Nitrite spike in my tank!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TreyGiles, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. TreyGilesValued MemberMember

    Okay so my tanks nitrite levels have spiked almost to 10 ppm. I have done a test on my tap water and the reading came up as 0 ppm. Does this mean my tank is in another cycle? My fish all eat and act fine, they are very happy. I have been doing 20% water changes daily with no succes with the nitrite levels. So I assume I should just keep a close eye on the fish and let the cycle complete.

    What should I do???:;dk
  2. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Trey welcome to FishLore :)
    I'm sorry to hear about your nitrite spike, yikes, that's pretty high.
    Are you using a liquid test kit or strips? Strips tend to be less accurate than a good liquid test kit.
    Continue to daily water changes, but I'd up it to 50% (assuming your pH is the same from tap to tank) If there's a great difference in pH 1 25% change and the morning and another 25% in the evening would be safer for your fish, don't want to shock them.

    I see that you're using Stress Zyme. Most don't have luck with it helping or holding the cycle. I'd suggest you stop using it.
    A properly cycled tank won't need so call bacterial booster to keep it going.

    If you can pick up some Prime by Seachem, it'll help detox the nitrites for 24 hrs. making it safer for your fish.

    I'd glad you fish seem fine, but as you know, it's important to get that level down.

    Best of luck. :)
  3. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Hi, I agree with Lucy about the Stress Zyme.

    Stress zyme doesn't contain nitrifying, aquatic bacteria. (BTW, Neither does Cycle). Only Tetra Safe Start has the correct bacteria that I know of.

    Stress Zyme and like products will only work if you add them for the life of the tank, usually weekly. The becteria they contain eats all the ammonia in your tank, and doesn't let the correct bacteria to grow. If I were you, I would stop using it.

    I think maybe your tank isn't truly cycled if you are using that stuff, even though I hope it is. Also, like Lucy said, if you are using test strips, you may not be getting accurate readings. API makes a great liquid test kit. It has all the tests you need - a bit expensive up front, but in the end it is cheaper than the strips because you get hundreds of tests from it.

    I'm curious about your use of salt. Could you please share with us what fish you have? I'm also wondering if overstocking is affecting the cycle.

    Welcome to FL, enjoy the site!

  4. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Trey. Welcome to Fish Lore. Great information and suggestions from the above posters. Hang in there, it will get better!

  5. OP

    TreyGilesValued MemberMember

    I have 2 swordtail platys , 1 wagtail platy, 1 micky mouse platy, 3 guppies, and 2 glo fish. I am aware that many people will think that this tank is overstocked. However, based on close observation of the fish I see no signs of stress or agression. I do not think the spike is from a overstocked tank because I vaccume my gravel and perform several water changes weekly, making my tank water crystal clear and clean.

    Ps. I did have a rainbow shark that the people at my pet store said would be perfect for a 10 gallon tank. They lied, I had to take him back. Luckily they let me trade him in for two swordtail platys! They also gave me a 1$ refund because of the trouble their false advise caused.

    Pss. I use test strips.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  6. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You might want to get a good liquid test kit. The strips can be inaccurate so I'm not sure that's a correct reading.
    Many members use the AIP mater kit. It has everything you need.

    Mommybaby mentioned overstocking. She wasn't refering to aggression or stress but that perhaps your tank can't handle the bio load resulting in your elevated nitrites.
    Although, I do see that you do more than 1 water change a week.
    It could be your test kit or from using stress zyme.
  7. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    welcome to fishlore!!!

    with the water changes you are doing, and the low bioload of the fish you have, im agreeing its the test strips and the stress zyme causing your issues :( you are overstocked with inch per gallon rule, but with the maintenance schedule you have, you shouldnt have such a major water issue...

    although stopping the stress zyme is a must , or the tank wont ever properly cycle, even more is the proper kit as you will never know your true readings without out one..if you had a true reading of 10 for nitrites, your fish would be dead or showing signs or major i dont think that you are getting a correct reading...good luck!
  8. OP

    TreyGilesValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the help. I will purchase a liquid test kit ASAP. I also plan on buying a larger aquarium in the future so the 10 gallon tank they are in is not permanent. But for now, they are happy.

    Thank you all very much.
  9. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Craig's List or even are good places to find used tanks.
  10. OP

    TreyGilesValued MemberMember


    Okay... The test strips were not the problem. They have been accurate the entire time. My nitrite levels are going back down to a safe level. Mainly do to the fact that I stopped using Stress Zyme+ and I gave a double dose of Prime on my water changes. However, I have one sick guppy (Probably do to the nitrite spike) that might not make it. I do hope he survives. Right now he stays hidden in a rainbow cave that is in the tank.

    Thanks for all of the good advise guys! And pray for my guppy:(
  11. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    how do you know it wasnt your test strips? did you get a new reliable kit?:;dk

    the natural process of cycling will make the nitrites go down..and from experience, if you had 10ppm nitrites, you would have more than one sick fish...great job with the prime and no stress zyme! daily water changes and the prime should get you cycled and your fish all feeling better~!
  12. OP

    TreyGilesValued MemberMember

    My guppy finally came out of his cave. He is not looking good, he hangs around the filter and his tail is drooping so much he is almost verticle. I feel so sad for him :(. However my other two guppies seem to be doing good. I hope he makes it but it is a slim chance.

    I have to go to work now. I'll be back at 9:30 tonight to check up on the little guy.
  13. OP

    TreyGilesValued MemberMember

    Well, I'm back form work. There was almost a shooting in the parking lot of my job. Over 100 gang members started fighting. Anyway, I went to check on my guppy when I got home. He is still alive, but not looking any better. Time will tell if he will survive.

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