High Nitrites

Discussion in 'Water Changes' started by Dirzo90, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Dirzo90Valued MemberMember

    Currently cycling a 29 gallon, dosed ammonia Monday 2ppm, which was processed in 24 hrs. Been dosing stability. Did 4 water changes this week. Latest one I tested the water an hour later and nitrites were down to 1ppm. Tested again 4 hrs later nitrites back up to 4ppm+. Ph 7.6, high range ph 8.0, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 4ppm+, nitrates 10ppm.
    Temperature is 80. Am I doing something wrong? Or not doing something I should be?
  2. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like the cycle is coming along nice actually. You're in the second stage.

    Now you want to keep the nitrites around 2ppm through water changes and keep with the ammonia dosing to continue feeding the BB.

    Once the nitrites are also 0ppm after 24 hours it's completed!

  3. Dirzo90Valued MemberMember

    Feels like the water changes are endless! Water changes are highly encouraged?

  4. RyRyTheAquariumGuyValued MemberMember

    I wouldn't panic or be too concerned at all! The Nitrogen Cycle needs two strains of bacteria; Nitrosomanos (For Ammonia to Nitrite) and Nitrobactor (For Nitrite to Nitrate). I have personally found that my the first strain develops first and MUCH faster. This means that there can often be a residual amount of Nitrite waiting to be processed while the Nitrobactor catch up. No worries, tank is still cycling and "working out" as I like to put it! Just give it time.

  5. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Don't worry. Once the tank is cycled you won't have to do as many water changes. They are encouraged, especially if there's fish in the tank, because if any of the ammonia, nitrites or nitrates get too high the cycle can actually stall or crash.

    Speaking of which. Are there fish in the tank?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  6. Dirzo90Valued MemberMember

    Fishless cycle. It's normal for nitrites to spike without ammonia being added? Nitrite an hour after water change is down to 1 ppm. Few hrs later and nitrite is back up to 4ppm. No ammonia nor nitrite in tap water.
  7. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Great. Yeah, the water change lowered the amount of nitrite in the water you tested an hour later but through that time and for the next few hours the ammonia BB is still creating waste in the form of nitrite.

    There isn't enough nitrite BB yet to go through the nitrite being produced. From my experience the ammonia gets eaten pretty quickly but the little guys continue creating waste for hours...
  8. RyRyTheAquariumGuyValued MemberMember

    This is what i was getting at before! The two strains grow at different paces and it is never an exact science. just keep letting the tank cycle and if you can maybe bump the heat a few degrees to help the NitroBactor catch up.
  9. Dirzo90Valued MemberMember

  10. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Phosphates are unwanted in the aquarium but unavoidable. Unless your growing or want to go algae. There is filter media aimed directly at removing phosphates.

    Most often, the amount of phosphates produced from fish food and waste is small enough to be of no concern.

    Are you saying you're dosing both fish food and dr. Tim's ammonium? The ammonium chloride is all that's needed to feed your BB.
  11. Dirzo90Valued MemberMember

    No. I had someone else tell me phosphates were needed for the second bacteria. I have only been dosing dr tims ammonium chloride.
  12. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Not that I'm aware of and this is my first time hearing it. You could be right. I'm no expert.

    The Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter only need ammonia/ammonium and nitrite.

    I did some research and it looks like there's saltwater bacteria that use phosphates.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2017
  13. Wet PetsNew MemberMember

    Okay if you don't have any fishes in the tank, don't add any more ammonia don't do any more water change, the filter needs to cycle on it's own, some times it takes weeks ,
  14. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    If you stop adding ammonia what are the bacteria going to eat and survive on?
  15. Wet PetsNew MemberMember

    Feed fish food .
  16. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    I hate nitrites. :)

    You can't change the water fast enough during any of my tank cycles with fish. They will leave when they feel like it, and it will be sudden.
  17. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    The fish food is just another source of ammonia... It's best the op keeps using Dr. Tims ammonium chloride. Easier to control the dosage.

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