Question Nitrite Level Too High!

Joelaura

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Hi,
I am a beginner fishkeeper and my tank is 40L tank, with 0ppm ammonia, 5.0 Nitrate and 6.8 pH. I recently got new fish which I understand causes once was in nitrites but I have been using biological enhancers and doing 15-20% water changes daily/every second day and tested my water again today and nitrite levels are still dangerously high! Approx 1.0ppm to 2.0ppm
I might not feed them for a day to see if that helps?
Can anyone suggest anything that could help lower these levels?
Thank you!
 

AvalancheDave

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Nitrite and nitrate are two different things. NITRiTE much more dangerous than NITRaTE.
 

DuaneV

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NitrAte at 5ppm is absolutely fine. NitrIte at 5ppm is deadly. Two totally different things.
 

buttertart

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Hi! Good job getting this far in cycling. Yes your fish will die with that much nitrite or really any for a long period of time. Please pop out to a pet smart or big als and get some Prime. It neutralizes nitrites so you can have enough to get it fully cucled but keep yoir fish happy and alive. If the nitrites arnt going doing you can add up to 5 times the amount they say for new water.
 

Skavatar

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do large water changes 50-70%. use up to 5X Prime.

you can keep feeding your fish. when I cycled my 3 tanks, I had nitrites around 8ppm. Prime is a life saver for fish in cycling.
 

EvanG

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Yeah, slow feeding to only once every 2-3 days, then gradually increase to your preferred frequency as your test results stay at 0-0. The amount of ammonia (and therefor nitrite and nitrate) produced is directly proportional to the amount of food you put in the tank.
 

AvalancheDave

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Prime doesn't detoxify nitrite. It's just a marketing claim. Seachem's basis for it is that hobbyists reported fish survived levels they believed were toxic.

Studies have found tropical fish to tolerate anywhere from 1 (cardinal tetras) to 100 mg/L (angels) nitrite. Most hobbyists don't know this and simply credit Prime.

Seachem had to respond to Kordon's claI'm that AmQuel+ detoxified nitrite/nitrate (it doesn't). AFAIK, no aquarium product manufacturer has ever been sued for consumer fraud so they're free to claI'm anything they want.
 

buttertart

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AvalancheDave said:
Prime doesn't detoxify nitrite. It's just a marketing claim. Seachem's basis for it is that hobbyists reported fish survived levels they believed were toxic.

Studies have found tropical fish to tolerate anywhere from 1 (cardinal tetras) to 100 mg/L (angels) nitrite. Most hobbyists don't know this and simply credit Prime.

Seachem had to respond to Kordon's claI'm that AmQuel+ detoxified nitrite/nitrate (it doesn't). AFAIK, no aquarium product manufacturer has ever been sued for consumer fraud so they're free to claI'm anything they want.
Its saved my fish so don't make claims you can't 100% support
 

EvanG

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buttertart said:
Its saved my fish so don't make claims you can't 100% support
Careful there. Are your conclusions based on a method that is any more rigorous than AvalancheDave's?

Per Seachem's Prime FAQ:
How does Prime® make a difference in reducing nitrates?

The detoxification of nitrite and nitrate by Prime® (when used at elevated levels) is not well understood from a mechanistic standpoint. The most likely explanation is that the nitrite and nitrate is removed in a manner similar to the way ammonia is removed; i.e. it is bound and held in a inert state until such time that bacteria in the biological filter are able to take a hold of it, break it apart and use it. Two other possible scenarios are reduction to nitrogen (N2) gas or conversion into a benign organic nitrogen compound.

I wish we had some more "concrete" explanation, but the end result is the same, it does actually detoxify nitrite and nitrate. This was unexpected chemically and thus initially we were not even aware of this, however we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime® they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high. We have received enough reports to date to ensure that this is no fluke and is in fact a verifiable function of the product.
So to paraphrase the above: "We didn't think it would do this, but some users are telling us it does so we're going to take their word for it even though we don't understand it and don't have any study results to back it up."
 

SeanyBaggs123

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AvalancheDave said:
Prime doesn't detoxify nitrite. It's just a marketing claim. Seachem's basis for it is that hobbyists reported fish survived levels they believed were toxic.

Studies have found tropical fish to tolerate anywhere from 1 (cardinal tetras) to 100 mg/L (angels) nitrite. Most hobbyists don't know this and simply credit Prime.

Seachem had to respond to Kordon's claI'm that AmQuel+ detoxified nitrite/nitrate (it doesn't). AFAIK, no aquarium product manufacturer has ever been sued for consumer fraud so they're free to claI'm anything they want.
Thanks for sharing a probably unpopular opinion!!! Going to look into this some more.
 

Skavatar

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buttertart said:
Its saved my fish
mine too.

when I started fish keeping I didn't know about the nitrogen cycle. but I did know about chlorine in the water, the water conditioner I used was Tetra AquaSafe+. I did 2 fish in cycles. my feeder goldfish were all lethargic and sitting on the bottom of the tank, a few died. after some research I learned about the nitrogen cycle and about Prime. I went and bought a bottle of Prime and dosed 5X the recommended dosage and all my fish started acting normal again. By this time the ammonia had dropped and the nitrite phase lasted 3 weeks, the nitrite test was dark purple, over 5ppm. I did a 50/50 dilution test and estimated my nitrites were around 8ppm.

a few months later I bought another tank and seeded the tank with media from the first 2 tanks. a few weeks later I had a bacterial bloom that lasted for over 2 weeks so I started using Purigen. A few weeks later I did the first recharge and everything was well. A few weeks after that I did a second recharge on the Purigen, but must not have used enough Prime b/c a few days later I noticed my fish were lethargic and sitting at the bottom. I tested the water and there was a major nitrite spike (dark purple, over 5ppm). Even after doing 50 water changes it still tested dark purple. Did the 50/50 dilution and the nitrite was around 8ppm. I did the 5X dose of Prime everyday and they were acting like normal again. This nitrite spike lasted almost 3 weeks. None of the fish died after using Prime and they have been healthy and active since.

If Prime didn't detox nitrites, then why were they lethargic and sitting on the bottom as soon as the nitrite spiked, but after dosing 5X Prime they suddenly went back to being normal, all other factors remained the same.

There are a lot of scientific discoveries (30-50%) that were discovered accidentally. There are drugs that were designed to treat a certain condition, but ended up being a very effective treatment for a totally different condition.
 

AvalancheDave

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Skavatar said:
If Prime didn't detox nitrites, then why were they lethargic and sitting on the bottom as soon as the nitrite spiked, but after dosing 5X Prime they suddenly went back to being normal, all other factors remained the same.
There's always opposing anecdotal evidence.

I used Prime to detoxify a relatively low level of ammonia and the fish still died.

And this person used Prime and the fish still died:



Tests with control groups need to be performed. Variables need to be minimized--no Purigen use, etc. Only nitrite is added to the water. I would recommend cardinal tetras as they're very sensitive to nitrite.

On the other hand, I don't like performing experiments on animals if it can be avoided. I also don't want several dozen cardinal tetras.

An alternative might be ion chromatography which was used to prove that AmQuel+ didn't bind/reduce nitrite/nitrate levels. I think it'd cost around $300. We can all chip in.

Even if Prime did detoxify nitrite, chloride is cheaper and doesn't have to be dosed every 48 hours. Its effectiveness is well established in the scientific literature. If it were my fish I would choose the method scientifically proven to work over that with only anecdotal evidence.
 

buttertart

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AvalancheDave said:
There's always opposing anecdotal evidence.

I used Prime to detoxify a relatively low level of ammonia and the fish still died.

And this person used Prime and the fish still died:



Tests with control groups need to be performed. Variables need to be minimized--no Purigen use, etc. Only nitrite is added to the water. I would recommend cardinal tetras as they're very sensitive to nitrite.

On the other hand, I don't like performing experiments on animals if it can be avoided. I also don't want several dozen cardinal tetras.

An alternative might be ion chromatography which was used to prove that AmQuel+ didn't bind/reduce nitrite/nitrate levels. I think it'd cost around $300. We can all chip in.

Even if Prime did detoxify nitrite, chloride is cheaper and doesn't have to be dosed every 48 hours. Its effectiveness is well established in the scientific literature. If it were my fish I would choose the method scientifically proven to work over that with only anecdotal evidence.
That could be true but for a beginner fish keeper I think it would be much easier for them to just get some prime. Your tetras could have died because they are overly sensitive to medication. You have to only give them half the regular dosage and they probably wouldnt survive the 5x dosage. Tetras are sensitive little fish and can't handle high levels or full doses of medication. I understand we all have different experiences but this person needs help so we suggest methods that have worked for us and can easily help her.
 
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Joelaura

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This is all so interesting the dofferent opinions! I might look into Prime just to have anyway I do have a biological enhancer but it might not be as efficient! Thanks for all your replies I did stop feeding for a few days and did 50% water change and the nitrites are now 0! Thanks for your expert opinions
 

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