HELP--NITRITES!!!

  1. RudeeRu Member Member

    Aloha!  I need help with my Nitrite (not Nitrate) levels!  Just the other day my fish were trying to kill themselves and each other, so I bought the "general" strips and saw that my Nitrites and Nitrates were thru the roof!  So I did approx a 60% water change, vacuumed the heck out of the bottom (My husband and I were "killing them with kindness" with our overfeeding), added all the right water conditioners, pH adjusters, Nitraban, salt, some enzyme stuff to clear the cloudiness, and stresscoat.   So, now it's been almost 3 days and while my Nitrates are in the "normal" range, my Nitrites are only a little bit better (still in the "danger" zone).   Currently my pH is approx 7.2 (it was an ungodly 6.6 before!), and it appears (at least according to the strip) that my water is too soft and my Alkalinity low.  The strips did not test for Ammonia.  Some specs on the tank:  10gallon, filter, bubbly thing, heater (temp is currently 76 degrees), 1 rock, 1 fake plant, 1 live plant, 4 tiny snails that mysteriously appeared (yea I know, from the plant), and 3 mollies (2 dalmation and 1 black).  Started to whole process on Jan. 15th. Is there anything else I can do?  Is this the cycle I'm waiting on? 1 dalmation and the black molly appear healthy-ish...they are eating again and no longer trying to kill each other, but my other dalmation still seems a little punky.  And what is good to use as a water hardener?  I saw some items at the pet store and frankly I went cross-eyed trying to chose one. Ok, that's enough for now...HELP!!!   ??? ??? ???  Christine
     
  2. rob2uk Member Member

    First of all, ditch the strips and get a proper test kit!
    The strips are notoriously inaccurate.

    The bacteria in your tank will help convert the nitrites into nitrates, which you then remove by doing water changes.

    It may be a good idea to test your tap water, as some places have quite high nitrate readings in the drinking water.
    If this is the case, it would be a good idea to either use bottled water or find out if your LFS sells RO (reverse osmosis) water
     

  3. RudeeRu Member Member

    Yea, I read after my post about the inaccuracy of the strips...I'll go find a proper kit this week! I tested my tap water (with the strips) and the readings were all fine. So it's ok to wait with the nitrites that high? I didn't want to do the water changes too much because of fish stress (I got one on death's door I think). Thanks for your assistance!
     
  4. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Water changes are usually the safest thing you can do to help your fish. Don't worry about stressing them out too much with the water changes. The nitrites cause much more stress and can kill them. I also would not worry about the ph level unless it is more than a .2 difference from your tap water. This sudden change of ph when doing water changes can shock your fish also. And don't add any more of that water clarifier stuff either. It can be harmful also. The cloudiness is probably a bacterial bloom which is a good thing and will clear up on its own. Now that you have realized you are overfeeding, that will make a difference also in the clarity of your tank. Please post those ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings, and we will help you get your tank on track! ;)
     

  5. fish_r_friend Well Known Member Member

    I agree with Gunnie that water changes are the bestand safest thing to do when having high nitrites. just make sure that the water you use is  near or the same as the tank temperature