HELP!! NITRITES not going down. - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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HELP!! NITRITES not going down.


I have a new 30 gallon tank that has been setup for about 5 weeks (Dec. 28th) and has fish for about 2 weeks (Jan 2nd). We have 2 Guorami, 2 Dalmation Molly, 2 Female Swordtails, 1 male Swordtails, 1 Tetra, 3 dwarf frogs.

I've been testing the water using the API Test kit every couple of days and I consistently see the Ammonia around 0.25, Nitrite VERY PURPLE (above 5) and the Nitrates hovering 5 to 10.

After discussing these numbers with pet stores and reading online, I've been doing a 40-50% water change every other day and adding prime as well as have added numerous live plants. I was also told that I shouldn't have cleaned the gravel as much as I did but have been doing the water changes every 2 days for the last 2 weeks and feeding once a day.

I'm starting to get confused and frustrated because I've been reading that a 50% water change will drop the Nitrite's by half but even after I do the change, wait an hour and then do another test the Nitrites are still VERY purple.

Any ideas on what I should be doing differently? Am I on the right track and it's going to take numerous more weeks of this??

Thanks in advance for any suggestions on where to go from here!!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:04 AM
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

I'm confused about your time frame. Yo said tanks been set up or 5 weeks (dec 28th) and fish hae ben in for 2 weeks (Jan 2nd)??? Sounds like you added fish before your tank cycled. Even with that you shouldn't still have NitrItes at this point. Keep doing your water changes and make sure you're not vacuuming you gravel for at least a week. A lotof your beneficial bacteria are in there and you need to ge it a chance build up. After awhie, you can resume vacuming, but only do about a 1/3 of the of the gravel at a time (during weekly water changes). The live plants will help but it will take some time.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 04:58 AM
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

1^ with Sully.Change water multiple times if necessary to lower nitrItes,as often as necessary.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

Yes, you are correct that I did add my fish to the tank after it had been setup for 5 days. It was probably too early for fish....

Now that I have the fish and the Nitrite problem, WHEN will I start to see some change in the Nitrite levels? I'm still going to do the 40-50% water change every other day and hope to see some improvement soon. It's just getting a little frustrating and confusing on why I've yet to see any change after 2 weeks of this.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 09:32 AM
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

Have you tested your tap water? The water you're adding to your tank might have nitrites in it.

Also, are you sure you're doing the test correctly? I believe it's 5 drops, invert the vial once or twice, and leave for 5 minutes.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:30 PM
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

I just went through a fishless cycle with the exact same. Very high nitrites even though the nitrates were starting to show. Went and spoke with a chemist who works at the city water plant and he suggested I do a 90% water change. He explained to me that the nitrites to nitrogen bacteria can stall if the levels get too high, bacteria will not multiply as fast therefore stalling the cycle. It worked like a charm, did the 90% water change nitrites still read about 3ppm after change and within two days ammoni and nitrites were zero!!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 07:59 PM
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

along with water changes try PURIGEN it works well
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP!! NITRITES not going down.

I have tested the tap water and confirmed it has ZERO Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates across the board.

I can't do a 90% water change with fish in the tank, right???

Any other suggestions? I've heard from pet stores to maybe use the "Safe Start" treatment.....
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