What do I do about my nitrite levels and my nitrate levels?

  1. Dunnill0816 Initiate Member

    I recently purchased an AquaOne AquaNano 22(5 gal) fish tank from my local pet store just 2 and a half weeks ago and it has been up and running now for nearly to weeks. Maybe I should of left it longer but I took a sample of my water in and they said it was fine so I went ahead and got 4 Balloon Mollies which they also said was fine and that they would fit in their just nicely. This I found out was not correct and in fact they need a larger tank, so I'm going to purchase an AquaNano 40 which is 55l(12 gal) would they know fit in there, even when they are fully grown? It will talk me at least a few days to get a hold of the new tank and then the filter has to mature for a month or so after so will they be ok until then?
    I did a 15% water change earlier on and then tested the levels in my tank, it read:
    NO(3)-100+
    NO(2)-somewhere between 5&10
    GH-16d
    KH-10d
    pH-7.6
    CL(2)-0
    Temp-25c-28c

    I then did a further 10% water change and the results were maybe slightly a bit better. What else can I do to get the nitrites and nitrates down before my fish die?! Ps: one potentially could be pregnant from when I bought her.
     
  2. hopeful fish Well Known Member Member

    I'm sorry to inform you, but that tank is grossly overstocked. I'd recommend upgrading to a 29 gallon if you can. If not, I'd consider rehoming them to someone with a larger tank.

    Those parameters are also pretty bad--nitrite should always be below .5 in an uncycled tank, and nitrate should always be below 80 in any tank, preferably below 40 or 20. I recommend doing several back-to-back 50% water changes. Don't even test between them--just do them back to back. After 5 water changes, give the fish a rest and test the water. Start up water changes again the next day if they are still bad.

    What are your ammonia readings? Do you have Prime? If you do, you may want to double dose it with every water change.
     

  3. Dunnill0816 Initiate Member

    I know it is overstocked I'm going to take one back and get the 55l(12gal) tank. Will they be ok in their for a month or so? Also it doesn't tell me the ammonia readings and what is a prime?
     

  4. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    If you are not aware of the nitrogen cycle (words should be link to article) please read up on it. It is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.
     

  5. Dunnill0816 Initiate Member

    I am aware and have read up on it already but thanks anyway.
     
  6. Machine11 Well Known Member Member

    Best way to get nitrite and nitrate levels down is back to back water changes.
    Are you using test strips or a liquid test kit? Liquid test kits are more accurate, recommend the API freshwater master kit, it has pH, high pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests in it. It can be expensive upfront but you will get at least 150 tests out of them so the cost long term compared to test strips is better.
    Running a filter in an empty tank with no ammonia source (moving on to your new tank when you get it) such as fish, fish food or pure ammonia drops won't cycle your new filter or add any beneficial bacteria.
    Not sure what filter you have ATM or what the filter media is for your new one, but if you were to transfer the filter media from the 5g to your new one you will already have started the cycle therefore can transfer your fish basically straight over.


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  7. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    Since most folks have already addressed the stocking, pwc, and other elements. I'll state one more thing. Avoid the fish store you purchased your stock from. If they told you all was well, they are not familiar with caring for fish and likely do not take care of their own stock.
     
  8. Machine11 Well Known Member Member

    1 question forgot to answer is what is prime.
    Prime is a water conditioner made by Seachem. It detoxes ammonia, nitrites for 24-48 hours and heavy metals in water and removes chlorine and chloramines. Most on Fishlore use it because 1) it's a quality product 2) bang for buck. I use like a ml of prime to condition 10 L of tap water and even that is a lot of prime to use.
    There are plenty of other water conditioners on the market, just most on here use prime


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  9. Dunnill0816 Initiate Member

    I currently use tetra test strips but from your advice I will soon be moving on to the liquid test kits. Also yes I do use a water conditioner but it is not prime, it's from a make called love fish and it's called tap safe but I don't know if you will of heard of it.
     
  10. Dunnill0816 Initiate Member

    How many more water changes should I do? I'd say I've done about 4, 20% water changes today.
     
  11. ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    The potential problem is that not all tap water is equal--some has chlorine added, more has chloramine added, and some comes with high nitrites or nitrate, so testing your source water is always a good idea( for chlorine or chloramine, just ask you local utility).
    Please recall that nano tanks are very difficult to care for, at least I find them so, so you have basically started on the Mount Everest of freshwater aquarium keeping, which is fine, but a steep learning curve, I believe, but am sure you can manage.
    This is just a general observation, not at all a criticism of any kind, btw, and all the best to you-rick
     
  12. Archie1208 Member Member

    Bigger tank or just be ready for frequent water changes that are larger than 10 percent


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