So Confused

Nicole B

Our levels lately have been
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5


Today they were
Ammonia .25
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 5

What could be causing nitrite to go up again?? Took out our old plants that had diatoms on them and replaced them with new ones. We soaked them in treated water..
did a water change yesterday after a week of not doing one 30% with prime and stability. (A little cleaning) in one spot of the tank.
Anyone know what would cause this?
 

Billy T

Have you lost any fish?
 

Billy T

Then hang tight. My Nitrates were at 5 for like 3 or 4 days then got to the 10-20 range. From what I’ve gathered so far while many suggests frequent water changes which is probably best for the fish, it hurts the cycle. On the other hand the seachem techs trust their products and go against the frequent water changes only suggesting no more than 25% and as a few as possible. I’d say if your fish are doing good you’re doing good. Little patience, I know easier said then done trust me lol. But go with you’re heart and gut and keep an eye on your fish and keep asking when in doubt
 

Nicole B

Then hang tight. My Nitrates were at 5 for like 3 or 4 days then got to the 10-20 range. From what I’ve gathered so far while many suggests frequent water changes which is probably best for the fish, it hurts the cycle. On the other hand the seachem techs trust their products and go against the frequent water changes only suggesting no more than 25% and as a few as possible. I’d say if your fish are doing good you’re doing good. Little patience, I know easier said then done trust me lol. But go with you’re heart and gut and keep an eye on your fish and keep asking when in doubt
We went a week without doing a water change just dosing prime and they all were fine. Even the 2 babies. Then after our water change and adding in some new fake plants the nitrite went up again. Hmm. Confusing.
 

Billy T

The beneficial bacteria is just like us, like the fish, doesn’t like change. Someone else may know better but if you’re Nitrates are at 5 I wouldn’t do a water change until they’re 40 or above. Let the Nitrates take care of the Ammonia and Nitrites
 

mattgirl

I want to start out with .... This may be totally off base and everyone can take it with a grain of salt and think I am way off base but it is something I have been noticing so here goes....

This seems to happen often when one is dosing with a bacteria booster such as stability but it seems to be the case with other bacteria products too.

Is it possible that the off readings are being caused by the product being added? It seems to me, readings are fine, add product, readings are off. Is there a correlation to be made of that fact? I keep seeing it over and over from so many different threads.

This tells me that the product is doing what it was designed to do and if allowed to complete its job the perimeters will stabilize. I am a firm believer in water changes but that is based on building a natural cycle (no bottled bacteria involved) so normally recommend water changes for most problems.

When adding bacteria one doesn't want to remove it with water changes until it has finished its job. Each product should have directions as to how to use it. If one trusts the product one should follow the directions to a tee. I see a lot of folks panic when they see off readings and immediately add another product or remove the one they have added and that is defeating the purpose of adding the bacteria to begin with.

Something is added to the Bottled bacteria that keeps the bacteria alive in the bottle. Is it possible that this something is what is causing the off readings and if allowed to do its thing it will finish its job and then stabilize.

Patience it the very most important thing to have when cycling a tank. Products are designed to help speed up the process but even they take time and patience.

All of this just to say. I think you are going to continue to get off readings as long as you continue to add a bacteria booster. Your reading were good. You added Stability. You have nitrites again.

And as my first sentence said. I could be way off base.
 

Nicole B

I want to start out with .... This may be totally off base and everyone can take it with a grain of salt and think I am way off base but it is something I have been noticing so here goes....

This seems to happen often when one is dosing with a bacteria booster such as stability but it seems to be the case with other bacteria products too.

Is it possible that the off readings are being caused by the product being added? It seems to me, readings are fine, add product, readings are off. Is there a correlation to be made of that fact? I keep seeing it over and over from so many different threads.

This tells me that the product is doing what it was designed to do and if allowed to complete its job the perimeters will stabilize. I am a firm believer in water changes but that is based on building a natural cycle (no bottled bacteria involved) so normally recommend water changes for most problems.

When adding bacteria one doesn't want to remove it with water changes until it has finished its job. Each product should have directions as to how to use it. If one trusts the product one should follow the directions to a tee. I see a lot of folks panic when they see off readings and immediately add another product or remove the one they have added and that is defeating the purpose of adding the bacteria to begin with.

Something is added to the Bottled bacteria that keeps the bacteria alive in the bottle. Is it possible that this something is what is causing the off readings and if allowed to do its thing it will finish its job and then stabilize.

Patience it the very most important thing to have when cycling a tank. Products are designed to help speed up the process but even they take time and patience.

All of this just to say. I think you are going to continue to get off readings as long as you continue to add a bacteria booster. Your reading were good. You added Stability. You have nitrites again.

And as my first sentence said. I could be way off base.
Wow. I never even thought that stability could of been the problem.... I was thinking maybe the new fake plants. Lol
The bottle says to add it in with every water change though. I was also told by a few people to add it in also.
 

mattgirl

Wow. I never even thought that stability could of been the problem.... I was thinking maybe the new fake plants. Lol
The bottle says to add it in with every water change though. I was also told by a few people to add it in also. I’m not sure what to do now. If stability is even the problem.
I am not saying that it is a problem. I am just saying that it could be the cause of the readings you are getting.
 

Nicole B

I am not saying that it is a problem. I am just saying that it could be the cause of the readings you are getting.
should we try not adding it in next time?
 

mattgirl

should we try not adding it in next time?
That is totally up to you. Lots of folks have used it with good results.

You can find out if it is in fact causing the readings you are getting. This time you added it and got a nitrite reading. Run the test again after a couple of days and see if the nitrite reads 0.

Run the nitrite test again right before your next water change. Add the stability just like you usually do with your water change. Run the nitrite test again. If it registers nitrite that will tell you that you are getting the reading because of the stability. I am not saying that it is causing a problem. It will just explain where the nitrites are coming from.
 

Nicole B

That is totally up to you. Lots of folks have used it with good results.

You can find out if it is in fact causing the readings you are getting. This time you added it and got a nitrite reading. Run the test again after a couple of days and see if the nitrite reads 0.

Run the nitrite test again right before your next water change. Add the stability just like you usually do with your water change. Run the nitrite test again. If it registers nitrite that will tell you that you are getting the reading because of the stability. I am not saying that it is causing a problem. It will just explain where the nitrites are coming from.
We tested a few hours later after the water change yesterday and nitrite was 0. It wasn’t until Today it went up to .25
 

Billy T

From my experience, although only the one cycled 5G tank, with only a baby Betta, I would just try prime every 2 days, pay attention to fish, and try not to water for a week. When my Nitrates reaches 10, they took care of the ammonia and nitrites
 

Nicole B

From my experience, although only the one cycled 5G tank, with only a baby Betta, I would just try prime every 2 days, pay attention to fish, and try not to water for a week. When my Nitrates reaches 10, they took care of the ammonia and nitrites
Yeah we haven’t gotten up to 10 yet. It stays at 5 is what we’ve noticed. For a few weeks now.
 

Comet-Aurum

strange when I first started my tank same problem but it stoped in about a month.
 

Nicole B

strange when I first started my tank same problem but it stoped in about a month.
Hmm really?
 

mattgirl

We tested a few hours later after the water change yesterday and nitrite was 0. It wasn’t until Today it went up to .25
Sounds like that shoots holes in my theory

At least you do have prime so even if you don't get to the bottom of the nitrite readings it is low enough for Prime to keep it less harmful for your fish.

Even though your tank appears to be cycled it can take time for it to get fully established. It sounds like you are really really close.
 

Comet-Aurum

yeah it was weird but my fish made it and I made it
 

Nicole B

Sounds like that shoots holes in my theory

At least you do have prime so even if you don't get to the bottom of the nitrite readings it is low enough for Prime to keep it less harmful for your fish.

Even though your tank appears to be cycled it can take time for it to get fully established. It sounds like you are really really close.
I get excited we are close and then something weird happens! Lol! Our ammonia doesn’t want to go back to 0 either. Stays at .25 but our tap does have ammonia. Maybe our tap had a bit of nitrite even though it hasn’t when we’ve tested. I have no clue.

Edit: nitrite in tap is 0. Wish we knew what was causing it

yeah it was weird but my fish made it and I made it
That is great! Hope our fish make it too.
 

Billy T

yeah it was weird but my fish made it and I made it

After all said and done I think I stressed way more than my fish did
 

Nicole B

After all said and done I think I stressed way more than my fish did
That’s me too. Lol
 

Comet-Aurum

dont stress but be cool
your fish will make it so will you
 

Jenoli42

I am not saying that it is a problem. I am just saying that it could be the cause of the readings you are getting.

Hmmmm. I swear by prime & stability. but I've always used at least double the recommended dose of stability. when my tank had blips of .25 ammonia or nitrite I would add double dose of stability (& normal dose of prime every 24 hours) ... and nitrites disappeared in 8-12 hours (ammonia sometimes more stubborn). but every tank is different & it's possible some tests are affected. that just hasn't been my experience this far.
 

Nicole B

Hmmmm. I swear by prime & stability. but I've always used at least double the recommended dose of stability. when my tank had blips of .25 ammonia or nitrite I would add double dose of stability (& normal dose of prime every 24 hours) ... and nitrites disappeared in 8-12 hours (ammonia sometimes more stubborn). but every tank is different & it's possible some tests are affected. that just hasn't been my experience this far.
I wonder if that would help us. We haven’t been dosing stability though.
 

mattgirl

Hmmmm. I swear by prime & stability. but I've always used at least double the recommended dose of stability. when my tank had blips of .25 ammonia or nitrite I would add double dose of stability (& normal dose of prime every 24 hours) ... and nitrites disappeared in 8-12 hours (ammonia sometimes more stubborn). but every tank is different & it's possible some tests are affected. that just hasn't been my experience this far.
I agree with you. I have read really good words about using stability but I often have seen blips happening while using any of the BB's.

One may have absolutely nothing to do with the other though. I now suspect the reason I have seen this pattern is because it is always connected to a cycling tank.

That is just the way my mind works. I try my best to get to the bottom of why something is happening and can often come up with off the wall ideas. Some have proven right but often more study is warranted

Hopefully Nicole B's tank will soon stabilize.
I wonder if that would help us. We haven’t been dosing stability though.
I am confused Nicole. The first post in this thread says you are dosing Stability
 

Billy T

Think the suggested use is double dose first time, then regular dose the next 6 days and regular dose with water change. Have I followed that to a t, no but was told more will not hurt but will not really benefit either
 

Nicole B

I agree with you. I have read really good words about using stability but I often have seen blips happening while using any of the BB's.

One may have absolutely nothing to do with the other though. I now suspect the reason I have seen this pattern is because it is always connected to a cycling tank.

That is just the way my mind works. I try my best to get to the bottom of why something is happening and can often come up with off the wall ideas. Some have proven right but often more study is warranted

Hopefully Nicole B's tank will soon stabilize.

I am confused Nicole. The first post in this thread says you are dosing Stability
We dose prime every 24 hours and just have been adding stability in with the water changes. Well we stopped using stability about a week or so ago because we used it for the recommended time plus more than 7 days and someone had told us to stop and just use it during water changes. We don’t dose stability every day.
 

Jenoli42

We dose prime every 24 hours and just have been adding stability in with the water changes. Well we stopped using stability about a week or so ago because we used it for the recommended time plus more than 7 days and someone had told us to stop and just use it during water changes. We don’t dose stability every day.

There is no such thing as "too much BB" so I used double the dose recommended until the blips stopped. Like you, I also use prime every 24 hours.

my rule of thumb was that I only used stability and prime without water changes unless the total of ammonia + nitrite got to .75 combined or above (eg, .5ammonia + .25 nitrite, I would do a 30-50% wc, but less and I would just dose stability and prime).

the only negative about increasing the dose is potentially wasting the product. honestly, sometimes I did triple the dose recommended and my tanks cycled faster than most others I read about on this forum. but again, that's just my experience Pro: tank cycles more quickly and you get rid of blips in 12 hours. con: wasting a bit of money. I decided it was worth it.
 

Nicole B

There is no such thing as "too much BB" so I used double the dose recommended until the blips stopped. Like you, I also use prime every 24 hours.

my rule of thumb was that I only used stability and prime without water changes unless the total of ammonia + nitrite got to .75 combined or above (eg, .5ammonia + .25 nitrite, I would do a 30-50% wc, but less and I would just dose stability and prime).

the only negative about increasing the dose is potentially wasting the product. honestly, sometimes I did triple the dose recommended and my tanks cycled faster than most others I read about on this forum. but again, that's just my experience Pro: tank cycles more quickly and you get rid of blips in 12 hours. con: wasting a bit of money. I decided it was worth it.
Hmmmm should we dose stability too then? We have huge bottle that is still full so it wouldn’t hurt to use it. Lol I can’t remember why people told us to stop using it.
 

Nicole B

Nitrite back to 0!!! Yay! Must of been stability causing it to rise.
 

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Comet-Aurum

yay!
that's good news!
 

Billy T

Congrats but it could also be stability kicking in. Don’t mean to confuse, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Enjoy trying to figure it out. I don’t have a clue, but for me testing and paying attention to my fish seems to be working with my 10G. As far as tank being cycled I’ve given up on trying to control when it cycles, it will happen when it happens. Best I can do is watch my fish, test, prime( if needed) and do water changes(when needed) every day if needs be
 

Nicole B

Congrats but it could also be stability kicking in. Don’t mean to confuse, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Enjoy trying to figure it out. I don’t have a clue, but for me testing and paying attention to my fish seems to be working with my 10G. As far as tank being cycled I’ve given up on trying to control when it cycles, it will happen when it happens. Best I can do is watch my fish, test, prime( if needed) and do water changes(when needed) every day if needs be
That is what we are doing now too.
 

Comet-Aurum

that's good to hear the nitrites are 0!
hopes it stays that way!!
 

Nicole B

that's good to hear the nitrites are 0!
hopes it stays that way!!
Still 0 today!
 

Comet-Aurum

awesome!
 

Billy T

Nicole what’s the latest?
 

Nicole B

0, 0, 5-10!
 

Madeline Peterson

Don't worry. When your tank is cycling, your nitrites are supposed to go up briefly, as the bacteria poop out nitrites after eating ammonia produced by fish poop.

Soon different bacteria will start to multiply, eat the nitrites, and poop out nitrates. You get rid of nitrates when you partially change the tank water, but you don't need to do that often, because most freshwater fish can tolerate nitrates up to 20.

The conversion of ammonia to nitrites to nitrates is known as the nitrogen cycle, and the process of setting up the nitrogen cycle is known as tank cycling.

Oh, and don't change the water unless your nitrites get higher. Water changes interfere with tank cycling by removing both beneficial bacteria and the food they need to multiply. In fact, never completely remove all the water from your tank. Partial water changes will remove nitrates without wiping out all your beneficial bacteria.
 

Rogue_Wolf

Wait a minute, did you say your tap water has ammonia in it?
If you do a water change and take readings right away afterwards that’s why you’re seeing ammonia at .25
I would do a water change and then wait 24 hours before testing. If your tank is cycled it should be able to remove the .25 ammonia from your tap water. You should also not be reading any nitrite levels if you’re cycled.
How long has this tank been set up, running, with fish?
I disagree with the statement made above me regarding water changes. You aren’t going to remove any beneficial bacteria by water changes. The bacteria is 99% on your decorations, substrate, tank walls, and mostly in your filter. Water changes will remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Keep in mind you need ammonia to feed and grow the beneficial bacteria. This is why we add Prime, as Prime supposedly makes the ammonia non-toxic, but the bacteria you’re trying to grow can still use it. Make sense? Prime also removes chlorine from tap water, which will kill your beneficial bacteria colony. Never rinse your filter media in tap water!
Also, is your tank heater cranked up? Bacteria like warm water. Like 80*F
 

Rogue_Wolf

0, 0, 5-10!
That’s a cycled tank IMO. Now test again tomorrow not changing anything today and see what you get.
 

Nicole B

Wait a minute, did you say your tap water has ammonia in it?
If you do a water change and take readings right away afterwards that’s why you’re seeing ammonia at .25
I would do a water change and then wait 24 hours before testing. If your tank is cycled it should be able to remove the .25 ammonia from your tap water. You should also not be reading any nitrite levels if you’re cycled.
How long has this tank been set up, running, with fish?
I disagree with the statement made above me regarding water changes. You aren’t going to remove any beneficial bacteria by water changes. The bacteria is 99% on your decorations, substrate, tank walls, and mostly in your filter. Water changes will remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Keep in mind you need ammonia to feed and grow the beneficial bacteria. This is why we add Prime, as Prime supposedly makes the ammonia non-toxic, but the bacteria you’re trying to grow can still use it. Make sense? Prime also removes chlorine from tap water, which will kill your beneficial bacteria colony. Never rinse your filter media in tap water!
Also, is your tank heater cranked up? Bacteria like warm water. Like 80*F
Yes our tap has about .50- 1.0 of ammonia in it.
We do wait 24 hours before testing and still had some ammonia but lately our ammonia has been 0. Nitrite also 0. Nitrates 5-10 so I’m just testing all week to be sure. We haven’t rinsed our filter media yet. Our tank is about a month and 2 weeks old. The first 2 weeks we didn’t know we had to cycle so for about a month we have been trying to cycle and I think we may be there. I was dosing prime just because our ammonia sometime seem to be a little greenish but today I didn’t so tonight I’m going to test and see if levels are the same. If so, I think we are finally cycled.
 

Nicole B

Yay!!! So exciting
 

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Keith83

I'm having a nitrate problem. I have a new 55 gallon tank. I treated with tetra Safe Start. I have 7 giant danios in the tank. They all are healthy. They've been in the tank 10 days. I tested the water. .25 amonia, 0 nitrite but 160 nitrate. I have 7 Java fern, a large Asian fern and a medium anubias that are doing well and have shown growth. The tank is only 13 days in cycle so I'm afraid to do a water change. I add a gallon of water every other day due to evaporation. Do I need to that the tank with some kind if nutratn resucer? I don't know what do do. Any suggestions? PS. This was my first post. I just join d the forum.
 

Nicole B

I'm having a nitrate problem. I have a new 55 gallon tank. I treated with tetra Safe Start. I have 7 giant danios in the tank. They all are healthy. They've been in the tank 10 days. I tested the water. .25 amonia, 0 nitrite but 160 nitrate. I have 7 Java fern, a large Asian fern and a medium anubias that are doing well and have shown growth. The tank is only 13 days in cycle so I'm afraid to do a water change. I add a gallon of water every other day due to evaporation. Do I need to that the tank with some kind if nutratn resucer? I don't know what do do. Any suggestions? PS. This was my first post. I just join d the forum.
From what I’ve learned I would do a big water change to get the nitrates below 40 ppm. Are you testing with a master kit? Don’t be afraid to do a water change. It will save your fish. Do you have prime? If not, I would pick up some also. You seem to be close to being cycled if you can get your nitrates below 40 and ammonia to 0.
 

Keith83

I have a master kit that I test with. I have aquasafe but no prime. I can pick that up tomorrow. I've also seen a product from tetra called easy balance. Do you recommend that? Also will a big water change cause an algie bloom? Would I need to add more safe start? Thank you for your input.
 

Nicole B

I have a master kit that I test with. I have aquasafe but no prime. I can pick that up tomorrow. I've also seen a product from tetra called easy balance. Do you recommend that? Also will a big water change cause an algie bloom? Would I need to add more safe start? Thank you for your input.
I’ve never heard of easy balance. I use prime and stability (from advice of people on here and it saved my fish). I would use that instead of aquasafe as prime detoxifies ammonia and nitrite up to 1ppm and neutralizes chlorine and heavy metals in tap water. I’m just a beginner too but have learned quite a bit on this forum! A big water change shouldn’t cause an algae bloom. That hasn’t ever happened to me anyways. Do you have algae in your tank? If you have any other questions you can make your own thread and people that know more than I do can help you out. But if your nitrate is that high a big water change should help it come down as that high of nitrates is dangerous for fish.
 

Keith83

Thanks so much
 

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