Ammonia 0, Nitrite 1.0, Nitrate 5-10 Please Help Us!!

Nicole B
  • #1
We have been doing 50% water changes for quite a few days now trying to get our nitrite down using prime and stability and it finally went down from 2-4.0 to 1.0ppm
Do we keep trying to get the nitrite down by 50% water changes or lower it to 25% water changes and double dose with prime?? Still trying to cycle our tank. Hopefully we are really close now.
Confused on what to do next... help!!

3 fish
5 fry
4 snails
 
Tony M
  • #2
It can take over six weeks for a fishless cycle. You might want to ask your LFS for some water squeezed from their filter media. It will give you a jump start on the bacteria you need.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
It can take over six weeks for a fishless cycle. You might want to ask your LFS for some water squeezed from their filter media. It will give you a jump start on the bacteria you need.
This is a fish in cycle
We are trying to keep our fish safe. We’re going on 2-3 weeks trying to cycle.
 
Brannor
  • #4
HI there. See my thread Seachem Alert Vs ApI Ammonia Test where I started with high Ammonia and currently have high Nitrite and my Ammonia is almost gone. It's taken a while to get to this point and I'm doing daily 50-60% water changes.

We currently have 13 adult guppies and (currently) 15 fry that have all been born between the high ammonia and high nitrite... we lost 3 guppies (all died) and 2 neon tetras almost 2 weeks ago - one I removed, the other died. We have 8 remaining neons and 3 bristlenose catfish from 6cm to 10cm in since.

It's nerve wracking waiting for things to change... your 1.0 Nitrite is something I dream of as it would mean my cycle is near the final phase. I've had my tank 4 weeks, though I probably ruined the first week by washing my filter under tap water... because it was getting dirty... /facepalm...

Hang in there. Should be over soon.

-G
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
HI there. See my thread Seachem Alert Vs ApI Ammonia Test where I started with high Ammonia and currently have high Nitrite and my Ammonia is almost gone. It's taken a while to get to this point and I'm doing daily 50-60% water changes.

We currently have 13 adult guppies and (currently) 15 fry that have all been born between the high ammonia and high nitrite... we lost 3 guppies (all died) and 2 neon tetras almost 2 weeks ago - one I removed, the other died. We have 8 remaining neons and 3 bristlenose catfish from 6cm to 10cm in since.

It's nerve wracking waiting for things to change... your 1.0 Nitrite is something I dream of as it would mean my cycle is near the final phase. I've had my tank 4 weeks, though I probably ruined the first week by washing my filter under tap water... because it was getting dirty... /facepalm...

Hang in there. Should be over soon.

-G
Thanks!! We are going on a month too but the first week we had no idea we had to cycle the tank! And had 2 fish deaths and 1 snail death. Ever since we learned about it all fish have stayed alive! Thankfully! We’ve been doing water changes for about 3 weeks now too and getting frustrating! We want it to be over with. Just don’t want to end up killing our fish.
 
pugletfan
  • #6
I bet you are getting close to being done! Fingers crossed!!
 
AquaticJ
  • #7
You can safely use 5x the dose of prime when your nitrites are present, I would ease up a bit on the water changes because it can make it take longer. You should be done cycling really soon.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
You can safely use 5x the dose of prime when your nitrites are present, I would ease up a bit on the water changes because it can make it take longer. You should be done cycling really soon.
What do you suggest?

I bet you are getting close to being done! Fingers crossed!!
Yes!! Fingers crossed!!
 
AquaticJ
  • #9
What do you suggest?
I would dose Prime every 24 hours, and do a 25% water change in about three days. Your nitrites will probably drop anytime now.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I would dose Prime every 24 hours, and do a 25% water change in about three days. Your nitrites will probably drop anytime now.
With dosing prime does that mean just put it in the tank? Like a capful in our 10 gallon? What happens if in 3 days it’s high again? I’m thinking the worst. Lol
Do we still use stability or stop?

My boyfriend claimed it was 1 but looks like 2-5 to me again
 

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Brannor
  • #11
Yeah... looks like 2-5 to me too. Looks similar to my range right now. I take a photo of most of my tests and can trace back almost day by day how it is moving up/down. I make sure there's a white background to compare. If you want, place the vial between the columns so that it's easier to compare.

-G
 
AquaticJ
  • #12
Yeah that looks high up there to me! Not out of the ordinary though. Yeah 5x would be a capful in your tank, every 24 hours. Try not to worry yourself sick Keep using stability. Make sure you read the directions right, 5 drops into the tube, shake for 5 seconds, wait 5 minutes and then check the color. After about 6 minutes the color can become unreliable, so make sure you're relying on the color at 5 minutes.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Yeah that looks high up there to me! Not out of the ordinary though. Yeah 5x would be a capful in your tank, every 24 hours. Try not to worry yourself sick Keep using stability. Make sure you read the directions right, 5 drops into the tube, shake for 5 seconds, wait 5 minutes and then check the color. After about 6 minutes the color can become unreliable, so make sure you're relying on the color at 5 minutes.
It turned dark purple almost right away. just pour in the stability too? No water change? That won’t kill our fish will it? I think I have already worried myself sick. Haha
 
AquaticJ
  • #14
Dose according to the bottle of stability so you don't waste it. It's just bottled bacteria, in theory you could just dump the entire bottle of stability in there and your fish wouldn't be effected, but that would be a complete waste of money lol. To make you feel better I suppose you could keep doing 25% changes each day, but the 50% don't seem to be lowering anything so I'd just use your prime.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Dose according to the bottle of stability so you don't waste it. It's just bottled bacteria, in theory you could just dump the entire bottle of stability in there and your fish wouldn't be effected, but that would be a complete waste of money lol. To make you feel better I suppose you could keep doing 25% changes each day, but the 50% don't seem to be lowering anything so I'd just use your prime.
We were doing that at first and it didn’t lower it either it is stuck on 2-4

Yeah... looks like 2-5 to me too. Looks similar to my range right now. I take a photo of most of my tests and can trace back almost day by day how it is moving up/down. I make sure there's a white background to compare. If you want, place the vial between the columns so that it's easier to compare.

-G
Makes me feel better we’re not the only one stuck on high nitrites!! Ugh! Did you get your ammonia down to 0?
 
Brannor
  • #16
Did you get your ammonia down to 0?
They're almost there. Check the photos in my thread and you'll see how it's come down. I tend to post my 21H00 water test (3 hours after feeding and water change) each day now.

-G
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #17
IME Prime does not lower anything it just makes it not as toxic on your fish! That's what the bottle says too.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
IME Prime does not lower anything it just makes it not as toxic on your fish! That's what the bottle says too.
What will lower it besides water changes? We’ve done a ton and it stays the same.
 
Brannor
  • #19
Yeah, I'm only using Stability and Stress Coat at the moment. Once I have my hose set up for filling the tank I'll be using conditioner to combat the chlorine.

-G
 
Jenoli42
  • #20
I know another FL member has said that dosing additional stability is a waste of money, and that person may be absolutely right. my experience is that dosing 2-4 times the recommended dose of stability did seem to help all my tanks cycle faster. it's not cheap, so up to you. it won't hurt your fish and the worst that can happen is that some of it dies if there isn't enough food for it (= waste of money). but given the numbers when cycling, I tend to think there is enough food to support it. so the best that can happen is those bacteria get put in, have a huge feed on your nitrites and help cycle your tank. just my experience...
 
AquaticJ
  • #21
IME Prime does not lower anything it just makes it not as toxic on your fish! That's what the bottle says too.
Correct, basically what it does is binds to the molecules and makes them non toxic, while still allowing your bacteria to break it down like normal.

Jenoli42 I don't use any kind of bacterial additive anymore, but I understand why others may.
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #22
What will lower it besides water changes? We’ve done a ton and it stays the same.
Your Bacteria will remove the nitrites and waterchanges lowers your nitrates! once you start seeing 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and only nitrates your cycle is finished from there your water changes will lower the amount of the nitrates. I personally would test your water source of the water you add in and see if it has nitrates that could be why your not seeing a difference after water changes.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I know another FL member has said that dosing additional stability is a waste of money, and that person may be absolutely right. my experience is that dosing 2-4 times the recommended dose of stability did seem to help all my tanks cycle faster. it's not cheap, so up to you. it won't hurt your fish and the worst that can happen is that some of it dies if there isn't enough food for it (= waste of money). but given the numbers when cycling, I tend to think there is enough food to support it. so the best that can happen is those bacteria get put in, have a huge feed on your nitrites and help cycle your tank. just my experience...
I also have a bottle of TSS plus. Would trying that maybe work too? I have been debating to pour the whole bottle in since our nitrites don’t want to go down. Sigh! Stability is expensive! I think it was $15 for the whole bottle. Lol stability doesn’t seem to work for lowering our nitrites though or maybe I’m being too impatient.

Your Bacteria will remove the nitrites and waterchanges lowers your nitrates! once you start seeing 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and only nitrates your cycle is finished from there your water changes will lower the amount of the nitrates. I personally would test your water source of the water you add in and see if it has nitrates that could be why your not seeing a difference after water changes.
I tested our tap and 0 nitrates and nitrites. Our tap did have ammonia though. We got stuck on ammonia for awhile too until I got prime. Then I think it went from 8 to 0 in like 3 days!! But our nitrites have been stuck for about a week now.
 
AquaticJ
  • #24
If your ammonia is at zero and your nitrates are starting to rise, I'm willing to bet that your nitrites are going to drop within the next few days. The thing with bottled bacteria is it doesn't work immediately, they still have to colonize.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
If your ammonia is at zero and your nitrates are starting to rise, I'm willing to bet that your nitrites are going to drop within the next few days. The thing with bottled bacteria is it doesn't work immediately, they still have to colonize.
For us our nitrites and nitrates were both really high for awhile. Then the nitrates dropped down to 10-20 and today they were 5-10 but nitrites still 2-4
Is that normal??
I am not 100% understanding the nitrogen cycle still. So confusing! I am getting there though.
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #26
I tested our tap and 0 nitrates and nitrites. Our tap did have ammonia though. We got stuck on ammonia for awhile too until I got prime. Then I think it went from 8 to 0 in like 3 days!! But our nitrites have been stuck for about a week now.
I agree with AquaticJ, give it a couple more days and I think your tank will be cycled! there's two types of BB the first on is the one that takes the ammonia and turns it to Nitrites. As you see in your tests you have no ammonia but you have nitrites that means that BB is colonized and good to go. Now with your Nitrites being turned into Nitrates your BB that does that is colonizing as you can tell by even having Nitrates. As they finish Colonizing and reproducing They will take all of the Nitrites and Make them Nitrates. Once they finish doing that your tank will be fully cycled and it seems like your tank is close to it!!
 
AquaticJ
  • #27
Let me try to simplify it for you. The fish poops, that poop breaks down into ammonia. The first kind of bacteria lives off of ammonia, so they eat the ammonia. When that bacteria poops, that breaks down into nitrite (that's where you are). The second kind of bacteria lives off of nitrite, so they eat it. When they poop, it breaks down into nitrates, which you take out with water changes. The bacteria doesn't actually poop like a fish, but that's an easier way to think about it lol!
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
I agree with AquaticJ, give it a couple more days and I think your tank will be cycled! there's two types of BB the first on is the one that takes the ammonia and turns it to Nitrites. As you see in your tests you have no ammonia but you have nitrites that means that BB is colonized and good to go. Now with your Nitrites being turned into Nitrates your BB that does that is colonizing as you can tell by even having Nitrates. As they finish Colonizing and reproducing They will take all of the Nitrites and Make them Nitrates. Once they finish doing that your tank will be fully cycled and it seems like your tank is close to it!!
I think I am being too impatient and worrying about our fish dieing because of the nitrites. They made it through the toxic ammonia without us using prime and I have no idea how but they are fighters. Still healthy from what I can tell. Should we keep doing the 25% water changes using prime and stability and checking levels every day??
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #29
Let me try to simplify it for you. The fish poops, that poop breaks down into ammonia. The first kind of bacteria lives off of ammonia, so they eat the ammonia. When that bacteria poops, that breaks down into nitrite (that's where you are). The second kind of bacteria lives off of nitrite, so they eat it. When they poop, it breaks down into nitrates, which you take out with water changes. The bacteria doesn't actually poop like a fish, but that's an easier way to think about it lol!
I love this simple explanation, mind if I use it for my family?
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Let me try to simplify it for you. The fish poops, that poop breaks down into ammonia. The first kind of bacteria lives off of ammonia, so they eat the ammonia. When that bacteria poops, that breaks down into nitrite (that's where you are). The second kind of bacteria lives off of nitrite, so they eat it. When they poop, it breaks down into nitrates, which you take out with water changes. The bacteria doesn't actually poop like a fish, but that's an easier way to think about it lol!
I’ve read people being stuck on high nitrites for months so I am worried we are doing something wrong but I think I’m just being impatient!
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #31
I think I am being too impatient and worrying about our fish dieing because of the nitrites. They made it through the toxic ammonia without us using prime and I have no idea how but they are fighters. Still healthy from what I can tell. Should we keep doing the 25% water changes using prime and stability and checking levels every day??
I use prime Every time I add water! I use only a little more for the amount of water I'm adding in. I would keep using it because it helps detoxify the nitrites that you still have in the tank.
 
AquaticJ
  • #32
I think I am being too impatient and worrying about our fish dieing because of the nitrites. They made it through the toxic ammonia without us using prime and I have no idea how but they are fighters. Still healthy from what I can tell. Should we keep doing the 25% water changes using prime and stability and checking levels every day??
Yes, and remember, Prime is your best friend here! Keep us updated!

I love this simple explanation, mind if I use it for my family?
Absolutely!
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Another question. We’ve had our tank for a month now (on saturday). Should we clean our filter in old tank water or wait until we are cycled? To me it isn’t too bad yet. I also have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to filters. Could that be causing our cycle to stall? I’ve been told not to touch it but then other people say to rinse it off.
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #34
Another question. We’ve had our tank for a month now (on saturday). Should we clean our filter in old tank water or wait until we are cycled? To me it isn’t too bad yet. I also have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to filters. Could that be causing our cycle to stall? I’ve been told not to touch it but then other people say to rinse it off.
You should be fine as long as you rinse it out in old tank water never use tap water as that will kill of the Beneficial Bacteria
 
AquaticJ
  • #35
What kind of filter is it? Rinsing it in tank water won't hurt anything.
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
AquaticJ
  • #37
It’s a Aqueon quietflow led pro size 10 100gph
I was going to guess that lol. That's the most common kind sold at my store, and the most common kit. You have plenty of filtration, but here's why I don't like them. There's not a lot of surface area for the bacteria to colonize, and no room to add anything else. That filter pad is filled with little pieces of carbon which trap organic materials like colors, odors, ect. and those carbon pieces become full and useless after about a month. So a lot of people (as the directions recommend) throw the entire filter pad away each month and put a new one in there, killing most of their bacteria. I always recommend people to get a little sponge filter, these are solely for bacterial filtration, and you never bother them or throw them away, that way you can change your dirty filters without worrying.
 
Carlthefishnotthelama
  • #38
I love sponge filters! me personally I like the cheap amazon ones that stick to the side of your tank instead of the ones that sit on the bottom. IMO they get better flow all around!
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
I was going to guess that lol. That's the most common kind sold at my store, and the most common kit. You have plenty of filtration, but here's why I don't like them. There's not a lot of surface area for the bacteria to colonize, and no room to add anything else. That filter pad is filled with little pieces of carbon which trap organic materials like colors, odors, ect. and those carbon pieces become full and useless after about a month. So a lot of people (as the directions recommend) throw the entire filter pad away each month and put a new one in there, killing most of their bacteria. I always recommend people to get a little sponge filter, these are solely for bacterial filtration, and you never bother them or throw them away, that way you can change your dirty filters without worrying.
So are we doomed then getting our tank cycled? Lol I'm not exactly sure what a sponge filter is and how they work.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #40
Like others have said you need as much area as you can get to give your beneficial bacteria a place to colonize. Sponge filters are great and a better HOB with large media area for BB even better.
Not sure if anyone as suggested this. How much are you feeding your fish? Wasted fish food and fish poop more when eating more. It want hurt to go a day or so without feeding them.
I am not sure about this either, but I read somewhere that of the two beneficial bacteria, that you need for a good cycle, one grows faster then the other.
Maybe you can use this to help you do some research.
Fish In Nitrogen Cycle

Decomposing fish waste and leftover fish food produce Ammonia (NH3)

Nitrosomas Bacteria convert ammonia to Nitrite. (NO2)

Nitrobactor Bacteria convert Nitrite to Nitrate. (NO3)


There is no further action by Beneficial Bacteria.

With no bacteria to convert Nitrate in the aquarium.
Do Water changes to reduce the amount of nitrate.
Some will be absorbed naturally by live plants.
Build an anaerobic system.
 

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