How many water changes can we do in a day ?

Guppy777

Member
Have a nitrite spike and been changing water for the past 3 days (40%, 40% and 75% today) but its not helping a whole lot, still in the purple on the api master kit. Have 5 guppies in the 20 gallon tank. Other tests are near normal. Sorry cant post a picture dont have a working phone at the minute. Vacuumed the gravel today also. Running algone in the filter. Have 0 nitrates in my tap water. Should I change water again today or wait till tomorrow ?
 

Fishnewbie11

Member
I'd say wait until tomorrow.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Nitrites spike.
Nitrates in tap water?

What is it that you have a spike in ?
 

JettsPapa

Member
Your nitrites should be reducing by the same percentage as the water changes. If they aren't going down after water changes then you either have nitrites in your source water, or your test is giving faulty results.
 

Feusagit

Member
JettsPapa said:
Your nitrites should be reducing by the same percentage as the water changes. If they aren't going down after water changes then you either have nitrites in your source water, or your test is giving faulty results.
Or somehow the bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrate died or reduced its population to a number that don't handle the amount of nitrites that are produced by the conversed amonia. Have u already tried to use some biological accelerator? I would recommend it
 
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Guppy777

Member
I have
Flyfisha said:
Nitrites spike.
Nitrates in tap water?

What is it that you have a spike in ?
zero nitrites or nitrates in my tap water per api master test kit
Feusagit said:
Or somehow the bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrate died or reduced its population to a number that don't handle the amount of nitrites that are produced by the conversed amonia. Have u already tried to use some biological accelerator? I would recommend it
Been using seachem and fluval cycle since thanksgiving
 

Feusagit

Member
If
Guppy777 said:
I have

zero nitrites or nitrates in my tap water per api master test kit

Been using seachem and fluval cycle since thanksgiving
Yoir tap water has no nitrites and no amonia, and in your tank u not only have nitrites but also is having a hard time lowering it, IMO it's your nitrobacter colony that has been damaged. Keep using the accelerators, as u know the bacteria responsable to convert nitrites into nitrates are the one that take the longest to grow.
 
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Guppy777

Member
So just 1 water change a day till this clears up ?
 

Feusagit

Member
Guppy777 said:
So just 1 water change a day till this clears up ?
I would highly recommend that! Keep mesuring it to evaluate its progress!
 

JettsPapa

Member
Guppy777 said:
So just 1 water change a day till this clears up ?
One water change per day should be adequate, but that may be more than needed. You need to test your water, and do water changes when needed to keep the combined ammonia and nitrites definitely below 1.0 ppm, and ideally below 0.5 ppm.

Your water change schedule should depend on your water parameters, not your calendar.
 

Feusagit

Member
JettsPapa said:
One water change per day should be adequate, but that may be more than needed. You need to test your water, and do water changes when needed to keep the combined ammonia and nitrites definitely below 1.0 ppm, and ideally below 0.5 ppm.

Your water change schedule should depend on your water parameters, not your calendar.
100% agreed! Also, feed less! Once a day only, the waste is going to reduce, so will amonia and nitrite produced
 
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Guppy777

Member
Another 75% water change, nitrites still high. Did a test with 25% aquarium water and 75% tap water to try to see where I am at. Any help with ppm would be appreciated cause all purples look the same to me
 

SanDiegoRedneck

Member
Guppy777 said:
Another 75% water change, nitrites still high. Did a test with 25% aquarium water and 75% tap water to try to see where I am at. Any help with ppm would be appreciated cause all purples look the same to me
I also raise guppies and recently I had a few tanks crash due to various reasons and I ended with nitrite levels as high as yours are now. WC your way out of it. one WC per day 40 to 50% is all you need to do. and do not clean filter media unless beyond gross this is where your beneficial bacteria lives.

nitrite levels can maintain for a period of time even after water change if there is ammonia present because it will eat up ammonia and boost right back up to previous level from before WC until nitrates build up enough to eat them up and cycle completes

PS i disagree with feeding guppies once a day. even adults i feed 3 or 5 times a day. guppies like to eat constantly and if proper food it is totally ok for them. just don't over feed. actually healthier because they don't panic when they see food and gorge until sick. and water quality maintains over day with lots of little feeds where with one or two big feedings the water quality has ebb and flow
 

Flyfisha

Member
Hi all,
Nitrites and nitrates are bacteria poop not the bacteria themselves.

As you have fish in the tank and are trying to change the parameters ( nitrites level) I would suggest you do 50% water changes a few hours ( 3 or 4 ) apart rather than one large change. But 75% is not killing guppies so continue with the single large changes if you wish. Just give the fish a few hours to adjust ( 3 or 4 ) before you change water again.

To answer your question.
Its still purple. Without knowing exactly how old the test is ( 5 minutes or 10 ) and if it’s under house light or sunlight I am not prepared to pick a number. It’s still purple that is all that counts?
 

JettsPapa

Member
Guppy777 said:
Another 75% water change, nitrites still high. Did a test with 25% aquarium water and 75% tap water to try to see where I am at. Any help with ppm would be appreciated cause all purples look the same to me
That looks pretty close to 0.50 ppm to me, but I'm not the best with colors either. Assuming I'm right, and as long as your ammonia is at or near zero, you should be okay for now.
 
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Guppy777

Member
That photo was taken at 5 minutes.
Ammonia holding around .25 ppm.
My tap water ammonia is .50
 

StarGirl

Member
Guppy777 said:
Another 75% water change, nitrites still high. Did a test with 25% aquarium water and 75% tap water to try to see where I am at. Any help with ppm would be appreciated cause all purples look the same to me
I think it looks more like 2. Too much pink color still.
 

Feusagit

Member
SanDiegoRedneck said:
I also raise guppies and recently I had a few tanks crash due to various reasons and I ended with nitrite levels as high as yours are now. WC your way out of it. one WC per day 40 to 50% is all you need to do. and do not clean filter media unless beyond gross this is where your beneficial bacteria lives.

nitrite levels can maintain for a period of time even after water change if there is ammonia present because it will eat up ammonia and boost right back up to previous level from before WC until nitrates build up enough to eat them up and cycle completes

PS i disagree with feeding guppies once a day. even adults i feed 3 or 5 times a day. guppies like to eat constantly and if proper food it is totally ok for them. just don't over feed. actually healthier because they don't panic when they see food and gorge until sick. and water quality maintains over day with lots of little feeds where with one or two big feedings the water quality has ebb and flow
Well, I can be wrong but of course that feeding them more is the best, but you are talking about your tank already cycled where all that u have to be concerned about is with over feeding. His tank has somehow lost the beneficial bacteria, it’s not cycled anymore. More feed = more poop, and poop does produce amonia, unless he vacuum the substrate everyday or every two day days max. And, about the amount of food given, it doesn’t necessarily means that it is going to be two big feeding, just the necessary to the fishes be filled, making sure that they eat everything that u put in the tank, so little amounts until they full. It’s not to make them starve!

Guppy777 said:
That photo was taken at 5 minutes.
Ammonia holding around .25 ppm.
My tap water ammonia is .50
do you use prime or other conditionner, right?
 

SanDiegoRedneck

Member
Feusagit said:
Well, I can be wrong but of course that feeding them more is the best, but you are talking about your tank already cycled where all that u have to be concerned about is with over feeding. His tank has somehow lost the beneficial bacteria, it’s not cycled anymore. More feed = more poop, and poop does produce amonia, unless he vacuum the substrate everyday or every two day days max. And, about the amount of food given, it doesn’t necessarily means that it is going to be two big feeding, just the necessary to the fishes be filled, making sure that they eat everything that u put in the tank, so little amounts until they full. It’s not to make them starve!



do you use prime or other conditionner, right?
You can feed multie times a day and watch them eat it all no waste. In the tanks I had that crashed I fed them the exact same just WC my way out. Just FYI the big time guppy people feed all day.
 

mattgirl

Member
I have to think the reason the water changes don't seem to be lowering the nitrite level is because it was much higher than the test can show. Deep purple can mean 5ppm, it can mean 50ppm or anywhere in between. I recommend one 50% water change daily until the nitrites drop to zero.
 
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Guppy777

Member
Feusagit said:
Well, I can be wrong but of course that feeding them more is the best, but you are talking about your tank already cycled where all that u have to be concerned about is with over feeding. His tank has somehow lost the beneficial bacteria, it’s not cycled anymore. More feed = more poop, and poop does produce amonia, unless he vacuum the substrate everyday or every two day days max. And, about the amount of food given, it doesn’t necessarily means that it is going to be two big feeding, just the necessary to the fishes be filled, making sure that they eat everything that u put in the tank, so little amounts until they full. It’s not to make them starve!



do you use prime or other conditionner, right?
Yep use aquasafe to condition tap water
mattgirl said:
I have to think the reason the water changes don't seem to be lowering the nitrite level is because it was much higher than the test can show. Deep purple can mean 5ppm, it can mean 50ppm or anywhere in between. I recommend one 50% water change daily until the nitrites drop to zero.
Thanks, any advantages of a 50% water change vs a 75% change ? Good news is that my 5 fish are still alive and eating breakfast now.
 

mattgirl

Member
Guppy777 said:
Yep use aquasafe to condition tap water

Thanks, any advantages of a 50% water change vs a 75% change ? Good news is that my 5 fish are still alive and eating breakfast now.
I don't think 75% is necessary but won't hurt to do one that big. If it is easy to do I see no reason not to change out 75%. I should have said change out at least 50% daily.
 

Flyfisha

Member
75% changes or two 50% changes on the same day. That is the question?

The way I look at this we are trying to change the parameters of the water. Fish a shocked by big sudden changes.
It’s believed we can shock fish by a big change in the amount of nitrates in their tanks water? If that’s true then a large change in nitrites is the same.

One 75 % change or two 50% changes a few hours apart result in the same amount of fresh water in the tank because the second change removes some of the first changes new water. However the fish get a few hours to adjust to the slowly changing water.


Its 7 am in my town. I just removed and replaced 3 litres of water in my tiny tiny week old fry tank that’s about 20 litres. I will remove and replace water a few more times throughout the day as I feed micro worms multiple times today. These guys have no filter just an air stone because they are the size of a grain of sand.
image.jpg

Guppy777 and mattgirl there may be no correct way to alter the amount of nitrites in the fish water but I hope you both understand my thinking ?
 
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Guppy777

Member
Flyfisha said:
75% changes or two 50% changes on the same day. That is the question?

The way I look at this we are trying to change the parameters of the water. Fish a shocked by big sudden changes.
It’s believed we can shock fish by a big change in the amount of nitrates in their tanks water? If that’s true then a large change in nitrites is the same.

One 75 % change or two 50% changes a few hours apart result in the same amount of fresh water in the tank because the second change removes some of the first changes new water. However the fish get a few hours to adjust to the slowly changing water.


Its 7 am in my town. I just removed and replaced 3 litres of water in my tiny tiny week old fry tank that’s about 20 litres. I will remove and replace water a few more times throughout the day as I feed micro worms multiple times today. These guys have no filter just an air stone because they are the size of a grain of sand.
image.jpg

Guppy777 and mattgirl there may be no correct way to alter the amount of nitrites in the fish water but I hope you both understand my thinking ?
I understand what you are saying, the first 2 days just did a 40% water change and nitrites didnt come down. Today was the 3rd day for 75% change and according to a test strip its now around 3ppm. Will do the liquid test later today. As mattgirl said must have had way way more than 5%, not even sure how the poor fish lived
 
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Guppy777

Member
More testing one is 100% aquarium water the other is 25% aquarium water with 75% tap water
 

mattgirl

Member
Guppy777 said:
More testing one is 100% aquarium water the other is 25% aquarium water with 75% tap water
This tells us your nitrites are still pretty high. When mine spiked they spiked off the chart much like yours have done. I changed 50% of the water daily for 5 straight days. I tested before each water change. Before I did the water change on the 6th day I ran the test first and they had dropped to zero. Mine didn't appear to go down after each water change although I am sure they were. This was before I thought about doing the dilution test so I don't know how high mine actually were.

All of my fish came through the experience just fine. As a matter of fact a lot of them are still with me 5 years later.
 
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Guppy777

Member
Maybe I should cut back to a 50% change, 3 of my guppies are huddled in a corner and hardly moving although they did eat when I tossed in a few flakes
 

mattgirl

Member
Guppy777 said:
Maybe I should cut back to a 50% change, 3 of my guppies are huddled in a corner and hardly moving although they did eat when I tossed in a few flakes
Might be better. 75 may be too much for them.
 
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Guppy777

Member
50% change yesterday and just got done with another 50% change. Tests last nite showed no changes . Only thing different is 6 new baby guppies. Not sure how that happened just got them a week ago sunday. Will test later and post results
 
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Guppy777

Member
new tests ammonia. nitrite and nitrate
Looks like 1.0 ppm to me on the nitrites anybody confirm or deny ?
 

RayClem

Member
Guppy777 said:
I have

zero nitrites or nitrates in my tap water per api master test kit

Been using seachem and fluval cycle since thanksgiving
Have you checked for ammonia in your tap water? Many communities are now using chloramine to disinfect the water supply. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. If your water is treated with chloramine, every time you do a water change, you are adding ammonia to your tank. After a tank is properly cycled, the added ammonia won't be a problem, but while the tank is still cycling, the extra ammonia can mess things up.
 
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Guppy777

Member
RayClem said:
Have you checked for ammonia in your tap water? Many communities are now using chloramine to disinfect the water supply. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. If your water is treated with chloramine, every time you do a water change, you are adding ammonia to your tank. After a tank is properly cycled, the added ammonia won't be a problem, but while the tank is still cycling, the extra ammonia can mess things up.
Yes my tap water is .50 ppm
 

RayClem

Member
Guppy777 said:
Yes my tap water is .50 ppm
Having ammonia in the tap water is not good. It means your water is treated with chloramine. One thing you can do is use zeolite to remove the ammonia from your tap water before adding it to your tank. However, that means having a system set up to do that.

If you have ammonia in your source water used for water changes, doing large water changes or frequent water changes may cause your ammonia levels to go up. Beneficial bacteria will convert that ammonia to nitrite which will cause the nitrite to go up. Then other bacteria will convert the nitrite to nitrate which will cause the nitrate to go up. Then you do a water change and the process starts all over again.

Adding chemicals like Seachem Prime will detoxify ammonia, but it will not remove it from the tank. It is still available to the bacteria. That is why I suggest using zeolite before the water is ever added to the tank.

I have chloramine in my tap water (along with high hardness, high alkalinity, and high pH). My solution was to install an Reverse Osmosis system to produce water for water changes. I use the RO water to top off evaporation, but have to add minerals to the water for water changes to make it suitable for aquarium use.
 

dMog

Member
Most water conditioners will also remove chloramines today...they are now produced to do so, the dosage just needs to be higher...read the directions on your dechlorinator...If it says on the label it also remove chloramine you are ok some brands do some do not... Pretty much every water treatment plant for drinking water will now use chlorine and chloramine in North America and have done so for years. Seachem Prime does remove chloramine an chlorine and requires only a few drops per gallon.
 

RayClem

Member
dMog said:
Most water conditioners will also remove chloramines today...they are now produced to do so, the dosage just needs to be higher...read the directions on your dechlorinator...If it says on the label it also remove chloramine you are ok some brands do some do not... Pretty much every water treatment plant for drinking water will now use chlorine and chloramine in North America and have done so for years. Seachem Prime does remove chloramine an chlorine and requires only a few drops per gallon.
Sorry, but water conditioners do not REMOVE chloramine, no matter what they claim on the label.

The water conditioners do break the bond between the chlorine and the ammonia. Then they reduce the chlorine to chloride ion which is non toxic. Some water conditioners like Seachem Prime will combine with the ammonia to render it non-toxic to your fish, but the ammonia is still in the water and has to be converted to nitrite and subsequently to nitrate. The detoxified ammonia is still available to the beneficial bacteria. If Seachem Prime were to remove all ammonia from the tank, your beneficial bacteria would starve and die, as would your plants.
 

mattgirl

Member
Just a quick note. As the bacteria (both ammonia and nitrite) grows, eventually there will be enough to take care of the ammonia the fish produce as well as the low amount in your tap water. Say you do a 50% water change. If you have .5 ammonia in your tap water you are only adding .25 ammonia to the tank. The .5 is diluted by the 50% ammonia free water in the tank. The bacteria should clear that up fairly quick.
 
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Guppy777

Member
New day same results, nitrites still purple.I am having a hard time understanding why 5 guppies and a small amount of ammonia in my water are keeping my nitrites so high despite constant water changes for the past 8 days. Going to pull out all my fake plants and vaccume the gravel again. Using algone which is doing a good job removing nitrates. Going try nitra-zorb to help lowering nitrites just waiting on some small mesh media bags
 

mattgirl

Member
Guppy777 said:
New day same results, nitrites still purple.I am having a hard time understanding why 5 guppies and a small amount of ammonia in my water are keeping my nitrites so high despite constant water changes for the past 8 days. Going to pull out all my fake plants and vaccume the gravel again. Using algone which is doing a good job removing nitrates. Going try nitra-zorb to help lowering nitrites just waiting on some small mesh media bags
I would have thought it would be closer to gone by now but the nitrite phase can get frustrating. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't be using any kind of chemical filtration until this cycle is done. I've not read up on algone. What is it supposed to do? Unless you have nitrites/nitrates in your tap water I wouldn't use nitra-zorb at this point either.

We don't want to disrupt the cycling process by chemically removing any of its food source. Water changes are the only thing I recommend to keep the numbers down to safer levels
 
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Guppy777

Member
mattgirl said:
I would have thought it would be closer to gone by now but the nitrite phase can get frustrating. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't be using any kind of chemical filtration until this cycle is done. I've not read up on algone. What is it supposed to do? Unless you have nitrites/nitrates in your tap water I wouldn't use nitra-zorb at this point either.

We don't want to disrupt the cycling process by chemically removing any of its food source. Water changes are the only thing I recommend to keep the numbers down to safer levels
good thread on nitrate reducers (algone)

Review of Nitrate Reducers | Aquarium Water Forum | 217267
 
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Guppy777

Member
Day 9 and still purple
 

mattgirl

Member
What kind of decor do you have in this tank? I know this may sound like an odd question but a year or so ago I was helping a young lady. No matter what she did, up to and including 100% water changes her nitrites still pegged out the nitrite test. I finally had her remove her resin decor and the nitrites dropped to zero. Her cycle was done but something was leaching from those pieces. They were bought from a fish store and were sold as aquarium decor.

I would have expected your nitrites to have dropped by now. Something is preventing it happening. What is you nitrate reading? If it is going up then some nitrite is being processed. What you are doing doesn't seem to be working so we need to change something. If you still have any chemical filtration in there, pull it out.
 
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Guppy777

Member
mattgirl said:
What kind of decor do you have in this tank? I know this may sound like an odd question but a year or so ago I was helping a young lady. No matter what she did, up to and including 100% water changes her nitrites still pegged out the nitrite test. I finally had her remove her resin decor and the nitrites dropped to zero. Her cycle was done but something was leaching from those pieces. They were bought from a fish store and were sold as aquarium decor.

I would have expected your nitrites to have dropped by now. Something is preventing it happening. What is you nitrate reading? If it is going up then some nitrite is being processed. What you are doing doesn't seem to be working so we need to change something. If you still have any chemical filtration in there, pull it out.
Thanks for the help. Nitrates on monday were 5-10 , they been going down with all these water changes and Algone in my filter. Do have a resin decor cave item from aquatic decor made in China. Got it when I added my fish and all this started happening. Will remove it asap and put it in a tub of water and monitor the nitrites. Hopeful this will solve the problem, thanks again
 
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Guppy777

Member
Put the decor piece in a tub of water and stuck an airstone inside and let it bubble all nite, just tested and it shows no trace of nitrites. Did a 75% water change and below are todays nitrite and nitrate readings. Pulled out the algone from the filter. Only other things in the tank are a heater, a thermometer, undergravel filter, aqua-tech filter and a marineland penguin 150 filter, 2 fake plants and a net pen to keep the baby guppies in. Still doing aily doses of seachem stability and fluval cycle.
 
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Guppy777

Member
Checked the resin decoration again and 0 nitrites. Not sure if ammonia or one of the other chemicals is reacting with it to make nitrites, might try adding some ammonia and the other 3 products I use and let it bubble another 24 hours before giving up on that experiment. Got busy and only did a 20% change yesterday but did 75% this morning. Test is the lightest purple to date
 

mattgirl

Member
I am sorry I missed your post last night. I would stop adding any thing other than the water conditioner when you do your water changes. At this point you shouldn't need to be adding bacteria in a bottle. The fewer things you add the easier it will be to pin point what is going on.

Since you aren't seeing any nitrites in the tub with the decor it probably isn't a problem. The lady I was helping didn't do that. She just removed the pieces from the tank and the nitrites dropped to zero.

I have to think your nitrites were sky high. I don't know why they went so high and I don't know why your nitrite eating bacteria isn't growing as it should but it is good that you are seeing a lighter color in the test tube.
 
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Guppy777

Member
Day 12 and another 75% water change
 
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Guppy777

Member
Another 75% water change today, fish seem to be ok swimming all over the tank and not huddling in a corner anymore. Been toying with the idea of buying another bucket and taking all the fish out and cleaning the gravel and undergravel grates. Been cleaning half the gravel everyday but its hard to do a good job with fish in tank.
*Edit got out a tape measure and a calculator and been doing closer to a 85% water change instead of 70%
 

Matt11711

Member
H, just a thought but what is your ph/water temp? Could there be something preventing this bacteria from growing. I have been looking all over recently about the nitrogen cycle and I've never heard of anything like this. I heard that high nitrites could stall the cycle but your water changes should be removing the nitrites, and it seems that way from your tests somehow consistently showing 2ppm nitrites. I'm wondering, when you first cycled the tank did you ever get your nitrites to 0? That would help rule out the idea that the bacteria just can't grow in your tank. Also, did you do a nitrites test before and after a change and see if it visibly lowered? I'm really interested to hear more about this and I hope your guppies make it through this.
 
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Guppy777

Member
Checked this morning and ph was 7.8 and temp is around 77.0 to 77.4. Yes my nitrites were close to 0 when I added the fish. Two days after I added the fish the nitrites jumped way up. Started adding ammonia and fish food to a new tank before Thanksgiving
 

RayClem

Member
During the cycling process, please do not clean your gravel. The substrate harbors significant portion of your beneficial bacteria. If you clean the gravel you will be removing a beneficial bacteria that your tank needs. Once the tank is well established, it is OK to clean the gravel, but not while the tank is new.

Do you have an undergravel filter? You mentioned a grate under the gravel? If you have an undergravel filter, it is even more important that you do not disturb the gravel this early in the process. You do not see undergravel filters being used much these days, but they are fantastic for maintaining the nitrogen cycle.
 

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