Nitrite Issue

Colleen1230

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Hello
My husband and I purchased a 75 gallon tank last month. We have a red tail shark, two angel fish and 2 algae eaters. We do a 30% water change weekly. Two days ago I tested the water and saw our nitrite level was 10.0ppm. I immediately did a 30% percent water change followed by another that evening. We added aquarium salt, cleaning bacteria and a nitrifying bacteria as instructed by the aquarium store. I did another 10% change today however the nitrite level has remained the same. What else should I do? The fish aren’t acting different and are still eating.
 

fjh

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How old is your test kit? It it has expired, that might explain the readings. Honestly I've never even seen 10ppm nitrite in an aquarium before. Also, stupid question, but this IS nitrIte, right? not nirtAte?

Could you also test your tap water for ammonia and nitrite?

I would start by giving the substrate a good gravel vac and doing a large, 50-70% WC. I would also invest in some seachem prime if you haven't already.

Do you know about the nitrogen cycle, and did you cycle the tank before adding fish?

Edit: fixed typo
 

Donthemon

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So your tank is still cycling it appears. What are your ammonia and nitrates? Are you using a water conditioner like Prime? What type of filter do you have?
 
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Colleen1230

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How old is your test kit? It it has expired, that might explain the readings. Honestly I've never even seen 10ppm nitrite in an aquarium before. Also, stupid question, but this IS nitrIte, right? not nirtAte?

Could you also test your tap water for ammonia and nitrite?

I would start by giving the substrate a good gravel vac and doing a large, 50-70% WC. I would also invest in some seachem prime if you haven't already.

Do you know about the nitrogen cycle, and did you cycle the tank before adding fish?

Edit: fixed typo
I’ve been using the tetra 5 in 1 test strips. They’re not expired but I’m starting to realize I need a better test system. It doesn’t even tell me ammonia readings. That’s probably part of the problem. And yes nitrite is the problem but also the nitrate is is showing unsafe as well. I condition the water before adding it in for 24 hours and when I put the strip in, it shows no nitrite or nitrate. Unfortunately I really didn’t know much before getting the fish. These cycles were not explained when I was asking questions at the store. They told me to just fill the tank and put the water conditioner and bacteria in and run it for 48 hours before adding fish. That’s all we did. I never realized how much should have been known ahead of time. I’m trying to read up now cause I feel terrible for the fish. They also told me to feed the fish 2x a day but now I’m reading that’s probably a factor in why the levels are high

So your tank is still cycling it appears. What are your ammonia and nitrates? Are you using a water conditioner like Prime? What type of filter do you have?
Unfortunately my test strips don’t tell me the ammonia level.. I’m going to get a better test tomorrow but the nitrate color seems to read it’s around 80ppm. We’ve been using top fin water conditioner. The filter is the fluval 406
 

fjh

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I’ve been using the tetra 5 in 1 test strips. They’re not expired but I’m starting to realize I need a better test system. It doesn’t even tell me ammonia readings. That’s probably part of the problem. And yes nitrite is the problem but also the nitrate is is showing unsafe as well. I condition the water before adding it in for 24 hours and when I put the strip in, it shows no nitrite or nitrate. Unfortunately I really didn’t know much before getting the fish. These cycles were not explained when I was asking questions at the store. They told me to just fill the tank and put the water conditioner and bacteria in and run it for 48 hours before adding fish. That’s all we did. I never realized how much should have been known ahead of time. I’m trying to read up now cause I feel terrible for the fish. They also told me to feed the fish 2x a day but now I’m reading that’s probably a factor in why the levels are high
A liquid test kit will give you much better readings. A lot of people like API's Master Test Kit and it lasts a looong time.
Don't feel bad! Most people don't know what they are doing when they start out and stores rarely feel the need to educate people, and instead just want to make a sale or assume the buyer already knows. What matters is you are now doing your best to fix the problem and help your fish.
I also think feeding multiple times a day is not necessary and probably leading to the elevated levels. Most people feed once a day 6 days a week and fast on the 7th.

Unfortunately my test strips don’t tell me the ammonia level.. I’m going to get a better test tomorrow but the nitrate color seems to read it’s around 80ppm. We’ve been using top fin water conditioner. The filter is the fluval 406
Oh dear! If you can, do a XXXL water change tonight (like 90% if possible). Ideally, you would have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and <20 nitrate. Right now the water is very toxic for your fish.

Edit:
Also, the fluval 406 is a very good filter. I hope you will be happy with it. Just remember to disassemble occasionally to clean it (I usually do my canisters about once every other month, but really whatever works best for you).
 

candiedragon

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Many of us get into the hobby without knowing much. So long as you are willing to learn to properly care for your fish then that's what matters.,

Just curious what your nitrates are at?

Youre basically doing what they call a "fish-in cycle", which is when you cycle the tank to grow beneficial nitrifying bacteria with fish in it during this process. Keep dosing the bacteria-in-a-bottle to help you along. Large frequent water changes (50%+) are vital at this point to help keep the toxins levels down for the sake of your fish. The first two stages of the cycle, Ammonia and Nitrite, are the most toxic to fish. You could perhaps invest in other products to help, the most popular suggestion would be a water conditioner called Prime. Its manufactured by Seachem. It helps temporarily put Ammonia in a less-toxic form while still being available for the beneficial bacteria to consume, I believe for up to 48 hours.

If you do the water changes I say you dont necessarily have to cut feedings. If you suddenly cut feedings, I worry that you will also cut food supply for the nitrifying bacteria and slow down the colony growth. Just be mindful that you're not feeding too much that your fish dont eat it all.

I do agree that a liquid test kit would be a worthy investment in the long run, and of course are much more reliable than test strips. If you can, I highly recommend it.
 

oldsalt777

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Hello
My husband and I purchased a 75 gallon tank last month. We have a red tail shark, two angel fish and 2 algae eaters. We do a 30% water change weekly. Two days ago I tested the water and saw our nitrite level was 10.0ppm. I immediately did a 30% percent water change followed by another that evening. We added aquarium salt, cleaning bacteria and a nitrifying bacteria as instructed by the aquarium store. I did another 10% change today however the nitrite level has remained the same. What else should I do? The fish aren’t acting different and are still eating.
Hello Coll...

Water testing is really inconsistent no matter what product you use. So, to maintain steady, healthy water conditions for your fish, you need to work up to the point you're removing and replacing at least half the water every week, no excuses. If you change less than half, you leave most of the pollutants in the tank for the fish to add to before you change the water again. The water chemistry problem is pretty simple, there was a build up of pollutants in the water, because you didn't change out enough to dilute the dissolved fish waste. You can help by reducing the amount you feed the fish for a few days to allow the water to settle. Fish can easily go a couple of weeks without eating.

Old
 
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