Nitrites went down but now going back up, what?!?!?! Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by FLGirl, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    So my nitrites where almost at zero, I was so close to being cycled. Then it happened yesterday I thought maybe the blue was a little darker but to close to call then today I test and it was PURPLE. Whats going on?? Will using Amquel+ and not waiting 24 hours effect the nitrite test? Did I do too large of a water change (cause of nitrate levels Iv done one larger change of about 30%) but the rest where just small (small changing daily to make sure fish stay safe) other than that I haven't cleaned anything or touched the filter or taken anything out. :;dk

  2. ppate1977Well Known MemberMember

    Amquel+ and prime "lock" the nitrates to a safe form from my understanding. After 24 hours that bond is broken and the ammonia and nitrites will show back up. Also testing before waiting 24 hrs from adding the product can give you a false result.

  3. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    I don't think Amquel+ and Prime are the same like just reg Amquel and Prime are I think pretty close but Amquel Plus works a little differently in that they are not suppose to be back in 24 hrs I waited exactly 24 hours (though there could always be a sec to min either way) lol maybe I should give it more time? :;dk I'll just wait a little longer and see I guess. :;fru Thanks for responding to my thread. :;fr

  4. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    amquel+ and prime detox ammonia/nitrItes to keep the fish safe but if they are present in the tank, you still WILL get a reading for them even if the products are detoxifying them ..they do NOT remove them.....just continue with partial daily water changes until the cycle finishes....then leave the tank be for a good few weeks to stable...then if stocking more fish, do it slowly :)
  5. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Uhg Im getting different advice from family, from friends, from message boards, from stores, from manufacturers, from other researched sources

    Ok, Are you saying don't do any water changes or anything for 3 weeks after its cycled?? :;eye I'm thinking I wont add anymore fish for a long while just to much for now. :;jaws

    On the amquel+ why when I used it on my tap water it went the untreated tap water from testing 40-80 ppm nitrates to treated tap water 0 nitrates? Do only ''detoxed'' nitrates not show up on test but ammonia and nitrites ''detoxed'' do show up on test? Sorry I don't understand because when I used prime I always had the same amount nitrate readings (40-80) but when I started the Amquel+ it stopped. I think I understand what your saying (they are detoxed but will still show on tests, right?)but then i look at my tests that i physically did (and over did to be sure) and saw and they don't match up with what i hear else where...I thought they where different but IDK? :;dk

    Arg, nevermind I think the whole Amquel+ thing has already been gone over in another thread thanks. thanks for helping me.
  6. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    NO I mean "leave the tank be" with stocking more fish not ignoring the water changes...sorry :)....water changes will always be needed depending on what your nitrates say :) and how ever you plan on doing tank maintenance....all the confusion isnt fun for sure...but as long as you have ANY ammonia/nitrites, the daily changes with EITHER prime or amquel+ keeps the fish safe...once you have a 0 reading for ammonia/nitrites, id still go with daily water changes for at least a week more to make sure everything is stable..then your water changes will depend on how fast your nitrates climb
  7. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    ok I thought that didn't sound right even to a newbie lol, thanks for everyones help!
  8. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Can anyone help me? I can Never get a zero ammonia reading the one time I did it still wasn't perfect and I Always get .25 I'm waiting 24 hours and over :(. Iv got zero nitrites now but sell showing .25 ammonia. I don't understand it.
  9. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    have you tested your tap water? how long has this tank been cycling with fish?
  10. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Unless I'm missing something, I can't tell what test kit you're using FL ? :;smack

    e.g. Liquid or Test Strip? if liquid, which one?

    Test strips are extremely innacurate.

    And different liquid test kits can give a 'false positive', particularly on ammonia, whereby ammonium (which is safe) is detected as ammonia.

    FL, i'm sure we can all get to the bottom of this, but if you could let us know how you're testing....
  11. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry, I'm using the API Freshwater Master Kit and I'm using Amquel+ to treat my water. I thought my tap water ammonia was zero but I can test it again? I didn't have the API Test Kit when I first started so I never actually got to see it rise with the API kit. I think its been going about 11 weeks and prob about 10 where with fish and my first original 2 died (i think because of the ammonia spike) I was ignorant about a few things (like using prime or amquel vs other conditioners) so that was my fault. My water went thru a stage where it was a little cloudy too and not to long after that my first 2 fish died. I didn't really want more but my parent brought home more zebra danios before the last one of the first 2 died :;dk so there have always been fish since then and Iv been doing my WCs. I had been around the same for awhile then I went thru the super high nitrite and then going back down but then it started to go back up again though not as high as the first time and has come back down to an actual zero yesterday but I haven't tested today because it hasn't been 24 hours yet. My ammonia has been staying .25 everyday pretty much.

    edit: Ok so I tested my tap again...I'm pretty sure its a zero its not .25
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  12. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    it took me 9 weeks for my tank ..its not fun thats for test your tap to be positive theres no ammonia in it and also check the lot#s on your api test kit to be sure you werent sold an already expired kit...the last four digits are the month/year they were manufactured and they are suppose to be good for up to three years after those dates...
  13. mcurtissdsuWell Known MemberMember

    Actually, from what I understand, those products make it so that ammonia and nitrites are not toxic to the fish for 24 hours but it doesn't remove them from the tank. Thus, you will still get the same readings as you would if you didn't add the products.
  14. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah My test kit is good (1109-0110) and the ammonia must not be from the tap since its zero (tested 2 times its pretty much yellow) so it's like my tank is doing what it should (high nitrite went down, producing nitrates) but theres this ammonia? And from what I read if its not 0 your not cycled so I don't know where I'm at...?
  15. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    unfortunately, still cycling...but with a nitrate reading, you are not far off!! keep your patience in tack !!( I know easier said then done!)
  16. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Alright. Definitely not easy, feels never ending. :;fru
  17. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hang in there FLGirl. Won't be long now. Most of us here at fishlore have experienced the same frustrations.

    When your cycle does finish, can I recommend holding off on adding more fish for about 3 weeks, just to let everything settle. If you add fish as soon as ammonia hits 0, you're risking crashing the cycle.

    Always add your fish slowly (2-3 at a time) to allow your bb a chance to adapt and grow to the new bio-load.

    Glad to see things are on the improve. :;hf
  18. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Hope so! So its normal for ammonia to still be testing even though it already went thru the nitrite rise? My tests today where Ammonia .25 :( Nitrite 0 (I guess its down to zero for good so far) and Nitrate 40-80 .

    Another question (I know I have too many) I'm also confused by my nitrate, isn't it allot to be testing 40-80 everyday or is that normal? IDK The problem is I have nitrates in my tap water which is one reason I picked Amquel+ to use so will this be throwing off my nitrate test? When I first started using amquel+ I finally got a test that wasn't in the 40-80 range (it was pretty much zero) but for awhile (it seems to me anyway) I get 40-80 if I test it, is that normal?

    Yeah, Thanks ryanr. I was going to wait like 2 weeks but 3 is probably better lol. I definitely want to make sure it's stable. The last thing I want to do is have another cycle start or have the current crash!!! :eek: Then I was thinking of just adding one fish just to move cautiously, then wait awhile then maybe 2 maybe one at a time even. (all zebra danios) because I don't want to push it. When I do find it stable and start adding fish how long in between would say is ok? Say if I just add 1 fish at a time?

    Thanks everyone for helping me. :;group
  19. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    When was your last water change?
    And incidentally, what are your pH and temperature readings?

    Lower pH levels and lower temperatures can cause the cycle to take longer.

    With high nitrate levels, I would do a 25-40% water change to dilute the levels. Don't worry, it won't crash your cycle, the bacteria are already established. Or you could add a tank full of plants :;laughing

    Do your water change, then test 24hrs later and see where your levels are at. If nitrates are acceptable (i.e. up to 20ppm), and you still have ammonia readings, I would leave it. (But that might just be me)

    Just dose the tank with Prime to de-tox the ammonia, but still allow your colony to grow bigger. (If you keep taking the ammonia out, the bacteria that consumes ammonia won't grow bigger)

    Anyway, that's how I'd go about it.... open to anyone else for comment on the cycle part?

    As for adding fish, depends on the fish, and the bio-load they'll add. Small fish like tetras won't increase the bio-load dramatically if you add 5 or 6, but a small fish like a bristlenose catfish (pleco) will add more as they are very dirty fish.

    To give you a good idea on bio-loads, check out  

    HTH ;)
  20. FLGirlWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks, Iv been changing it daily. I stopped testing my PH because I was told that it fluctuates so I would be better off just waiting. When I did test it was 7.5 I think and my temp is 77-78. Today my test was the same Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40, Ammonia .25. I also do have some plants in there (a bunch of wisteria, a java fern, and a marimo moss ball). They were all put in this month and they are all doing well and growing. I didn't notice any real fluctuations from adding them. I guess I'll just keep going along and watch my levels for now. :;juggle Hopefully I will have good news to share soon. :;f

    Edit April 26*: Been getting the same results Ammonia .25 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 40?? I thought when my nitrites went back down it wouldn't be too much longer but so far no changes... :;dk

    I'll just keep going hopefully the ammonia will go down this week....nitrates too would be good (is 40-80 a day extreme for cycling 20 gallon with 4 zebra danios???)

    Edit April 27: *Don't think anyone is reading this lol but if anyone is keeping up with me heres an update. My results today where Ammonia: 0 :D Nitrite: 0 and Nitrate: 20-40 (felt it was just a smidgen too dark to say a firm 20 but it wasn't a red 40 either :;hf)

    Post if your reading. :;f
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010

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