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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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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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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