Getting Nitrites Down!

AlliFish21
Member
I've had this marine tank for a month and a half and it's gone through it's cycle to the stage it has nitrates, but the problem is I can't seem to flush out the nitrites and keep the nitrates at a safe level.

I've been doing 40% sometimes 50% water changes daily for the last 3 weeks. (Which is getting old) In the last 2 days I've done 90% changes. I can get it down to 0 But 24 hours later the nitrites come back! How can I get this tank regular? Are there any speedy ways?

Thanks in advance.
 
Faytaya
Member
The only fix I can think of is to get a nitrite absorbing chemical filtration media...but chances are your filter is overloaded. Are you rinsing it in tap water? If you are you might be killing the BB inside it. You can try adding a more powerful filter or a sponge filter to your tank to house more BB. That could help get rid of ammonia and nitrites. I had a similar problem because my tank's filter didn't turn over enough water to keep it all clean. Make sure you have a strong enough filter or that you aren't overstocked for your tank size.
 
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AlliFish21
Member
Faytaya said:
The only fix I can think of is to get a nitrite absorbing chemical filtration media...but chances are your filter is overloaded. Are you rinsing it in tap water? If you are you might be killing the BB inside it. You can try adding a more powerful filter or a sponge filter to your tank to house more BB. That could help get rid of ammonia and nitrites. I had a similar problem because my tank's filter didn't turn over enough water to keep it all clean. Make sure you have a strong enough filter or that you aren't overstocked for your tank size.
It's an inbuilt filter inside the tank, what would you recommend?
 
Faytaya
Member
AlliFish21 said:
It's an inbuilt filter inside the tank, what would you recommend?
Possibly a canister filter or a HOB. You can add a sponge filter if you just need to top off filtration, as they are a good house for BB and can help you out there for cheap. Remember not to overfeed too, cause that can cause the buildup.
 
JenC
Member
It sounds like it's not fully cycled.

The standard dose of Seachem Prime will detoxify a total of 1 ppm ammonia+nitrite for 24-48 hours. You can dose for the whole tank's volume to protect your livestock while the beneficial bacteria colonies catch up. (What livestock is in the tank?)
 
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AlliFish21
Member
Faytaya said:
Possibly a canister filter or a HOB. You can add a sponge filter if you just need to top off filtration, as they are a good house for BB and can help you out there for cheap. Remember not to overfeed too, cause that can cause the buildup.
I can't really take out the other filter to replace it unless I get a whole new tank. It currently has sponges in the filter. Overfeeding isn't an issue, I feed into a tray and clean out excess food when they're done.

JenC said:
It sounds like it's not fully cycled.

The standard dose of Seachem Prime will detoxify a total of 1 ppm ammonia+nitrite for 24-48 hours. You can dose for the whole tank's volume to protect your livestock while the beneficial bacteria colonies catch up. (What livestock is in the tank?)
I'm using prime daily with each water change but I really need a way so I'm not doing this everyday. It contains seahorses.
 
JenC
Member
AlliFish21 said:
I'm using prime daily with each water change but I really need a way so I'm not doing this everyday. It contains seahorses.
Oh, I want to see them if you have a picture!

If the filter is adequate and you're not overstocked then it's a waiting game until the beneficial bacteria colonies grow to support the tank's bioload. Dosing the full tank with Prime daily will let you cut back on the water changes, which are both a pain and potentially slowing down progress. How high is the nitrite and how quickly is it climbing?

There is a bottled bacteria called Bio-Spira Marine. I've read about others using it with success in their saltwater tanks but have no personal experience with it. You might look into it to help expedite things.
 
stella1979
Member
Just a few words my friend... better media with more surface area.
 
Faytaya
Member
stella1979 said:
Just a few words my friend... better media with more surface area.
I agree. My internal is subpar too and produced similar results, so I added a sponge filter.
 
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AlliFish21
Member
JenC said:
Oh, I want to see them if you have a picture!

If the filter is adequate and you're not overstocked then it's a waiting game until the beneficial bacteria colonies grow to support the tank's bioload. Dosing the full tank with Prime daily will let you cut back on the water changes, which are both a pain and potentially slowing down progress. How high is the nitrite and how quickly is it climbing?

There is a bottled bacteria called Bio-Spira Marine. I've read about others using it with success in their saltwater tanks but have no personal experience with it. You might look into it to help expedite things.
Here's s of my tank, filter and my 2 seahorses. The levels are going from 0 to up to 1 for ammonia and nitrites and 20ppm for nitrates within 24 hours. I've incuded s as examples of before and after. I'm doing with prime daily but they're still getting affected so I'm considering twice daily changes if this doesn't improve.
20190801_192211.jpg

20190801_192216.jpg

20190729_203233.jpg

IMG_20190708_212202_072.jpg


Levels example can get higher.
20190801_192642.jpg

20190730_094732.jpg
 
Faytaya
Member
I'd say just add a HOB or canister on to what you already have. You don't need to get rid of the internal filter. it'll help keep the water clear too. It looks like your internal is weak for what you have stocked. Especially since it's a tall and not a rectangle. (Google fish tank footprint)
 
JenC
Member
I'm curious about the filter. Do you have any information about its brand/model/processing rate? What kind of media is in the back chamber, is there room to add more/customize its contents, and is it an underground intake or hidden behind the decorations? Do you have a link to the tank's description?

I could understand if you didn't want to add a second filter as it would impact the tank's aesthetics. I'm wondering if the performance of the existing filter can be improved.
 
JenC
Member
If possible, I'd like to see pics of inside the filter media chamber to better understand how it functions and its size. It looks like there are two black sponges at the top. Are those carbon or regular sponges and have you done anything with them since the cycle started?
 
Jesterrace
Member
Faytaya said:
I'd say just add a HOB or canister on to what you already have. You don't need to get rid of the internal filter. it'll help keep the water clear too. It looks like your internal is weak for what you have stocked. Especially since it's a tall and not a rectangle. (Google fish tank footprint)
Canister Filters are problematic in saltwater. They tend to trap the nasties and let nitrates and phosphates build up really easily. Not saying it can't be done, but HOB would definitely be less hassle for a small marine application.
 
Faytaya
Member
Jesterrace said:
Canister Filters are problematic in saltwater. They tend to trap the nasties and let nitrates and phosphates build up really easily. Not saying it can't be done, but HOB would definitely be less hassle for a small marine application.
Did not know that. I'll remember that if I start a marine tank!
 
Jesterrace
Member
Faytaya said:
Did not know that. I'll remember that if I start a marine tank!
Yup, all part of the list I have of "bad habits" that freshwater teaches you (in terms of going from freshwater to saltwater).
 
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AlliFish21
Member
JenC said:
I'm curious about the filter. Do you have any information about its brand/model/processing rate? What kind of media is in the back chamber, is there room to add more/customize its contents, and is it an underground intake or hidden behind the decorations? Do you have a link to the tank's description?

I could understand if you didn't want to add a second filter as it would impact the tank's aesthetics. I'm wondering if the performance of the existing filter can be improved.
I went to a store near me and they gave me a bunch of filter media to add into mine to help stop the ammonia and the constant return of all the nitrites and nitrates. The levels looked good. They recommended leaving it for a day without changing water and I did. But last night I changed the water again because I couldn't stand letting the levels creep up. They looked fine and the levels were safe last night. But they once again skyrocketed overnight and I lost them both this morning. I'm devastated that I let them down.
 
JenC
Member
I'm so sorry.

Do you want to work on optimizing your filtration and strengthening the cycle so it can definitely handle it when you restock or would you prefer to wait a bit before trying again?
 
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AlliFish21
Member
JenC said:
I'm so sorry.

Do you want to work on optimizing your filtration and strengthening the cycle so it can definitely handle it when you restock or would you prefer to wait a bit before trying again?
I do want to figure it out. I'm just so exhausted trying to fix it and deviated that I killed them I think I'll leave it a little while before trying again
 
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