New and concerned about nitrite levels

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Jody355, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Jody355New MemberMember

    Hi, I am a new fish owner and I may have made some mistakes when starting out and need some advice on how to proceed.

    So I cycled my tank for a week and then added 2 sunburst platys and have had those for a week. I realized recently after adding the fish that I should have cycled the tank for like 4-6 weeks not 1. It is kinda too late now because there is no where else to put the fish. Today when I tested the water everything was good besides the nitrite level. It was at 3-5 ppm which if I understand is way too high. So far though the fish are doing fine, they are not behaving weird and they are active and rarely stay idle except when I turn the moonlight on at night when i go to bed.

    So I did some things to lower the nitrate level. I added some stuff to detoxify the nitrate and I did my first 15-20% water change and the nitrate level has gone down toward 2 ppm and the fish appear to be doing ok.

    So far:

    pH; ~7-7.2
    Ammonia: ~0 ppm
    Nitrite: Just tested and is ~.5 ppm(yay its going down!)
    Nitrate: ~5 ppm

    Is there advice on how to proceed or just wait it out?

  2. ImtryingmybestValued MemberMember

    Honestly, I'd just wait it out and keep a close eye on your fishies. It looks like your cycle is almost done anyway!

  3. Jody355New MemberMember

    Alright, also I leave for vacation tommorow. Should they be ok foodless for 2 days?

  4. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Please understand any levels of Nitrites and ammonia will over time stress and kill them.

    What is your what conditioner?

    I would suggest buying Prime. Did you add any more TSS or bacterial boost any time other then start up?

    Also fish can go days with out eating. 2 days will be perfect.
  5. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    Prime is pretty much a must in any fish-in cycling circumstances. Stability helps the cycle go faster but if you think you'll be cycled soon then you can skimp on that.
  6. Jody355New MemberMember

    I used prime and bacterial boost during set up and some afterwards. used some prime yesterday as well along with a ~15-20% water change and that seemed to help lower the levels. Not sure what else to do

    I have added stabilizer and prime.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2016
  7. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum :)

    What "stuff" did you add to lower the nitrates? Nitrates are best removed by water changes. Nitrates are less toxic than ammonia and nitrite provided they are kept under 40ppm, ideally under 20ppm.

    What brand of bacterial boost did you add and can you let us know what "stabilizer" you used? When the above poster mentioned stability, they mean Seachem Stability which is the name of a bacteria supplement. So is Tetra SafeStart Plus (TSS+).

    What test kit are you using? What size tank are your fish in? Can you check your water parameters now from your tank and your tap water?

    Also, they should be fine for 2 days without food. Fish can go a couple of weeks without eating. I went on vacation recently without feeding them for a week and they're all fine.
  8. Jody355New MemberMember

    I used the Seachem Stability you linked and Seachem Prime. I also did another water change today(over past 2 days replaced 40-50% of water) and it seems nitrite is down to .5 ppm and I think it may be lowering more. I mean I suppose that is an improvement from 4-5 ppm
  9. peregrineValued MemberMember

    Maybe I missed it ((my brain has been foggy last few days)) What test are you using for your water parameters. E
  10. Jody355New MemberMember

    API Master Test Kit. Liquid test.
  11. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    And what size tank are they in? Can you test again out of your tank and tap?

    After you come back, I would see what the test results are. You may or may not need a bacteria supplement depending on where you are with your numbers.
  12. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Test everyday. If Ammonia and Nitrites are higher then 1.0 dose prime and stability for your tank. If levels are the same after 24hrs. Change 25% of the water add prime and stability with change.

    This method has help keep my fish alive and happy through this cycle process.

    Sounds like your doing good. 2.0 went down to .5 because your nitrites were converting.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  13. peregrineValued MemberMember

    Jody355 only reason I asked is because a 50% water change should not have taken your nitrites from 3-5 PPM to 0.5 PPM Hopefully this means you are in the last stages of your cycle. ((since if it was 3.. 50% water change alone would take to 1.5.. and in 24 hours beneficial bacteria could take it to 0.5 easily))
  14. Jody355New MemberMember

    Yeah I did all that and a 40-50% water change(and treated) over 2 days and when I left the fish looked completely fine and no odd behavior so I hope I did the right thing.
  15. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Awesome! check your levels in 24hrs. sounds like you could be getting close.
  16. Jody355New MemberMember

    I cannot check sadly until Monday. which may be 2-3 days from now. I am on vacation. I cannot think of much more I could have done in the time I had(basically one night and a few hours). Also I did put some prime in to detoxify the nitrate so I hope I come home to live fish.
  17. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    few days away shouldn't be a problem. Prime does wonders. enjoy your vacation!

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