nitrites still sky high

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Postby tankgirl » 2006-01-22 13:00

so i've added some active charcoal (thanx for the link Mike), it's been in almost 24hrs now. tested nitrites and still very high(0.3) but here's the strange thing... no trace of ammonia! PH is up to 6.5 :D which is great! a little bit more and (like kittyKat said) everyone will be happy. but i still need to get this damn nitrite problem under control *sigh* it really stresses me out to see the poor fish scuffing, especially the danios!

sooo, 10% water changes every day til i see a change?
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Postby KittyKat » 2006-01-22 14:31

that should do the trick.

activated carbon (or black sponge) needs to be changed instead of being rinsed out like normal sponges as it absorbs the nitrites. how often you need to replace it depends on tank volume, how much you use and how high nitrites are.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-01-22 15:56

The addition of a bacteria filter booster will also help in reducing NO<sub><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>2</span></sub>-N. Please note the dried types don't work,
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Postby saracen » 2006-01-22 18:02

I would keep doing the water changes until everything settles down at zero, that would be the safest thing to do, it will also help your Ph problem, as Mick said in the other thread.

Your amonia dropping to zero is a good thing. It means that the bacteria that deal with the amonia are in the right numbers for your bioload now. They have converted all the amonia into nitrites, which now will feed the nitrite converting bacteria to change it into nitrate. You are just helping your fish to overcome the bad effects of this part by removing them yourself with the water changes.
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Postby tankgirl » 2006-01-22 19:46

thanx for all the info guys :) much appreciated!

my sponges dont look dirty and they don't have any scum on them. should i rinse them anyway? i have never changed the one sponge that seemingly needs to be changes every 6weeks. i havent changed it cos my filter was so 'weak' in the beginning an i REALLY dont want it to crash!!
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Postby KittyKat » 2006-01-22 19:57

it's OK to change one sponge at a time. usually this is done once every 4-8 months.
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Postby saracen » 2006-01-22 20:03

And for the rinsing, it is ok to rinse the goop out, providing that you do this in old tank water, NOT tap water.

You will not remove any of your biological filter by doing this, but you would kill it completely by using tap/chlorinated water.
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Postby tankgirl » 2006-01-23 15:57

my sodding nitrites have DOUBLED since yest :( :(
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-01-23 16:46

There is something really amiss here. Your going to have to give us a complete break down; water volume, (actual), size/type of filter, medium used in the filter, name of test kit and frequency of water changes. As a general rule water changes should be along with filter cleaning, should be carried out at a minimum of every 2 weeks. Once a week would be better doing a to 30% to 25% any more than this and it could affect the biological side of your filtration. It would also be interesting to know what the flow rate of your filter is. To check the flow rate is quite easy. Do as follows; get a jug capable of collecting 15 seconds of water whilst holding it under the out flow from the filter. Multiply this quantity by 4, this will give you your flow rate for one minute. Multiply your answer by 60 and this will give you flow rate for 1 hour. Needless to say your final answer will be in Gallons or liters. By doing this I will be able to determine whether the flow rate is right for your filter as well as your tank. Bear in mind that if it is to slow for your filter then it wont be capable of sustaining the bacteria as they will not be getting sufficient oxygen and if it is to fast they wont have time to do there job. The bottom line is that this could be the cause of your problem. Mind you and I have to say this, if you only clean your filter every six weeks that is not helping your situation ether. Get back to us as soon as you can and hopefully we will get to the bottom of your problem.
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Postby -Rambler- » 2006-01-24 03:29

Just noticed this forum board and took a look, I'm still new here anyway heres my 2 cents. Under the assumption that tankgirl is in the process of establishing a nitrogen cycle. From what I understand you (tankgirl) are some where in the 2nd phase of the cycle where the ammonia is no longer detectable but nitrites are now present and spiking. This is good, however your pH is a little on the low side, possible from the high ammonia levels you had. The nice thing about this stage is that you can use tablesalt to "sheild" the nitrite from the fish. NaCl reduces the toxicity of nitrite to fish. I don't know what volume your aquarium is so, from what you stated the level was at.3 mg/l or ppm and it doubled as of today, so that would make it .6ppm ? if so you can dose salt at the rate of 4ml per 40l or a little more than 1/2 tsp per 10 gallons US. No need to add more salt unless you remove water for a PWC. Then you do the math for the amount of water you removed. For instance say it is a 40l tank and you removed 10l at the pwc. Since your nitrite level is .6 the reccomended dose is 4ml per 40l, you removed 10l so add 1ml to the10l you need to replace to refill the aquarium. IME at this stage when nitrite is spiking and no ammonia is present, keeping your nitrite somewhat high (no more then you have now @.6ppm) will speed up the process a bit. The only thing to watch is your pH because it is somewhat acidic, and especially ammonia. Make sure you don't detect any ammonia again, if you do keep its level <1 ppm. If PWC's corrects your pH to a little closer to neutral, do so. The bacteria that is trying to establish can be actually killed by the acidity. This can stall your cycle a great deal (I know, been there my own self). If necessary acidic pH can be corrected with baking soda. Hope I helped and didn't confuse. Do a search for "treating nitrites with salt" on a search engine for more detailed info. Personally I have never tried this, only because I didn't know about it until I finally did establish. However alot of people use this method with great success. I now only cycle new aquariums using a fishless cycle method. This may come in handy down the road when you get your next larger aquarium as you become addicted to this fascinating hobby.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-01-24 04:26

1st class ****, like you, I could of done with that advice some years ago. Some of the best advice given and I would recommend that any aspiring Tropical Fish enthusiast note it well. Good post,
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Postby tankgirl » 2006-01-24 18:17

tested tap water.. 0.8 nitrites!! same as tank! very high... but now here's a thing! so i tested the water in my other tank, no filter in this tank, and ZERO nitrites! ZIP, NADDA, NOTHING! anyway, i have to read all these posts in detail so will post again soon. thought i would just mention this in the mean time
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-01-24 19:00

<a href='http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/Dungster002/thatinmywater1.jpg' target='_blank'>Data sent to me from my water authority</a> please click on the underlined text and you will see what the permitted level of nitrite is for the E.E.C. As of this moment I cant remember if you reside in the U.S.A. or the U.K. What ever the case it might be that your water authority is exceeding the legal limit. I hasten to add that I am not saying it is but it might be worth checking out. you will find the next link will be to another data sheet which will give the key to the abbreviations. Let us know if it is of any help.
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Postby -Rambler- » 2006-01-25 16:16

Mick:I cant read the link. How do I enlarge it :mellow: Tankgirl, you can use a water conditioner like Prime, amquel or similar. Perhaps take a sample of your tap water, then treat with the dose reccomended for the amount of the sample (say 1 gallon US or 4l) to make sure levels fall to 0ppm. Is your other aquarium established? If so your system is doing its jod processing the nitrites. If the other aquarium is established, use a scoop of filter media and a scoop of gravel from it. Place the media in your new aquarium and the gravel mixed with yours, or in a mesh bag (an old stocking will do). This will seed the newer aquarium wiht the bene. bac. and speed things up greatly.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-01-25 16:43

mouse over it and you should get the expand button. The pics are so huge, for that reason I havn't put them up here.
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