Nitrite spike! Help!

Pad2200

Good evening, I have had my 20 gallon tank for 5 months, did a 25% water change today. The water parameters pre change were all normal, ammonia, nitrates nitrites all at 0. We changed the filter as we did the water change and ran the new filter under tap water, nitrite is now at 1 per the API test strip, ammonia is 0 I fear I made a mistake with the filter change at the same time as a water change, any advice? Please and thank you
 

Dunk2

Good evening, I have had my 20 gallon tank for 5 months, did a 25% water change today. The water parameters pre change were all normal, ammonia, nitrates nitrites all at 0. We changed the filter as we did the water change and ran the new filter under tap water, nitrite is now at 1 per the API test strip, ammonia is 0 I fear I made a mistake with the filter change at the same time as a water change, any advice? Please and thank you

Welcome to Fishlore.

So brand new filter and filter media? You didn’t use the media from the old filter?
 

Pfrozen

ah, yea the fish companies recommend replacing your filters because they want people to buy the ammonia removing sponges and such. In reality the entire bacterial colony that sustains your tank is housed inside the fabric of those filters. You're never supposed to replace them, just rinse them in dechlorinated water once in awhile

You'll have to recycle your tank from scratch unfortunately... if you test your water every day and keep up with water changes you should be fine. The recommendation is to keep ammonia and nitrite under 1 ppm COMBINED but I usually shoot for 0.5 ppm

Good luck!
 

Mochica

I wouldn't change the filter if I were you, that's where the good bacteria live. Changing the filter and changing the water at the same time (especially if you vacuum the gravel) will leave you with only a bit of bacteria left. I learned that the hard way 3 months ago. I just cleaned my filter yesterday, and this is what I did. I filled up a small container with treated water and just rinse the filter in there. I put the filter back in the slot and I strained the dirty water using a brine shrimp net. It caught all the debris but not the bacteria. Because it was a clear container, I brought it to dark washroom and shined a flashlight on it. I could see MILLIONS of stuff with my phone camera (8x zoom). Even without a camera, I could see clouds of bacteria floating in the water. After that, I poured the water back in the filter.
Oh forgot to mention, when I did what you did, I just kept doing water change often and kept putting in seachem stability with the water change.
 

Pad2200

Yeah.. the **** directions on the back of the box got me in regards to the filter, now I know better... any products that are recommended to help lower the nitrite or speed the process up? I have the API quick start and stress coat I put a tad in from when I did the water change
 

Dunk2

Yeah.. the **** directions on the back of the box got me in regards to the filter, now I know better... any products that are recommended to help lower the nitrite or speed the process up? I have the API quick start and stress coat I put a tad in from when I did the water change

I assume you replaced the filter cartridge? Is the old one still wet or damp and usable?

The only thing that will lower nitrites is water changes. Test ammonia and nitrite levels daily and do water changes to keep both in a safe range for your fish.

If you’re not already using it, I’d also suggest you use Seachem Prime.
 

Mochica

Do you use seachem prime as you water conditioner? If you do, put in a bit of prime would help detoxify ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Do a bit of water change again tomorrow and add more seachem stability (or whatever bacteria seed you use).
I really recommend seachem prime and stability. I pretty much did a fish-in cycle with these 2.
 

Pad2200

Would that interfere with the api quick start i put in from the water change?
 

Dunk2

Would that interfere with the api quick start i put in from the water change?

A lot of folks recommended waiting 24 hours after using bottled bacteria before dosing Prime. Since you’ve already put it in your tank, dosing Prime will be fine.
 

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