Nitrates High

  1. omordn Member Member

    So I'm doing a fish cycle with TSS+ on a 3g with a Betta fish. I am on the first week of the cycle and I just performed my first test using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Below are my readings:

    • pH - 7.2
    • Nitrites - 0 ppm
    • Nitrates - 160 ppm
    • Ammonia - 0.25 ppm
    • Temp - 82 F

    I know that when you have high Nitrates you are supposed to do a large water change to get them down. However, I am a bit hesitant to do this since this is my first time cycling a tank with TSS+. Is a water change still recommended when you're in the middle of your cycle?

    From what I remember, you're supposed to leave your tank alone for two weeks when using TSS.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Do you have a fish in there now? I would leave it be for the recommended 2 weeks. This is why it's recommended not to test during the 2 weeks of TSS+, so you're not tempted to do a water change :)
  3. omordn Member Member

    Hahaha. Yes, the Betta is in the 3g right now. I just want to make sure that I don't need to take drastic measures with such high Nitrate levels. I've never cycled with TSS let alone with a fish in there (i.e. couldn't find pure ammonia and I got impatient). :)
  4. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I wouldn't do anything until the 2 weeks are up, unless he shows signs of sickness or stress. Almost done!
  5. omordn Member Member

    Thanks TexasDomer Always good advice! From what I can tell... he seems to be fine. Although I've never owned a Betta before so I'm still learning their behavior. He's swimming in his tank, he's always asking for food, his colors look bright, and hides in the plants when it's bedtime (I'm assuming that's what it is).
  6. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Does your tap possibly have nitrates? It would be a good idea to see if that's where some of it is coming from. But I agree, no need to do anything unless your betta is showing signs of distress. I'd continue to wait it out.
  7. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    I'd do a re-test.
  8. omordn Member Member

    My tap has no nitrates. I can do a re-test. I'll post an update on that in a bit.
  9. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello omo...

    Whoa! Very small tank, good luck with it. Nitrates are at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so this form of nitrogen isn't as toxic to fish as ammonia and nitrite. A partial water change, say 25 percent, should get the chemistry back into the 'safe" zone for the fish, if you have them and still leave something for the growing bacteria.

  10. omordn Member Member

    I'm back everyone. So I did a re-test and the nitrates are still high. To be safe, I believe they are in the range of 80 ppm ~ 160 ppm.

    The betta looks healthy. He's swimming, eating, sleeping, and even forming bubbles at the top of the tank. If I don't have to worry about these readings then I guess I'll just wait it out another week since that should finish my 2-week TSS cycling period. Unless anyone else has any concerns?
  11. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Just curious, do you know what your nitrate reading was before you added the TSS+? I'd also go lightly on the feeding until the cycle ends.
  12. omordn Member Member

    Yes, el337, I actually keep a log of my readings. Below is what I recorded:

    * pH - 7.2
    * nitrite - 0 ppm
    * nitrates - 0 ppm
    * ammonia - 0 ~ 0.25 ppm (my tap water has some ammonia)

    Thank you.
  13. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Ok, I was just wondering if maybe your nitrates were pretty high to start off with before you added the TSS+ but looks good there. I know readings might be off from the TSS+ but if you are overfeeding, I'd cut back a bit to every other day and pick up any uneaten food with a turkey baster.
  14. omordn Member Member

    I will try that. I'm feeding every day so I can do every other day. Thanks.
  15. fishfanman Member Member

    Your priority is to keep your fish alive, which means you have to minimize ammonia with WCs. Measure it and nitrates to keep it low. Eventually you'll have a cycled tank but you can't let ammonia build up, else you'll kill your fish.
  16. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Is it possible that this is part of the wonky results that TSS can cause if you test before the 2 weeks are up?
  17. fishfanman Member Member

    Most additives are worthless, bettas are tough fish but you can't let ammonia build up, that's fish keeping 101.
  18. omordn Member Member

    My ammonia is at 0.25 ppm. It's the nitrates I am worried about.
  19. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    fishfanman: With TSS the readings can't be trusted plus it seems from the instructions given that TSS provides some protection from the waste products.
  20. fishfanman Member Member

    It's ammonia you have to keep near zero, not nitrates. Ammonia will kill fish, not nitrates.