Nitrite spike?!

  1. kizzet Initiate Member

    So yesterday after having zero nitrite in my tank this morning I get a reading of 0.50-0.75ppm for nitrite. What. The. Heck. Ammonia was 0.50 nitrate 10 I have NO idea what happened between yesterday and today. Only thing I did was reduce the amount of Prime from 4dpg to 3dpg and added the air stone from the old fish bowl I had previously. It did sit in the water for maybe a week before I cleaned out the bowl and cleaned the stone.

    The water was disgusting but I cleaned the stone then left it to air dry on a shelf for weeks until I decied to swap out the one in my tank for this one which I again scrubbed clean before I put it in the tank. Also we had a cold front yesterday and the temperature went down and their water went down to 70F could this be what caused the spike? I'm doing a large water change as I type this because I justifiably freaked out as nitrite has NEVER been this high ever and I tested the water twice.

    It figures I sort of expected something after nitrite vanished from my tank and ammonia had finally abated yesterday but WOW. The fish seem fine no change in their behavior but I'm wondering what caused such a huge spike from 0?
  2. leftswerve Well Known Member Member

    0.50 ammonia converted to nitrite. The "cycle"

  3. kizzet Initiate Member

    Your reply is a bit cryptic but I think I understand I suppose I should expect a similar reading tomorrow morning then
  4. tfreema Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like your tank is in the middle of cycling. Is it a new setup?
    Have you changed out filter media or washed with tap water? There are many reasons for an already established tank to go into a cycle so a little background would be helpful.

    When was the ammonia .5 and nitrate 10? Yesterday or today?

    Do you have prime? If so, dose the full volume of the tank to make the ammonia and nitrite safe for your fish. You may want to check levels again since it's been about 7 hours since your post. If necessary, do another large water change and dose with prime.

    the history of the tank, size, and stocking would help to get the right advice.

  5. kizzet Initiate Member

  6. tfreema Well Known Member Member

    Wow! You have been doing all you can do. It sounds like you are almost cycled. Good sign that you have nitrates. Just be careful that you are not too overzealous with cleaning wiping out beneficial bacteria. Make sure you clean sponges and filter media, etc. in tank (not tap) water.

    It was not clear to me what filtration other than a sponge and corner air tube run filters you have. If that is it, you should add a filter that hangs on back. I always go for higher filtration making sure the gallons per hour processed are minimum 10 x the tank size in gallons. 100gph for my 10g. That will keep your tank cleaner as your high bio load goldfish grow and provide more media for beneficial bacteria to grow.

    They will grow fast so that 55 will be needed soon. Sounds like a purchase of a few feeder goldfish infected you with the same condition many of us suffer from. MTS (multiple tank syndrome) lol.
  7. kizzet Initiate Member

    I just checked the parameters again everything was 0 except nitrates 12hrs ago now ammonia is back up to 0.50 and nitrite is up to 0.25. Nitrites have never been this persistent before I'm thinking it could be the air stone since this started right after I put it in I'm going to swap out the stone with a brand new one tomorrow which I hope helps but for now I must do yet another pwc. I always clean any filter media in the tank water I remove never tap I only rinse test tubes in tap water.

    I have a fluval aqua clear 70 for the 50g but I'm thinking about getting an additional 110 and using both once I set it up I'll probably put one if the sponge filters in for back up as well. The numbers never went this high so the filtration I have now seems to be doing a pretty good job but I hope to have the tank set up by next month. The fishies seem to be growing I keep comparing videos of when I brought them home to now and I'm like...di....did they get bigger??

    They are such cute chubby goldfish not in an overfed way but a filling out way now that I think about it it's entirely possible they were malnourished when I got them. Goldy had black tips on his dorsal fin that disappeared soon after he came under my care and I wonder if it was the beginnings of fin rot.

    And if anyone is wondering mts is absolutely a thing! Wear a mask people because it's *very* catchy lol thank you for all your help!

  8. kizzet Initiate Member

    Did a 40% pwc I'm still at 0.25 ammonia and >0.25 nitrite I'm taking that stone out NOW

    Edit: actually wait, lately one of my cats has gotten very curious about the tank I caught him drinking out of it once and shooed him away and he tries to stick his paws in it but I always stop him when I'm in my bedroom. I trust him not to really bother with it but I don't know that he's so disciplined when I'm not around. Today he was perched on the edge of my bed right next to the tank which he usually can't do because I have a ton of pillows In the way but today I didn't make my bed. Could cat paws/saliva cause a nitrite spike/persistent levels? Tried to search for the topic but came up with nothing I'm still going to remove the stone just in case but either way I'm not going to sleep as long as nitrite remains in the tank so here goes another 20% pwc hope that works.
  9. tfreema Well Known Member Member

    I really don't think a small stone that you cleaned before putting in would cause a nitrite spike. The tank has likely never been fully cycled or lost it along the way and I don't think you have adequate filtration to handle the bio load. You have been so diligent with water changes that you have not given those levels a chance to build, but now your fish and the food you feed them are introducing more and more ammonia which is what causes the ammonia to build, resulting in nitrite that feeds on the ammonia and lastly nitrate that feeds on the nitrite. Basically, it's the ammonia build that is causing your nitrite spike. Fish waste and food being the most common contributors. Unless your cat is peeing in the tank, a paw or drink here and there, although not good for other reasons, would not introduce enough ammonia to spike nitrite. Since you are seeing nitrate, your cycle is close, but nitrite spikes will continue until the nitrates catch up to handle processing them. You seem to have a good handle on how to keep your fish safe during this time with pwc's and doing a great job so you have not seen the higher levels others might at this stage.

    My recommendation is to add a filter, some tetra start safe start plus (not the monthly) or stability, go really easy on feeding to ensure none is left on the bottom. Stability would probably be your best choice as TSS requires you to not do any water changes for two weeks. Both are beneficial bacteria that would speed up the build of it on a new filter. Sponge and corner filters are supplemental and in my opinion not sufficient as main filtration, especially for goldfish that are high bio load fish. I use both as secondary in all my tanks.
  10. kizzet Initiate Member

    To be honest I didn't think it was the stone or my cat either I immediately suspected the filters I was just really reeeeeally hoping it was something else. Whelp guess I'll put that aquaclear on the tank then I just hope it's not super loud because the tank is right next to my bed. I actually wouldn't mind using TSS in the same way I've been using the stress zyme since I have a large bottle of it but I would prefer the stability because I don't have to use as much and I can use it with Prime since TSS can't be used for 24hrs after Prime has been added. I guess I could always switch back to the stress coat but I hate the synthetic slime. I'll think of something and look around the forum and do some more research. I checked the paramaters about an hour ago and they were ammonia: 0.25 nitrite: 0.25 nitrate: 5 and this is 7hrs after the last pwc huuuuurrrggghhh

  11. leftswerve Well Known Member Member

    Your tank is cycling. Don't start the TSS, once you add TSS you can't do a WC for 2 weeks, weeks. Using TSS is another game all together.
    Let the BB you have going build up. The prime is detoxing the ammonia and nitrite. Keep using it.
    Don't stop using anything in the tank you already have. Add the aquaclear, but leave the other stuff going.
  12. kizzet Initiate Member

    I completely agree especially since I can't seem to find anyone who gives a solid yes for using a detoxifier and TSS together and with 3 goldfish in a 10g no water changes would just be insane which is why I decided not to use TSS when I started my tank. I feel like I would end up wasting a big bottle of TSS which would just make me mad so I've been reading the insert for the aquaclear again so I can set it up.

    It's going to look hilarious because the thing is like half the size of my tank hah but I'm only going to remove the dual sponge and leave the corner filter in to preserve as much of the BB colonies as I can and since the nitrite spikes are probably a filter related issue the ultra filtration should help this thing does 300gph it's like a grenade when all you need is a slingshot lol. I'm also going to put the heater back in until the weather warms again because their water is 68F no bueno.

    So I'm going to do another 50% water change and get this fluval on here. Looking at my fish babies this morning they are definitely getting big and I've been feeding them more often (twice a day with a snack yesterday I gave them lobster and lettuce they lost their minds over the lobster but seemed offended at the lettuce) they don't normally let the food hit the gravel and when it does they find it so and if not I remove it so I'm not concerned about rotting food but the increased feeding could be contributing to these spikes.

    I'm actually super excited because I wanted see the filter in action! Thank you both very much for all your advice huge help!
  13. leftswerve Well Known Member Member

    The sponge was the cause of the spike, but in a good and the correct way.
    Next step is getting that bigger tank setup in place so you can move those fish to their final home. You'll have a seeded filter ready to go.
    Good luck
  14. tfreema Well Known Member Member

    Exactly! Running the filter on your current tank will build the bacteria colony in it to move to big tank. Do not remove any sponges or filter material as that is where the bacteria already built up resides. Doing so can set your cycle back and you are so close. Your levels are low enough for prime to detoxify so keep that up with the water changes.
  15. Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    "I'm also going to put the heater back in until the weather warms again because their water is 68F no bueno."

    For my own information, isn't 68F an okay temperature for goldfish, since they're coldwater fish?
  16. kizzet Initiate Member

    I installed the HOB and MAN that thing is really strong! I think my goldfish are hiding in protest to the "rapids". I'm going to test the paramaters tonight and hope they are better. I did a 50% pwc squeezed out the old sponges from my backup filter into the HOB and rinsed all the new media in old tank water so fingers crossed everything works out although the fish are huddled at the other end of the tank so I just removed the airline from their ornamental bubbler and downgraded to the whisper 10 to power the corner filter and that seems to have appeased them and they are swimming about again. The equipment is super quiet too it sounds like a bubbling brook in my room lol the filter lid vibrates but that's an easy fix but I'll keep everyone posted! Thanks again!!
  17. kizzet Initiate Member

    They can withstand cooler temperatures but aren't really "cold" water fish 72F-78F is ideal for goldfish
  18. tfreema Well Known Member Member

    Maybe place some decorations under the water flow to break up the current?

    My ctenopoma had a hard time at first when moved from 55 to 120 with better water movement and more current, but adjusted after about a week.
  19. kizzet Initiate Member

    Ho ho HO! I have figured out how to slow the output of the filter! I took the two sponges from my old filter, put one at the very top of the media stack next to the top of the U shaped tube, then put a second sponge right where the water drops off at the output.

    Then I threaded some airline tubing through the hole of the second sponge and slipped one end behind the media stack using the tension to hold the tube in place and threaded the other end of the tube through the flow control space which also pushes the U shaped tube to the lowest setting and holds it there via tension!

    It slowed the current down to almost nothing with no overflowing and my goldies finally came out of hiding and are interacting with me again! If the low flow takes the oxygen level down I can set up my other dual port air pump and put in a couple air stones to help oxygenate the water.

    So not only am I still getting 300gph for my goldies but the airline tubing makes the lid hover ever so slightly above the reservoir so guess what? Cuts down on vibration too! Woohoo!!! I'm so chuffed with myself I could toot rainbows! Tell the townspeople! We've figured out how to stop the beast! Lol