50 Gallon Tank High nitrite levels, new tank syndrome??

Amy2022

Hi everyone,

Basically I'm wondering if my nitrogen cycle is being established or something is wrong?
I have 5 fancy goldfish, 2 BN and 1 common pleco. Unfortunately I was unable to cycle the tank before I got them as I adopted them from poor living conditions due to a sick owner who passed away. I want to give them a better life and home but I am worried about them!
So, kept the same tank they were already in but was completely emptied and cleaned. New filter and plants etc. The old filter (which was actually 3x too small for the aquarium) is in the tank to try and transfer the beneficial bacteria (not plugged in).
Nearly at 2 weeks now and ammonia is 0 and nitrite is high everyday (~1.0 and higher) even with daily 50% water changes. Starter was added to the tank everyday for the first week. Do I just need to be patient and wait for the nitrate bacteria to grow?? Or is something wrong?? Is there anything I can do? I love my fish and don't want any of them to die!
Thanks so much in advance for any help,
Amy
 

Azedenkae

Yep it's just a matter of patiently waiting for the nitrite oxidizers to establish, unfortunately.

I'd suggest dosing Prime or similar to detoxify nitrite. That or do bigger water changes to keep nitrite even lower.
 
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carsonsgjs

So the old filter not being plugged in won’t be doing much, if anything. How long has it been unplugged for? Moving the media (sponges etc) from the old filter and putting it in the new filter or switching the filter on should help - there may be some usable nitrifying bacteria still in that filter provided the filter media didn’t dry out.

Other than that, as Azedenkae says keep up with the water changes using seachem prime if you have it - this is a fish-in cycle and the aim is to keep ammonia and nitrites as low as possible until the cycle completes.
 
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Amy2022

So the old filter not being plugged in won’t be doing much, if anything. How long has it been unplugged for? Moving the media (sponges etc) from the old filter and putting it in the new filter or switching the filter on should help - there may be some usable nitrifying bacteria still in that filter provided the filter media didn’t dry out.

Other than that, as Azedenkae says keep up with the water changes using seachem prime if you have it - this is a fish-in cycle and the aim is to keep ammonia and nitrites as low as possible until the cycle completes.
Hi! Thanks for your reply!
The old filter has been unplugged for nearly 2 weeks now (since I adopted them). It was kept wet during transport and has been in water in the aquarium since. Do you think switching it on now could help?? Or transferring the media to the new filter would be better?
I am getting prime today so I will add that too!
Yep it's just a matter of patiently waiting for the nitrite oxidizers to establish, unfortunately.

I'd suggest dosing Prime or similar to detoxify nitrite. That or do bigger water changes to keep nitrite even lower.
Hi! Thanks so much for your reply and your advice!
I will be buying prime today so I hope that helps! :) (And keeping up with the water changes)
 
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carsonsgjs

Hi! Thanks for your reply!
The old filter has been unplugged for nearly 2 weeks now (since I adopted them). It was kept wet during transport and has been in water in the aquarium since. Do you think switching it on now could help?? Or transferring the media to the new filter would be better?
I am getting prime today so I will add that too!

Hi! Thanks so much for your reply and your advice!
I will be buying prime today so I hope that helps! :) (And keeping up with the water changes)
I think it’s an either/or situation really - depends whether you want to have two filters running. If not, then add the media to the new filter and see how you get on, although the additional filtration provided by the old filter may help things overall (not sure what model filter you are now running). But your best course of action is definitely to keep up with those water changes while you go through this process.
 
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Amy2022

I think it’s an either/or situation really - depends whether you want to have two filters running. If not, then add the media to the new filter and see how you get on, although the additional filtration provided by the old filter may help things overall (not sure what model filter you are now running). But your best course of action is definitely to keep up with those water changes while you go through this process.
Ok I will try that! Thanks so much again for your help!! :)
 
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