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Old 07-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #1 
LittleWatty
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Nitrites - How to get rid of?

Some may remember me from a while back when I was posting something similar, but not quite the same.

So, ever since I started with my first betta, Sonas, at the start of June I have had problems with Nitrites spiking in my tanks for no apparent reason. Its not decorations (though, they seem to contribute?), its not my heater, its not substrate, its not a mini-cycle, and its not the tank itself. Its something with my water chemistry. And I don't know what to do. In an uncycled tank, I have to do 100% water changes at least once a day, at the worst I probably should be doing it twice. And this is in a 3 gallon critter keeper. If I put plants in the tank, it slows down the spikes, but rarely does it stop it from happening. And I need to load the tank with plants, the faster they grow, the better. If I don't have enough, my nitrites spike.

I naturally have about 20ppm of Nitrates in my tap water, so the only thing I can think of is some sort of chemical change that turns the Nitrates into Nitrites. What I really need to know is how to neutralize or remove Nitrites, and possibly Nitrates as well. Only thing I can think of is loading the tanks with plants, but I don't have enough free floaters that are healthy enough for that job. Not to mention, if I ever have to set up a hospital tank, I need something that can stand Aquarium/Epsom salt. I have some 4 clusters of java fern, but not nearly enough for the problem.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:36 PM   #2 
Kenny G
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I am not sure how much food your feeding your betta but nitrates can also be high from over feeding. Did you change out your filter media recently? That's where the bacteria is and also in the gravel.

You might want to try adding something to boost bacteria like Tetra SafeStart.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #3 
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Can't - no filter, no substrate. I don't plan on filtering them anytime soon because they are too small. Also, I'm getting nitrite spikes in tanks where I have a fish that isn't eating (and I remove the food after about 10-15 min)
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #4 
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What kind of test products are you using, what is the source water nitrite and pH, type of additives used-dechlorinator, plant food etc... do you have other tanks with the same problem....

What is the source water...well water, city supplied tap water...etc....do you have a water softening unit on the house, if so-does it use salt.....

Is the Betta- gasping at the surface, rapid gill movement, brown/purple gills, flashing, shimming.....
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:43 PM   #5 
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Using API master test kit. No idea what the source of the nitrite is, other than maybe just water chemistry. City tap water. Not sure if there's a water softener - I'm in a house split into apartments.

Betta is not gasping, as far as I can tell, but he's really lethargic, clamped, and when he rests, his gills barely move.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:59 PM   #6 
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No, no...what is the nitrite reading on your tap water or source water that you use for the Betta....unless its in the source water....most likely you are getting a false reading......The Betta will suffocate and die in long term high nitrite and he is not showing symptoms of nitrite poisoning...so his symptoms are most likely caused from something else....

Also, need high/low pH of both source water and tank water and answer the other question from my first post if you can....

To be sure...Its a freshwater master test kit...correct.....

Go ahead and test-everything on both the tank and source water and post those numbers......
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #7 
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Yes, freshwater master test kit. Ah. I've tested tap water before and got a reading of:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~20ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6

New tap reading, as of 5 minutes ago:
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6

pH on aged water (about 5 days) is the same as fresh tap - to make it clear, its water from another tank. I don't know if it will help, since I've never used anything to alter my pH, but I don't know if something in that tank will change the pH (no seashells or anything).

I don't have any different readings on the tank water, as I changed it right when I got back from work. The reading on nitrite was at least 1.0ppm after 24 hours (water change yesterday too).

Last edited by LittleWatty; 07-21-2012 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #8 
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Since it not in your source water.....something else is causing what I suspect is a false nitrite reading since the Betta is asymptomatic to nitrite poisoning...which is a good thing....

Is this a brand new Betta....
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #9 
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I have two brand new bettas, and another I've had for almost two months. One has possible fungal issues, and maybe internal parasites (symptoms I believe are unrelated to the nitrites, but I don't know for sure). As for the other two, they both were/are perfectly healthy in the water with high nitrites. One is now in a cycled tank - no issues. Perfectly healthy. The other is in an unfiltered 1 gallon bowl that gets nitrite spikes after 2 days of about .50ppm. Sonas, my first betta, was actually in water with at least 5.0ppm reading, and didn't seem affected at all.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #10 
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That is why I think the nitrite reading is a false positive....at 5ppm the fish should have died.....Next time you get a nitrite reading take that straight to the fish shop and have them test it...just for kicks.....a Ma & Pa fish shop if you have one close by....
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