Nitrite Spikes...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by PurpleRose, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    hey all, have been doing pretty well with the 20g l tank, my molly is very happy the only issue I keep dealing with are the nitrites seem to spike no matter how many water changes I have done anywhere from 20 to 50% water changes almost daily, everything else has been safe levels 0 Ammonia ph is 7.4 the Nitrates are very small amount but was told is very normal for a newish tank, the funny thing is my master kit won't pick it up but the strip tests that they used at the pet store was able to detect small amounts of the Nitrates, changes about 50% daily when I do water changes I also vaccum the gravel so not really sure what else is causing this as I feed the fish every other day.. so I am not sure if I should keep doing the gravel vac and 50% water changes or will that mess up the tanks almost finished tank cycle?? thanks again
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    So it looks like you are half way thru your cycle/ You have a large enough bacteria colony to convert all the ammonia into nitrites, but sadly your nitrite colony isn't large enough to convert all nitrites into nitrates. (That is if indeed you are getting nitrates).

    Generally I would trust the API kit over test strips. The test strips are notorious for being inaccurate. So there is a good change you aren't getting nitrates yet. But be sure to really shake, shake, shake and pound nitrate test bottle #2. If not shaken well enough, you can get a bad reading.

    So long as there are nitrites in your water, you want to do water changes. Nitrites are extremely toxic, so you want to keep them low.

    But you're well on your way to being cycled, so just hang in there a bit longer. (And yes I know, when cycling it seems like the tank will never finish cycling)
  3. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    Are you shaking the number two bottle like you are mad at it, I mean seriously, throw it against some things and then shake it...then try to test your nitrates.
    I'd try to do back to back 50% water changes to see if you can't get the nitrites to stabilize. You can also hold off on feeding the molly for a day or two, it will still produce ammonia.

    You can also add a bottle of tss+ to the tank, so long as your nitrite spikes aren't above 2ppm I think it is. (You also want to wait the time it says on the bottle after adding a water conditioner.
  4. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    yes it does feel like that, I have finally got rid of the bacteria bloom! and have had the same Nitrites levels about 0.25 to 50.ppm even after the 50% changes, I am happy it is almost done just very worried about these spikes I am getting, have a hob filter running with media that should be reducing nitrite levels and a foam filter, and still using Stability and prime with each water change not sure if there is much else I can do to make it safer water for my little friend here.

    Yeah I have really shook it, and have done the hard slamming of it against my desk couple of times and shook the crud out of it, lol, I just did my 50% water change so I will have to try it again tomorrow morning. already let the fish eat every other day to keep the levels low. think that my levels are too high for the tts and would like to avoid chemicals if I can, since the levels has stayed steadily at .25 to 0.50 ppm, thank you all for replying to my questions it means a lot to me and my little Hailey Molly
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  5. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I think you are doing everything you can to keep your fish safe.

    Ya know, when someone asks how long it takes to cycle a tank, I usually reply that once you are totally convinced that the tank will never, ever cycle and are ready to just give takes one more week.
  6. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    Here's the levels today so much better, the Nitrites were purple yesterday!! the ammonia seems to be same color that comes out of our tap water..and of course no Nitrates :(. Thank you I hope I am, we learn the hard way sometimes and that's how we learn in this hobby, I get angry at myself since I can't figure these things out, and have considered giving up a couple of times, but with everyone here supporting me and teaching me new things and googling stuff has helped me a lot too, they said use aquurium salt, have read some about using in fresh water, but just want to ask here first before I buy some, sometimes I believe the pet store doesn't really know either, lol

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  7. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    There is a steep learning curve when it comes to fish keeping. Most pets live in the same environment that we live in, so we don't need to provide a habitat. But since fish are aquatic creatures, we need to learn how to set up a suitable environment for them. And a lot of what you need to know, just isn't intuitive.

    Just like when using a program on a computer, there are several ways of keeping fish that really come down to a matter of preference, and many times that is why you'll get conflicting information. Salt is one of those things. Some people swear by it, others refuse to use it. I fall into the not using salt camp myself.

    One thing salt is supposed to be good for, is when you have elevated nitrites. For whatever reason it helps counteract the nitrites stopping fish from being able to extract oxygen from the water. But if you are keeping your nitrites low thru water changes and detoxing them with Prime, salt should not be needed.
  8. PurpleRoseValued MemberMember

    Good too know, I really was worried after water change she was up at surface for awhile till this morning, thinking just in case I might get some since I am worried that the frequent almost daily water changes might be too stressful I'm being as paitent as possible but there are those moments I do things then worry about her at night so much.. I am really getting attached to my Molly