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Old 08-31-2012, 08:54 AM   #1 
goshinkansen
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Nitrites up, how many water changes?

Hi,

In my cycling 5 gallon tank with a filter and heater, the ammonia seems to have stabilized. Now I have the higher nitrIte reading, although it's really really faint on my test strip. That's the only liquid test that we don't have, but so far the strips have matched other tests.

Should I still be changing out some of the water while the second round of bacteria grow? How much and how frequently?

Thanks,
Jen
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:09 AM   #2 
Olympia
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If there are no fish in this tank there is no need to do water changes.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:12 AM   #3 
goshinkansen
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There is a fish in my tank.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:26 AM   #4 
Olympia
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Oh, that high nitrite could do him in pretty quick. Do 50% now, test, do 50% again tonight, you want it down to 0 (there will still be tiny amounts feeding the bacteria, don't worry).
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #5 
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My neighbor was having this same issue yesterday. I'm having him do about 20% water changes twice a day and it's almost down to normal levels. I'd do the water changes for a few days and monitor the levels.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #6 
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NitrItes are hard on a fish.. I'd do the 50% then 50% later in the day instead of the 20%. The 20% won't make much of a water quality difference and you are getting more produced. Need to get to zero ASAP. I do 90% on my spawn tanks and grow outs.. daily if needed. And the fish do fine. But the 50% twice is probably better. I just don't have the time with all the tanks I have.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #7 
goshinkansen
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From my reading of the cycling guides on these boards, I thought an elevation in Nitrites was expected while cycling a tank. I thought I was waiting for the second type of bacteria to grow that would eat the nitrites and then turn it into nitrates. Am I missing something?

If I completely try to eradicate the nitrites, won't I prevent the bacteria from growing?

The reading is just barely .5.

Jen
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #8 
Olympia
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There will still be tiny amounts of nitrite feeding the bacteria, no worries.
Fish-in cycling has to be done slowly for the sake of the fish.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:32 PM   #9 
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Yes, they're supposed to show up when you cycle but you need to keep it close to 0 at all times. Ammonia is in the tank 24/7. It isn't just fish waste and food, ammonia unleashes when they breath through their gills as well. Therefore, nitrite is present. So if you're in the middle of the cycle, nitrite will be present even in water changes but in a smaller amount. .25ppm is the maximum for your fish not to be stressed so that's why. Don't say "barely". .5ppm is a lot more than .25ppm which can hurt your fish. The bacteria will keep growing if there's food in the tank which there is. Sorry if it's confusing. :\
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #10 
goshinkansen
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My ammonia reading is holding at zero (yellow on my liquid test) - has been for days now. I only have test strips for my nitrites right now, so I can't get any more specific than somewhere between 0 and .5 on the test strip. The color is definitely not the creamy white, but it's not as pink a the next color up, which is marked as .5. I've changed about half the water a couple times this week, and I haven't been able to get it back to white yet.
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