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Old 01-16-2013, 11:36 PM   #1 
Sixwolf
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Why are these nitrites showing up?

Today was vacuum day for my betta's 5-gal, which I do once a week. I use this to do a 50% water change. After cleaning up and doing the change, I waited for any extra debris to settle before testing the water. Everything was at the proper level, except nitrates and nitrites. They were a little too high for my liking. But why would they still be so high after a 50% water change? Just in case, I did an additional 25% water change, waited again for the water to settle, and took another reading. Nitrates were good, but nitrites were still up a bit. Why is this? I'm wondering if it has to do with maybe the spot I'm taking the sample from? It's near the filter output. Also, I'm using the API 5-in-1 test strips, and I've heard those can sometimes be inaccurate, so maybe it's that? Keep in mind I usually do one or two other 25% water changes during the week. What do you guys think? Test strip error? Bad testing spot? Something else?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:05 AM   #2 
callistra
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Your tank must still be cycling if you're seeing nitrites. You need more than a once weekly changes in this case. In this case you should be testing daily for ammonia and nitrites and doing a 50% change any time you see as little as .25ppm. In addition to this the weekly change is needed. If you're not doing this you very well may need several changes to get it back under control. A fully cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, and 0 nitrites. At that point you will need the once weekly change to keep nitrates <20ppm.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:10 AM   #3 
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I figured I might be reaching the end of my cycle, since the ammonia levels were at 0, but the other two were up. I do at least two or three partial changes a week, including the one with the vacuum. Now that I know I'm seeing those nitrite and nitrate spikes, I'll keep a close eye on it and change when needed. Thanks!
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