Cant Seem To Lower Nitrite

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bubba's Mom, May 29, 2018.

  1. Bubba's Mom

    Bubba's MomNew MemberMember

    Have my Betta named BUBBA in a heated , filtered 3.5 gal tank Top Fin tank with 2 carbon cartridges.

    I got him Jan of this year not having a clue about this hobby. Water levels were fine. After 2 days he developed bacteria and lost back fin. After meds it has grown back and he is thriving- bubbles nests and all.

    Since first month his amonia had been at the .05-1.0 mark. I ahd been told to chaneg his water and clean tanl every two weeks but then noticed NITRITES started creeping up.

    Went to Aquarium store (not Petsmart) and they sold me Amonia Reducer Pad- the kind you cut- which took Amonia down almost overnight. Nitrite holding steady so went back and have now added
    Seachem Matrix in his filter box as well. Change water on Sunday and think it may have gobe down slightly but still a pale pink.

    After almost 5 months - I am wondering if Tank has cycled? He eats 2 pellets in the am and 2 pellets at night. I see a poop and I vaccum it out. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?? I hear Nitrites are as bad as Ammonia. I am back to 20% water changes and cleaning gravel once a week.

    If anyone out there can advise. Please let me know THANK YOU! I LOVE MY BUBBA : )
  2. musserump09

    musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Nitrites present are signs on the cycle being disturbed or in balance of bacteria growing to break down ammonia and nitrites.

    Use Seachem prime and stability and you should be able to fix this problem with in a week. Prime will bind the harsh ammonia and nitrites under 1.0ppm or lower keeping the water safe for fish even when test show traces of ammonia and nitrites. Stability will help seed the bacteria needed to grow.

    I would not do any gravel cleanings since your not feeding your fish much and once your system is established well gravel cleans need to be spaced out. Deep gravel cleanings in early stages can remove more fish waste needed to seed to cycle. Hope this helps! Welcome!
  3. OP
    Bubba's Mom

    Bubba's MomNew MemberMember

    Forgot to mention-- I put Seachem Seed in there and condition his water with Top Fin conditioner ( would like to switch conditioner but this is what he has had since I got him )

    THANK YOU! is it ok to switch form Top Fin conditioner to what you suggest? or are they two different things? Sorry for all the questions. Yes think my grave cleaning has been too aggressive! will address.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2018
  4. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Always treat tap water before adding it to the tank. Never let untreated tap water touch your filter, always rinse the filters by lightly rinsing in old tap water... otherwise, it will kill the good bacteria and you'll lose your cycle. You aren't doing large enough water changes, especially since you aren't cycled. Also, check your tap water for ammonia, once your tank is cycled, you won't need the ammonia removers, etc. Part of the problem is that those removers will steal the ammonia from the bacteria and they'll die off, once the pad get saturated it stops working and it will start to climb.
    Best to let the bacteria grow naturally and you won't need to worry about artificial removers.

  5. musserump09

    musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Prime is best water conditioner because of its ability to do more then other brands. Top fin will be fine to use but once you buy prime I promise you will never want any other brand. Prime helps keep ammonia and nitrites in order especially when cycling. Not sure what seachem seed is but stability is a product I've had great success with dealing with cycle problems or in general.
  6. OP
    Bubba's Mom

    Bubba's MomNew MemberMember

    Thanks for all the replies. Through my ignorance i really think I interrupted the cycle. Too much deep cleaning and rinsing plants and carbon a few times with tap water. SEED is Seachem bacteria starter and now using it every night. I will switch to Prime- have had a lot of folks recommend.

    Thanks to this forum i am doing 20% water changes once a week. NO gravel clean up til levels go down - but will vacuum poop out after a day ( heard poop feeds bacteria)
    I have added Seachem Matrix in a mesh bag to my filter unit ( in addition to the 2 carbon cartridges and small piece of the Ammonia reducer)
    Yeah not wild about the Ammonia reducer and was hoping to remove it altogether in a few weeks.
    In the meantime- Bubba is doing very well. Eats, keeps active and inquisitive and has started a bubble nest.
    So think water cant be too bad!

    Thanks for the responses- really appreciate it--i am learning a lot from this site!
  7. musserump09

    musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Fish waste is key right now. We need it to give the bacteria food. NEVER rinse tap water with sponges or items used to hold bacteria for it will die from the chemicals in tap. This is I think your route problem. Killed your cycled bu accident. I've done it and it's a pain but we learn.

    Seed is the same thing as stability so hoorah! Keep that up and get some prime. Once you get it I would dose your by rounding up since over dosing prime is impossible.

    I would remove the ammonia pad and carbon since they will starve out nutrients needs for plants. Just put a sponge and let it ride

    Here is my freshwater planted tiger barbs tank. 20180527163504.jpg
  8. OP
    Bubba's Mom

    Bubba's MomNew MemberMember

    Thx for reply-- your tank looks great! I haven't gone the real plants route- Bubbanhas silk and he lays on the larger leaves and naps. He also enjoys going inside a green glass I have in there as a cave. What type of gravel is that? looks good!

    I left a poop I saw overnight- is that enough time? just vacuumed it out - maybe in there 14 hrs. I have heard it is not great to have him swimming in waste for long.

    And yep - you are right and all points to me over cleaning and rinsing carbon pads with tap water. There is residue in the plastic box that houses Matrix and Carbon cartridge and theAmmonia reducer-- i think it came from the ammonia reducer pad. Previously I would take that plastic box and clean it all out w tap water ( YES HOW WRONG RIGHT! now I know!!)
    But it gets slimy as does the thermometer. How do I remove that slime - been cleaning thermometer too : (

    He seems to be thriving still- fin has all come back with slight lighter patches. Sorry for all the questions but have no clue-- will do 25% water change this Sunday. Is Prime same thing as Conditioner- all the water I put in tank has been conditioned to remover chlorine form tap for a few days.

    Thanks for your time. Your tank is great-- will post one of Bubba this weekend. Happy Friday! THX again
  9. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Just realized I said 'old tap water' above... should have said 'old tank water'.. but I think you got the idea already :) I don't think slimy is a bad thing, within the filter housing. You may need to periodically clean off the impeller since buildup on that can cause it to stop working/stick. Yes, Prime is a conditioner. Weekly vacuuming should be fine, even just half the tank alternating each week. Glad he's doing better. You don't need to let the water sit, I put in my Prime in a 5g bucket of tap water as it's filling, and immediately start pumping into my tank. Some people wait 10-15 minutes.
  10. musserump09

    musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Let the fish waste build up for the bacteria seed bottle your dosing with feed off it. Once your tank is cycled fish waste will be good food source for bacteria to feed off to keep ammonia and nitrites constantly breaking down to nitrates.
  11. OP
    Bubba's Mom

    Bubba's MomNew MemberMember

    Thank you all! Think I will remove the Ammonia pad tomorrow when I change water-- would you think 25% water instead of 20? also I have left a poop in the tank for a day and a half? should I leave it in there longer-- just seems kinda gross no? THX YOU
  12. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    I vacuume weekly only. As do most I think.
  13. Hunter1

    Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    How are you testing your water?

    If you’re using the API master test kit, your numbers are probably accurate. Test strips, not so accurate.

    My water changes are based on my test numbers. If I have 1ppm ammonia and do a 25% water change, in theory I would then have .75ppm ammonia, still not good.

    Since my tanks are cycled I usually only test for nitrates. 40ppm nitrates with a 25% water change would still be 30ppm. A 50% water change would lower nitrates to 20ppm, where I want them. If i’m going to be gone a while, I do 50% WCs on back to back days to get them as low as possible.

    So the difference between 20% and 25% is negligible.

    As long as you have either ammonia or nitrites, 50% WCs would be my goal.

    You were given great advice on Prime since it will neutralize ammonia and nitrites.

    Add it to the container you are adding your tap to, then add the tap water. Chlorine will be removed instantly as the water churns from the container being filled.

    And sorry to sound repetitive but I would either do a 50% water change, or 25% on back to back days unless your test numbers dictate even more WCs.
  14. musserump09

    musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Leave the poop alone. I would not stress out about paying attention to such a thing. These are fish not dogs. Completely unnecessary to spend time doing in my opinion since the waste is key right now until you show levels of being cycled. Let the poop go.

    If you test levels higher then 1.0ppm ammonia and nitrites. I would change 50 % with prime and seed added back. (Dose full tank volume)

    If they are lower then prime is made them safe. But I would test again 24hrs. Follow this till your test read 0,0,10.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice