthermore. Go to your LFS and get bunches of cabombas, more wisteria and other fast growing inexpensive plants.
 

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here are some thing to check,
1)make sure filter cartridge is clean and not rusted.
2)make sure you have lights so your plants can photosynthesize and take in the nitrites. you would need at least 30-40 watts of light.
3) after that, if still high, you might wanna buy some media to lower nitrites until biological media can build up to convert them to nitrates. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=5068
 

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Hello jjonesrjc, Crispino & sukhkawal may be right. not sure, but how many fert tabs did u start w/ on ur 20 gallon. also bit confused if ur talkin bout just one tank here, or u have one 20 and another 80 g tank. you many have over crowded tank (if all those are in just 20g). Personally, I think you may not have enough beneficial bacterias in your tank yet... I tried using Nitrate/Nitrite lowering solution in my tank before, but seen no result. One think you might wanna try is adding "beneficial bacteria supplement" in your tank to speed up da process.... keep us updated. good luck...
 

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I accept with information:Sure sorry 20 gallon tank with a Emperor Power Filter 400BD for 80 gallon tank 400GPH, substrate is standard gravel with fert tabs underplants when they were initially planted which was when the tank was cycling back in week one and two.
 

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I think your issue might be at least partly from overstocking. Convicts and firemouths are both messy fish that produce a lot of waste, and your tank is too small for even one of these fish, much less both of them plus their tankmates. Both get 6+ inches at full size. I'm not sure what panther catfish are, but most cats are also messy and get big. The monodactylus will get huge too. Also, the monodactylus needs to be in brackish water. I think if you stock your tank with more suitable fish, your problem will resolve.
 

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Yes, I agree with Ariel. All of your fish are meant for much larger tanks than what you have, even with the additional filtration you have on there. To speed up the cycling process throw in a ton of fast growing plants, and make sure your lights are strong enough. Replacing the fish you currently have with more appropriate ones (smaller adult sizes) will also alleviate nitrites, and allow for the cycle to run its course on a more 'regular' course.

Dilute uncycled waste and reduce the stress on your fish by doing small water changes every few days, and keep testing.

Panther Cats can also be commonly named Pictus cats. A small group of Cory cats would be better suited for a 20 gallon.
 

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I think your issue might be at least partly from overstocking. Convicts and firemouths are both messy fish that produce a lot of waste, and your tank is too small for even one of these fish, much less both of them plus their tankmates. Both get 6+ inches at full size. I'm not sure what panther catfish are, but most cats are also messy and get big. The monodactylus will get huge too. Also, the monodactylus needs to be in brackish water. I think if you stock your tank with more suitable fish, your problem will resolve.
+1

overstocked for sure...

also what kind of fert tabs are you using and how often do you feed your fish?
 

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It is entirely possible that your nitrite test kit is inaccurate. You have to calibrate any test kit if you are going to rely on it for some reason. Don't be fooled by the LFS testing the water for you. They use the same kind of test kits that you are probably using, and I doubt that a single LFS in this country ever calibrated a test kit.

I agree with the others that your 20 gallon tank is badly overstocked.
 
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