Nitrite spike in new tank with fish - how to get it lowered

3 years ago #1
Reesecat
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 0

Hi!

My kids came home with 3 small comet goldfish over Labor Day weekend. Needless to say, we bought a 16 gal tank and had no idea what we were in for! Side note: I know now that we'll need to up the size of the tank as they get bigger.

We feed the goldfish every 3 days. Amonia levels are 0. Nitrate around 10. However we are currenty in a nitrite spike for over a week now. Every day we are doing 30% water changes but the levels remain high at 5.

Any suggestions on how to get the levels down? 2 of the fish seem fine but one is spending more time at the top sucking air than I'd like to see but it doesn't seem to be in emergency distress.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Answer
3 years ago #2
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

Increase your water changes asap- no less than 50% atleast once a day though multiple daily water changes may be necessary. Your fish are showing signs of nitrite poisoning so you need to drop your nitrites down to .25ppm or lower. I would suggest investing in a good water conditioner such as Prime or Amquel Plus as well. Temperature match and properly condition ANY new water.

Unfortunately, comets are not suitable to most home aquariums. They have the potential to grow over a foot long and realistically belong in a pond. Heres a link with more information on goldfish- please ask any questions you may have!
http://www.myaquariumclub.com/goldfish-101-11174823.html

Reply
3 years ago #3
Reesecat
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 0

Thanks for the reply. After doing a 50% change do I need to retest and do a second change or just test daily?

We've been using TopFin water conditioner with the new water - is this not good?

Reply
3 years ago #4
Reesecat
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 0

I was also given Stability (new tank stabilization system) but I have not used it after reading the forums. Is this something I should use?

Reply
3 years ago #5
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

Especially while cycling, Prime or Amquel Plus will be of a big help. They detox (not remove!) ammonia & nitrite so they are in safer forms so your fish are not as affected. Stability (in my experience helping others) has an awful track record. Tetra Safe Start has helped some people but not all. Adding some cycled media from a healthy tank or pond is your best option.

Right now, I would do a 50%wc, wait 1/2hr and retest. If your nitrites are still high, do another wc. Also, test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate so you know what you are putting in your tank. Heres a link with a better explanation of fish-in cycling: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articles/articles/124/2/-I-just-learned-about-cycling-but-I-already-have-fish-What-now/page2.html

Reply
3 years ago #6
Reesecat
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 0

Nothing is working to get the nitrites lowered! We've continued doing daily tests and water changes for 2 weeks and nitrites sill high. Nitrates are now at 20 so im hoping things will start to settle. Today there was a little amonia which I haven't seen in 2 weeks which confused me.

After Prime my one fish who was going to the top for air a bit stopped doing that. But nitrites still high. This is very frustrating.

Reply
3 years ago #7
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

How large are your water changes (%)? Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate? What do these numbers read?

Reply
1 year ago #8
niqua
Guest

You really just need a bigger tank stat! Only 1 should be in that tank. That's comets for you

Reply
1 year ago #9
Carley
Guru
Blogs: 9
Forum: 14,416
Votes: 379

Hi Niqua, just a heads up to say this is a very old thread and I think the problem has probably been solved by now.

A lot of us have made the mistake of posting on a very old thread without realizing it in the beginning! Just take a look at upper right corner and you will see it's 2 yrs old.

Thanks.

Reply
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility.
Copyright © 2006 - 2016 My Aquarium Club