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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Wanted to get your advice about a silent cycling nitrite situation. I'm in the middle of a silent cycle, past the ammonia phase (ammonia at 0PPM), but stuck in the nitrite phase (nitrites at 0.25PPM). Wanted to ask what I should do in my specific situation. Please see details below...

BACKGROUND INFO ON TANK:

Tank size: 40 gallons.
PH 6.8 (fluval shrimp stratum seems to buffer it to 6.8 steadily)
Ammonia 0PPM
Nitrite .25PPM
Nitrate 5PPM (I think?)

I don't have test kits for TDS
GH or KH yet-they are on the way.


Tank Age: 3 weeks tomorrow.

Week 1: Just ran filter with plants in the tank (no fauna). Added Fluval Cycle--almost the whole bottle within a week, slightly more than prescribed.
Week 2: Added more plants (fast growing stem plants, floating plants), large moss-covered rocks (also covered in bacteria from tank they came from) ENORMOUS marimo moss balls (6 inches diameter, multiple balls--also, I assume, covered in bacteria). Also added 4 zebra danios and 7 shrimps.
Week 3. Added 4 more danios, more shrimps, small pleco.

SITUATION:

Currently ammonia is stable at 0PPM, but nitrite stubbornly holding at 0.25PPM. So I did a 10% water change this morning, adding back only RO water instead of tap--no change in nitrites after doing the WC.

So as soon as the store opened, I went and got Tetra SafeStart and added the recommended amount for a new tank.

QUESTION:

Will this help get rid of these pesky nitrites?

Are my shrimp and fish going to be ok with readings at 0.25PPM?
 

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I think since you added fish your best bet at this point is to use something like prime to keep the ammonia and nitrite in a form that's safe for the fish/shrimp.

Nitrite bacteria grows slowly so you might see a little for a while until the bacteria catches up to your bioload. I would recommend daily water changes with prime until you get to 0. I'm guessing the TSS will help but even after adding it your colony will need time to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply and advice! So Prime will help the situation by bringing down the nitrites? --is 20% wc enough daily? I'm worried about messing with the water chemistry too much since my LFS expert (who told me to do the silent cycle this way) said the most important thing was to keep parameters CONSISTENT above all.

I haven't had anyone die yet, but these shrimp honestly just aren't very active. Do you think changing the water so much (and switching to RO water with each change) will be too much changing of the water chemistry for the shrimps?

Most importantly--how dangerous is 0.25PPM nitrites? Will this kill the shrimps?
 

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Check your nitrites tomorrow. I had a heavy mini cycle start on my 75 which had already shown ammonia the nitrites and then nitrates while everything was in my 80. After two days and two fish I added a big bottle of tetra safestart Plus I have had no nitrites since.


My mistake was swapping filters without leaving the other filters running.
Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
 

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With plenty of thriving plants it is common to see just a trace of ammonia or nitrite.
Adding a product with Nitrospira species of bacteria is just right. The nitrite -> nitrate bacteria (Nitrospira) are the slowest growing.

Prime will lock up the nitrite and ammonia in a way that makes it safe for the fish, but still available to the bacteria. Test results may vary, though. Some tests will show the locked up materials, some will not.
 
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