nitrite problems

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whetto

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i test my water every day, and my water levels have all been perfect except for my nitrites, they have very slowly been climbing and im getting worried. how do i fix this? is it really as simple as doing a water change?
 

Isabella

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Nitrites or Nitrates have been climbing? If you have ANY Nitrite in your water, and you have fish in your tank, you should be doing daily 50% water changes until Nitrite = 0 (Ammonia should also always be at 0). As for Nitrate, you should not allow it to go beyond 20.

How large is your tank, what fish, and how many fish do you have in it? Exactly what are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings?
 
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thats the thing, im not sure of the actual numbers. as of yet, i only have test strips that go by color. the nitrIte readings started off fine then over the past week have slowly climbed up into the "stress" colors. I have a 20 gallon tank with a dojo loach, a albino chocolate pleco, 4 tiger barbs, two rainbow sharks, and an otto (one of the sharks and the pleco are everntually gonna be moved). Ive had no problem with ammonia levels, they always have registered in the "safe" zones. i did a fiftey percent water change along with a gravel vacuu, tonight, and i plan on doing another tomorrow. am i on the right track?
 

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Yes you are definately on the right track the Albinp Chocolate plec and sharks are big waste producers. This could be why your readings are going up. the water changes and vacuumings should help alot. keep up the good work I just sent an Albino chocolate plec to live at dinos fish house that was probably 8 inches and will get biggr in the future, so when you plan another tank for yours think big
Carol
 
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unfortunately, after my second 50% water change, my albino chocolate plec started to look like he rolled around in sugar. I quickly assumed this meant Ich, so i started treating the tank. I took out my filter cartridge, started using the medicine, raised the water temp, and turned up my airstone. hopefully this will kill those little white buggers.
 

Butterfly

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I'm so sorry. Keep the temps up for 14 days. Let us know if we can help
Carol
 
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so far Whitey(the pleco) has only looked worse. I think tomorrow I'm going to go buy a medicine strictly for Ich, instead of a more global remedy. I'll keep the temps up for 14 days and keep the airstone running close to high speed. anything else? (water changes, etc.)
 

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Warmer water holds less oxygen so the airstone is a good idea(good thinking),more frequent water changes and gravel vacs( for the period of treatment) will help remove the parasite from the tank and keep the tank conditions in good shape. If you use any kind of meds check and make sure they are ok for plecs. I've never used anything except raised temp and frequent water changes so I don't know what med to recommend.
Carol
 
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i got a more specific Ich treatment, and so far everything is looking great. there are no more white spots on my precious plec, and it seems they are attempting to attack my tiger barbs, but they have another thing coming. once i finish the treatment (about 3 days from now) i plan on doing a water change. I'm thinking about doing one tomorrow before i use the second dose of the medicine...would that be smart?
 

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Yes a water change and vacuum between treatments would be good. Keep us posted.
Carol
 
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well, unfortunately, we lost another tiger barb...but other than that my 3 rainbow sharks, dojo loach, pleco, and three remaining tiger barbs seem very lively and happy. i still have a day left to wait before changing the water and putting the filter cartridge back in but as of now it looks like the ich has been beaten!!! i could not be more happy about it. i plan on taking back two of the rainbow sharks, or giving them away and getting a butterfly fish or breeding swordtails...any suggestions on what tank accessories i would need for breeding the swords?
 

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Lots of plants for hiding in will encourage livebearer breeding.
Remember to keep the temperatures up for the whole 14 days so you don't have a relapse of ich.
Carol
 
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oh of course i just plan on putting the filter back in and doing 25% water changes till i can turn the temp back down. I REALLY do appreciate all the help ive gotten from this board and the people on it. oh, i meant to ask you butterfly, where in chattanooga do you work?
 

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I will pm that to you
Carol
 
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my tank is healthy!!!! all of my fish are doing great, and especially my pleco!! hes happily sucking his way around the decorations in the tank until he decides he wants some cucumber!! i put the filter cartridge back in to help clear the meds out of the water, but i will def. leave the temps up for the remaining week!!
 

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Sounds great! Glad he's doing better
Carol
 
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