3 years ago #1
Elvis
Guest

I cycled a tank, or thought I cycled one to find out after I added my fish that my Nitrite Levels are on the high side (2.0ppm- 5.0ppm testing it with the API fresh water master kit).

Everything else is right where it supposed to be.

pH-7.8
NH3/NH4-0ppm
NO3-0 (although its doesn have some hue of oragne maybe 5ppm max?)

My tank is a 55gal cichlid tank (have 8 cichlids, 12 Netirele(sp?) snails) Assortment of fresh water plants. Running 2 Aqua clear "50 series" fliteration systems. a Fluval 200w heater, and Plenty or aeration for the tank. Its a sand tank with tons of rock for hiding. The new fish came in 3 days ago and before then the nitrite levels were fine. (1.5 months of cycling and water changes)

Not sure If I left anything of importance out but I want to know what to do now as to not let these fish die? None of them seem to be having any issues but I have noticed they go up for air everyone once in a while. Should I keep on normal (25%) weekly water changes? Any ill effects to this? Should I start using chemicals to reduce the Nitrite levels? Any help would be appreciated!!

Before anyone says anything, I am well aware of the Nitrogen Cycle and cycling the tank(from reading of course) but this is my first tank.

Thanks IN advanced!

Answer
3 years ago #2
johnarthur
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You may want to increase partial water change frequency to once every three days until nitrite goes to zero. It's possible the cichlids are disturbing the substrate (they like to do that sort of thing) and releasing nitrite.

Sand, especially the fine stuff, can develop air pockets where bacteria live. When the pockets burst, they release a bad smelling gas which may be increasing nitrite levels.

It's also a good idea to feed the fish no more than they actually eat in a couple of minutes.

I hope some of this helps. Please keep us posted.

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3 years ago #3
Elvis
Guest

Thanks John!!

I actually didn't feed them for the first time until yesterday. I made sure that they only get enough food for 30 seconds -1 minute max. I do this Twice a day.

I did a 15Gal PWC and didnt seem to do anything in terms of the tests.

pH--7.8

Ammonia--Yellow (although it has a brighter hue not really green,from teh chart, but Ill be safe then sorry) .25PPM

Nitrite--2.0-3.0ppm (still the same to me)

Nitrate--5.0ppm

Starting to believe the tank may not be cycled. Anyway, Ill keep at the PWC's every 3 days and report back. Keep feeding to once a day for a Minute.

Out of curiosity, how long can cichlids go without food? They are bottom feeders afterall?

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3 years ago #4
jlk
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If your fish are gasping at the surface, this is a sign of nitrite poisoning. Nitrites are highly toxic to fish & can cause permanent damage & death. I honestly would increase your water changes until you can get your nitrites down to .25ppm or less. Use a good water conditioner (Prime or Amquel Plus) & temperature-matched water for your changes. With high nitrites, your tank is not cycled yet until your ammonia & nitrites stay steadily at zero. Water changes will keep your fish healthy until its fully cycled.

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3 years ago #5
Elvis
Guest

Will be doing another water change tomorrow. Didnt do one today.

The only thing this time is the Nitrite is Still very high (3ppm-5ppm) a bit darker purple color.

Only one fish that I notice might "look" like its being phased by this. He seems like he goes up for air once every like 5 minutes if I watch them for a 10-15minute time span. The rest just swim around with each other chase each other.

So far so good, it seems. I think I will add some more aerations via air lines. is there such a thing as too much aeration for the tank?

Is there anything other then PWC's t reduce nitrite? Some kind of chemical or tablet?

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3 years ago #6
jlk
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The weakest fish will succumb to nitrite poisoning first & show symptoms. Although you may not see other obvious symptoms, they are being affected internally. Nitrite binds to hemoglobin (red blood cells) & prevents oxygen from being absorbed. Its also known as 'brown blood disease'.Fish are unable to assimilate any oxygen & essentially are suffocating. Please google 'nitrite poisoning or brown blood disease' if you would like to learn more information about what is happening. Water changes are the only way to remove nitrites. Products such as Prime or Amquel Plus help to bind levels up to 2ppm temporarily but this is only a band-aid solution.

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3 years ago #7
Elvis
Guest

Thanks, Will be reading as much as I can on NItrite Poisening! Doesnt sound good now that you explained it that way. I added a couple of extra air systems throughout the tank to help aeration.

How often should I start with water changes? Should I be doing 25% daily? I really dont mind doing it but I also dont want to slow down the cycle where it takes a few more months...?

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3 years ago #8
Elvis
Guest

still doing water changes once every 2 days, The nitrite levels are still kinda high,

Is there a such thing as too many PWC's??

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3 years ago #9
jlk
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No such thing as too many water changes. The object of water changes is to get your fish safely & in good health through a cycle. You can do back-to-back water changes or water changes a few times a day to keep levels in check. Just make sure the water is properly conditioned & temperature-matched. Heres a link with some more info:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articles/articles/124/2/- I-just-learned-about-cycling-but-I-already-have-fish- What-now/Page2.html

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3 years ago #10
Elvis
Guest

Thanks for the link!! I will be checking the levels on a bi daily basis. Doing daily water changes. No dead fish thus far!!

In regards to the link, is there any risk in possibly introducing bad bacteria if I went and found some old filter media from a fish store?

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3 years ago #11
jlk
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Do you live in the US? I can give you link to a place that's <email> active filters. If not, make sure you consider anything from the lfs with care. If there's sickly or diseased or dead fish, I would probably pass & keep up the good job your doing!

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3 years ago #12
Elvis
Guest

I went to my local fish store that I have bought all of my stuff from and the people there just gave me the hardest time. At the end they told me they will give me tier "sponge" nitrite bacteria because I didnt buy all my fish there... I thought it was silly.

Kees Aquarium in shelby township MI, That was the last time I will be going there...

If you have any links that would be awesome!

I have noticed that the fish are getting more active but every once in a while they will "swoot" or w.e it is, I think that the Nitrite is just starting to bother them.

I am just doing daily 25% water changes to keep them as Low as I can.


THanks!

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3 years ago #13
jlk
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Here you go! This is the think to Angelsplus filters. I would opt for atleast 2-3 of the 4" (5-6" usually are out of stock) active filters. Make SURE you order the filters labeled ''active'' or you will just be getting a plain, new filter. You can either run them with some airtube & airpump ($10 walmart) or you can cut them up & put them in your present filters or do both. These filters have helped countless people cycle their tanks & I recommend them often!
http://www.angelsplus.com/FiltersSponge.htm

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3 years ago #14
jlk
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I just checked their site (havent been on there in awhile). They changed their offerings around a bit. You want the active filter with the most cubic volume offered (believe its 50-100) and the smallest PPI (largest pore size).

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3 years ago #15
Elvis
Guest

Thanks!! I appreciate it! Went and order a few of thier site! Will update once they come in (2nd day air) and see how fast the nitrite levels drop from there.


Thanks again!

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2 years ago #16
sounds fishy
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Hi mate, I have a new freshwater setup 3 wks old today my nitrite reading is 0.25ppm are my fish going to be safe left over night

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2 years ago #17
johnarthur
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An increase in nitrite (NO2) usually means the nitrogen cycle is in its second development stage. Nitrate (NO3) is considered safe below 40 ppm. Here is what usually happens:
http://www.myaquariumclub.com/another-look-at-the- nitrogen-cycle-1005.html

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2 years ago #18
Hellkin
Guest

Hey guy's ive been reading up on his problem and its simuilar to mine.I had bought a new 55g for my cichlids i cycled the new tank for about a week with some seeded filter media put the fish in with some old decorations with good batarica on them and then added the fish.
Tank ran fine for about 2 weeks with no substrate i then purached some sand substrate at a LFS washed it the best i could and added it,verry shortly after i lost 4 fish within at least 5 hours.The tank is stable for now and the fish are eating great,but i cant get my nitrite levels down and there is a foam forming at the top of my tank.Can anybody help me as to why ths is happening

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2 years ago #19
Abulafia
Master
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Greetings, Hellkin—

Please start this as a new question. Many thanks.

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1 year ago #20
Skipper
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I just had the same problem in my new 75. Did a fishless cycle but seeded my bio filter with sponges from other tanks, took **** from other filter media fed it directly into the intake of my new filter about 4 weeks ago. Tested everything last week and it appeared I had a completely cycled tank. I added my fish from a smaller tank and everything was fine for a week when I did a 90% water change, squeezed both my sponge filters but didn't clean my cannister filter at all. When I added new water a couple days after one of my little guys was swimming fast in circles (clearly nitrite poisoning) and so I did another 50%WC and it helped a bit but next day he was doing same so I tested for Amonia with API slighly yellow borderline lime green, Nitrates = 0, Nitrites = purple. Took all my fish out last night put them back in their old cycled tank. Meantime did a 50%WC last night tested this morning retested Nitrite = darker blueish (0-0.25 ppm) borderline purple but not bright blue as in other tank. Ammonia around 0.25ppm (slighly green yellow). I added some bacteria in the bottle to help the bio filter rebuild itself. Should I do another WC and add some API Stress Zyme? BTW the little guy died after I put him in his old tank but others are doing fine.

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9 months ago #21
lfs operator
Guest

Your ecosystem is struggling to break the nitrates down. The cultures of bacteria such as nitrospira are responsible for the process, and doing repeated water changes takes them out of your ecosystem. While its true that water changes will take it out, it is not the only way. Your cultures of bacteria and carbon pillows will also remove it. For high levels upgrade to a hugh quality pelletized carbon and start dosing with a live bacteria supplement. I recommend stability by seachem. Also the nitrifying species of bacteria all grow best at about 72^f with an alkalinity around 3dkh. Drop your temp to 74^ the cichlids will be fine. Also these bacteria live at the interface where air and water meet. To heavy of a lipid layer on the top of your water can hinder their growth as well as too much disturbance on the surface. Just enough disturbance to break the membrane at the surface. Water can only hold so much oxygen and forcing in more bubbles will not help your fish breath better when nitrites are high. It attacks their bloods ability to transport the oxygen.

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1 month ago #22
frank
Guest

they are omnivore cichlid eat krill other fish herb algua so I personaly have a 55g tank with about 37 cichlid peacock mbuna and some other plus 3 plecko and some clown loche running on a 304 fluvial pump I feed my fish about 6 times a days with dry krill frozen <email> bait (bb platy or goupie) and my water perimeter are just fine do water test and experiment always test you filter it is easy to do take ur normal water test it then take a sample big enough to cycle it then test the sample cycled water see if it change something about 20 min of filtration

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1 week ago #23
Chyl
Guest

What ever happened with your tank how long was it till the levels dropped

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