Nitrite/nitrate Spikes

TravisL27

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So I have a 16 gallon bowfront tank for my son that has been set up for a little over a month. All the levels were good so we added fish from Petsmart (never again). Within three days all the fish had fin rot, so I medicated and saved only 2. got the fin rot taken care of, water levels were normal so we added new fish.
Its been about a week and all the fish appear to be healthy but the Nitrite and Nitrate levels are super high. I've added a pouch of Purigen by Seachem and within a day the pouch was already brown but the levels did drop a little but still high. Could the Nitrogen cycle have been restarted over and the tank is being reestablished or maybe i just have the tank way overstocked than I thought.

I have 2 dwarf Gouramis (male and female)
3 Lyertail Mollys
1 bristlenose pleco
1 myster snail

All the fish are about 1.5 inch long.
I have a 30-40 Gallon TopFin HOB filter rated 200gph that i keep that high for extra filtration. Could my bioload be too high for the filter? No one seems to be stressed, everyone gets along, there doesnt appear to be any aggression but according to the test strips, the Nitrite and Nitrate levels seem high.
 

Fishlover832

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What are the actual levels? It doesnt seem like too high of a bioload but not sure. Plecos do contribute a lot to that bioload. Also could just be that you added fish too quickly and now you are going through a mini cycle.
 

FLDawna

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It's possible the bio load is higher than the beneficial bacteria population can keep up with. That's why it's said to add a few fish at a time. Stay on top of testing and do water changes as needed to bring down the numbers. The bb population should catch up fairly quickly as long as it was cycled when you added the fish.
 

mattgirl

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How did you treat the fin rot? I've personally never experienced it but it has been said that some medications can harm ones cycle. If you don't have carbon in your filter and there is still medication in the water you may want to put some in there. Carbon will remove most medications.

Sadly test strips are notorious about going bad fairly quickly after being exposed to air so they may be giving you false readings.
 
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TravisL27

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How did you treat the fin rot? I've personally never experienced it but it has been said that some medications can harm ones cycle. If you don't have carbon in your filter and there is still medication in the water you may want to put some in there. Carbon will remove most medications.

Sadly test strips are notorious about going bad fairly quickly after being exposed to air so they may be giving you false readings.
I treated it with API Fin and Tail Roy medication over several days. I then ran a carbon filter through the tank for a few days and did a 50% water change after the cycle was done. I replaced the filter and ran the tank for a few days making sure everything was back to normal levels.

It could be the test strips I suppose, that’s the only thing that seems like it could be. I don’t believe my tank is over stocked and if it is, it can’t be by too much but the filtration is more than enough to keep the system clean.

I decided to do a 100% water change today and flushed the gravel and everything over. I got the water level equal to the old tank water and treated for chlorine’s and added Stability by Seachem to speed up the bio filter. I’ll keep you lowered if this helps. So far the Nitrite and Nitrate levels are at 0
 
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TravisL27

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I treated it with API Fin and Tail Roy medication over several days. I then ran a carbon filter through the tank for a few days and did a 50% water change after the cycle was done. I replaced the filter and ran the tank for a few days making sure everything was back to normal levels.

It could be the test strips I suppose, that’s the only thing that seems like it could be. I don’t believe my tank is over stocked and if it is, it can’t be by too much but the filtration is more than enough to keep the system clean.

I decided to do a 100% water change today and flushed the gravel and everything over. I got the water level equal to the old tank water and treated for chlorine’s and added Stability by Seachem to speed up the bio filter. I’ll keep you lowered if this helps. So far the Nitrite and Nitrate levels are at 0
So far the levels have been good. I ordered another pouch of Purigen to run through the filter so that should be in tomorrow. I did end up losing my Mystery Snail, I think all the moving I guess was too much for him. Fish are good and being hungry. I did notice one of my dwarf gouramis has almost no tail fin, it looks as though the Molly’s have been picking at it, that normal molly behavior? I figured the gouramis would pick on the Molly’s if anything.
 
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