Nitrite and Nitrate spike

  1. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Hey guys so recently I have been fooling around and adding plants in my 35 gallon tank, recently however I went to test the water and noticed that both nitrite and nitrate levels are very high but ammonia remains at 0. I've been doing water changes in an attempt to bring these levels down but so far it's not working, I've even added a new filter with Fluval's biomax media in an attempt to allow my BB to grow and deal with this spike. The only thing that has changed in my tank that I can think of is the addition of Flourish Excel as well as root tabs. If anyone has any idea how this happened or any suggestions how to fix this I would be very grateful!!
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    What root tabs are you adding?

    Can you check your tap water too, and provide exact readings for both your tank and tap?

  3. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Flourish brand root tabs and the tank is
    Nitrite: between 1.0 & 2.0
    Nitrates: 40 ppm

    Tap: Nitrite: 0
    Nitrates: Almost look like 0 maybe 5.0
  4. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    You can reduce nitrites and nitrates through water changes. I'd do some large ones to get nitrites at or below 0.25 ppm. Your nitrates aren't alarmingly high.

    I'd also be sure to do thorough gravel vacs with your water changes and rinse the filter media in old tank water to clean it.

  5. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I will continue to do water changes to bring the nitrites down, I have no idea why this happened though . Could I use prime to nullify the nitrites until they're broken down along with water changes? Or just keep doing water changes and rinse media?
  6. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    You only need to rinse media weekly. I just suggested it in case it hasn't been done in a while. Do you regularly gravel vac too?

    I would definitely use Prime to detoxify nitrites in between water changes.

    Have you had anything die lately, plants, fish, or inverts?
  7. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I recently had some anacharis melt due to my tank temperature being to high but aside from that nothing has died. I'm going to pick up prime right now and continue doing water changes. And rinse media weekly in used tank water correct? Is it okay to scrub the leaves and what not stuck to it, it won't cause the BB to die will it? Sorry for all the questions I've read that it's okay to but never asked and would like your Opinion. Thank you!

  8. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Ask away! That's what we're here for.

    I scrub the media with my hand a bit to get the gunk and debris off. You won't wash off the BB, don't worry.

    Spike could be from the anacharis dying.
  9. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Alright thank you again, so eventually with the water changes and prime the levels should drop again?
  10. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Prime won't lower anything, but large water changes (50% at least) will lower both nitrates and nitrites. Eventually, the beneficial bacteria will catch up and process nitrites to keep them at zero. When that happens, you can go back to weekly water changes (50% weekly with gravel vacs is a good routine), and no need to dose extra Prime then (only what's needed to treat water during water changes).

  11. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Okay cause I was told to steer away from such high percentage water changes because it stresses the fish out. Is that just a myth?
  12. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Yes and no. People used to not change water, which lead to low pH among other things. The large water changes would pH shock the fish.

    Now, with normal water changes, the pH is consistent and there isn't a need to worry about it. Just match your temps
  13. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Okay thanks for the info!
  14. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Well after almost two weeks I finally managed to get the levels down and just wanted to make sure these were okay levels [​IMG]
  15. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Looks like you're cycled! Keep up with water changes to keep nitrates low.
  16. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I plan on it I just did one today so I'll wait a few days and do another