High Nitrites, How Often Water Change

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by raiderRN4L, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. raiderRN4LValued MemberMember

    so after 4 weeks or so cycling (fish in) I now have had ammonia for couple weeks and finally got some nitrites over past 6 days. So ammonia was fluctuating from 0.25-1.0 and now has been steady around 0.25 to almost 0 most recent days.... (ph and nitrates normal, nitrates never go above 5) however the nitrites which started around 0.5-1.0 is now in the high 5.0 readings...

    I've been doing daily water changes (50%) every 24 hours and every time I retest it's back to 5.0+ (purple)..... should I be changing water 2x daily or ?? I've read that should not let go higher than 1.0 and when it does do water change... but I dunno. How many wc is too often ? Should I do twice daily because of high nitrites ?
  2. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    Well, this is the main reason why most people advise against a fish-in cycle. It can be near impossible to keep parameters in line, and is then harmful to the fish.

    Nitrites above 5 PPM is extremely toxic. Make sure you're shaking the nitrite bottle like your life depends on it when you test. If you really do have 5 PPM, I'd go ahead and do a 100% WC. Take out all the water and fish, and refill with new water, and reacclimate the fish. That'll get rid of all your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, so that you can continue the cycle safely.

    You want to keep ammonia and nitrite below 1 PPM during a fish-in cycle (it should be 0 all the time, honestly, but you can't do that with fish-in) and nitrates below 40 PPM (20 PPM is a much better spot to be in, IMO). So any time you have something above those numbers, do a water change. Depending on your stocking, that could be twice a day during a cycle, or once a month after the cycle is over.
  3. raiderRN4LValued MemberMember

    oh forgot to add... when I do the 50% water change (when nitrites are 5.0+) I retest it about 30 min later and it drops to about 0.25-0.50
  4. raiderRN4LValued MemberMember

    and yes treating with Prime every water change to keep toxic level safe for fish
  5. raiderRN4LValued MemberMember

    Wait... I thought you shake the "nitrates" bottle like crazy when testing... that's what instructions say... doesn't say anything about what you said shaking the nitrite bottle other than shake for 5 seconds after adding drops???
  6. LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    I don't think Prime does anything for Nitrite. And even if it does, it doesn't really make it safe for fish. It makes it less deadly, but 5.0 PPM is pretty deadly.

    IMO, you always need to shake the bottles before use. The same chemical that tends to solidify in the nitrate #2 bottle has equivalents in all of the test bottles, even though it's generally in less concentrated amounts. Just make sure to give it a good shake.