Nitrite too high - help??!

  • #1

Ok so got new tank, been set up since Boxing Day. Used Nutrafin Cycle. Had a pH problem. Solved that with a buffer. Added 6 teeny fish at my aquariums advice problem........

pH now at about 7 (yay!)

NItrate - 0

Nitrite - 0.25 - is this a problem????

Ammonia - 0

Do I need to do a water change or will this drop?? Any help much appreciated!
  • #2
Your aquarium hasn't cycled yet. The nitrite is probably from the stuff in Cycle breaking down.
In the end, the only cycling product that actually does anything (so far, at least) seems to be BioSpira. All others "pretend" to help, but then the bacteria in them die off, and release everything they've absorbed back into the water.
You'll want to watch your water chemistry over the next couple of weeks. Ammonia will spike as the fish begin adding waste to the water, and then nitrite will. Ammonia will begin dropping, then nitrite, and then both will drop to zero. Once this has happened, your tank will be fully cycled.
Until that point, the ammonia and nitrite in the water will be dangerous to the fish. You'll want to do frequent water changes to keep them alive (10-20% per day would be good). This might slow the cycle down a little bit, but it will keep the fish alive.
  • #3
I've never heard a good word round here about Cycle. I use a product called StressZyme and have had success. BioSpira is by far the prefered here at FishLore but I haven't used it. Good news is that Cycle die off will help get the cycle going. lol If you keep adding it it will hinder your progress in the long run though.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

I will keep changing my water then starting right now! I will continue to test the water every day and do a bit of a water change!

What should I treat the new water with? I have a pH buffer as our tap water is at about 8.4!! And I have some tap safe sort of stuff but will that be enough??
  • #5
with more and more fish being bred in home aquariums, they can adapt to almost any ph, as long as u acclimate them very very slowly. I wouldnt add chemicals to change ph
  • #6
Most people around here use Prime, I think. I use a similar product called NovAqua+. They have the added benefits of "detoxifying" heavy metals and adding to fish's slime coats.
Lilsoccakid is right, most fish can survive quite a wide range of pH.
Just to be sure, what do you have in the tank? A few strongly prefer a particular pH.
If you still want to lower your pH, the easiest way for most people to do this is to use peat in their filter (you want to start out with just a little bit, to slowly change the pH over the course of weeks), though Reverse Osmosis works as well.
  • #7
Just remember it is the ups and downs of ph that are hard on fish.....

To mess with your ph means you ALWAYS have to do it, and keep it in your tank maintenance program....

If on the other hand you let your fish adapt to the ph you normally have, they will be healthier over the long term, because as you do water changes, that ph won't be fluctuating all the time.

This works for most fish. Some will HAVE to have a certain ph. I believe discus are an example of this. So do your research on the fish you want to keep, and decide if you have to have one of those kind that NEED a ph under 7.0 for example, you can have a tank just for them, and cut the ph problem to just that one tank.

As sirdardsol stated, peat in the filter can help lower ph, though you have to change this periodically, another option is to add lots of driftwood to the tank decor, as this tends to lower ph also, but more slowly and safely than chemical means.

If I had a discus tank I would set it up with a drip RO system that constantly runs new RO water into the tank.....but that is when my "ship" comes in and I have unlimited $$$ :;z
  • #8
There is actually one point where I think the pH altering products are necessary. If the water has no buffer (I think the term is "hardness"), something needs to be added, or the pH will go up with water changes and then drop rapidly as stuff decomposes in the tank.
Other than that, most fish are fine acclimating, as has been stated.

Hey, Susitna, does it feel like we're having a bunch of deja-vu conversations side-by-side? There are at least two about peat, two about whether or not a tank is cycled, and I think there's another pair in there somewhere.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
HI again,

Just a quick update, I have been doing water changes each day so far and all 6 of my fish are still happily swimming about at the moment.
However I have noticed the Nitrate and Nitrite levels have risen dramatically. pH and Ammonia are still fine, just gonna keep changing that water and hope I can control it.

Thanks for all your help.

p.s. I have used a buffer as it levels the pH out otherwise it keeps changing every time I do a water change. The buffer at least keeps it constant. I'm doing my best to keep my fishys alive


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