Nitrites unusually high, wont go down

Tsunami35
Member
My 30 gallon planted tank is having nitrite problems. When I tested it today the levels were off the chart. I did about 8 water changes in a row, equally well over half of the volume of the tank, and the levels are still showing around .25ppm. Some important notes:

-I have a snail problem, so there is some plant decay that may be contributing
-I have a biowheel filtration system, and many plants, as well as considerable CO2 levels right now.
-Gravel bed is about 3 1/2 inches deep at one end.

Any thoughts?
 
roxanne
Member
just curious , are you using tap water? if so you may want to test it, even if it is well water run off from fertilizers will make them rise. you will also want to remove any decaying plants or fishes. you may want to purchase some water from your lfs in jugs or even your grocery store hope this helps
 
Gunnie
Member
Definitely check your tap water to see if that is the problem, and until you get it figured out, use Amquel plus to neutralize the nitrites while you are working on the problem.
 
Jimold
Member
Wow, I'm voting with the others here. My tanks sound like your tanks; plants, snails, deep substrate at one end, etc, but I don't have that problem. I'm going with either the water your using, or maybe your test kit is old and giving false readings? FYI, I use API test kits, but I also like to keep separate test-strips around to verify any strange, off-the-wall readings, which I would DEFINITLY classify this as.
 
  • Thread Starter
Tsunami35
Member
Thanks for the replys.

I tested the tap water and got 0 nitrites, I also tested my other tank and got the same results, so it isn't bad tests or the tap water. I can see decaying plants being the cause, but it still seems like after changing that much water the levels should go down at least temporarily. The have good filtration and lots of healthy plants too.
 
Jimold
Member
Tsunami35 said:
Thanks for the replys.

I tested the tap water and got 0 nitrites, I also tested my other tank and got the same results, so it isn't bad tests or the tap water. I can see decaying plants being the cause, but it still seems like after changing that much water the levels should go down at least temporarily. The have good filtration and lots of healthy plants too.
You're right, they should have droped after a massive water change, that's the weird part.
 
  • Thread Starter
Tsunami35
Member
Follow up..

I'm still having the same problem. For example, yesterday I did a waterchange of probably 30%, and then today tested the water and had ammonia and nitrites. I'm now running both a biowheel 200 and an aquatech 20/40, and have many healthy plants. I do water changes about twice a week. Ive included a picture so you can see the tank.

*could there be something in the tank that is killing the beneficial bacteria, or maybe giving me false tests results? I dose the tank with seachem plant fertilizers, and use apI chlorine remover, but that's it. There is also a diy co2 system.

The fish seem happy and healthy, no signs of ammonia/nitrite poisening, including kuhlI loaches and neons, which I hear are pretty sensitive..


!!!

Thanks for any help
 
pepetj
Member
How is your CO2 level? is it affecting ph? an increase in ph might have increased levels of toxic ammonia in a tank previously set at ph 7 or lower -as far as I know.

My primary suspect is the fertilizer. This is why I guess (hypothesis):

I have a 10gal lo-tech planted tank which is quite overstocked -estimated bio-load around 1.7 inches per gal (including snails), I have two types of sand (dark at the bottom, light brown on top, both from rivers) making up 2" of substrate tops.

My tank is quite new (began set up on May 3rd), and after cycling it (May 15th), I have had only once a reading of high nitrites: a day (maybe 18 hours) after I added Tetra FloraPride (May 31st).

I could notice it because I have learned here to carefully monitor water parameters whenever making changes in the tank -like you do, and also due to becoming aware, at this forum, of the unstability of low volume tanks -like mine. I did a retest right away, even double-checked with the usually unreliable stripe tests, measuring nitrates at the 0.24 to 0.48ppm range (Tetra Laborett) and 3.0 to 5.0ppm (Jungle Quick Dip). I inmediately performed a 50% water change and it has been back at zero ever since.

I ended up taking some plants out, and so far so good. I will add FloraPride again at the end of the month, and see what happens.

Also, I avoid overfeeding and leave them fasten for at least a day a week. I feed them twice a day. I have a HOB for 20gal plus a small wall mounted sponge filter and two airstones (one large one mid size, to provide extra surface for bacteria) running 24/7.

Please post if you find out what happened.
Thank you
Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
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