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Discussion Starter #1
So I have had my tank setup for 3 months and have had high nitrite levels for the past two months that wont seem to go away with treatment suggested by my LFS and water changes. All other levels are normal and no ammonia is present in the water tests. I have java moss, wisteria, amazon swords and java ferns. Fish are two panther catfish, white convict, firemouth chiclid, spotted puffer, two chinese algae eater and one mono. I have visited 3 LFS and each tests my water says no ammonia present but high nitrites and then they sell me a product they believe will remove the nitrites but none have worked so far please help I am going nuts over this.
Oh also fish do not seem to have any issues not gasping for air at the surface which is typically a sign of high nitrites. I have only lost one fish a black convict she kept laying eggs every two weeks since I got her and just died the other day after laying a fresh batch of eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry here are some specs 20 gallon tank with a Emperor Power Filter 400BD for 80 gallon tank 400GPH, substrate is standard gravel with fert tabs underplants when they were initially planted which was when the tank was cycling back in week one and two. Plants include two java moss clumps, piece of drift wood with one dwarf anubis, two amazon swords and two mini swords, one java fern mat and five single stalk wisteria. Fish include one spotted puffer, one white convict, one firemouth, two speckled catfish, one mono and two chinese algae eaters.
 

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If it is nitrItes not nitrAtes, then stop adding food. In about 3 days nitrItes should start droping and be unmeasureable after a week or sooner.


If it is nitrAtes, hang in there. The tank could still be cycling with the plants keeping ammonia unmeasureable. NitrAtes will start dropping (and pH raise) once the aerobic bacteria build up enough to fully consume the ammonia. In the meantime all is well and it just needs more time to full "cycle".


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is NitrItes and I was advised by one of my LFS to stop feeding did not feed for five days and they were still testing high returned to same LFS and was provided a live bacteria to add every other day did that for a week till bottle was gone like instructed still no change they advised buy another bottle but I said I needed another opinion.
 

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Well to start off with that is WAY too many fish for a 20 gallon and you have FW and Brackish water fish in there. They are all messy eaters and that could be part of your problem and I do agree with beaslbob
 

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I am sorry to say but I am not sure any of your fish are suitable for a 20 gallon tank. I believe the firemouth is the smallest fish you have and it gets up to 7 inches and thats a lot of fish, is your tank a 20 long or tall.
 

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It is NitrItes and I was advised by one of my LFS to stop feeding did not feed for five days and they were still testing high returned to same LFS and was provided a live bacteria to add every other day did that for a week till bottle was gone like instructed still no change they advised buy another bottle but I said I needed another opinion.
You didn't wait long enough. In extreme cases I have stopped adding food for up to 3 weeks. Forget adding the bacteria. You will get all the bacteria you need with no additives.

One of the most rewarding things I experienced was on my first Saltwater tank. NitrItes had pegged the kit for weeks. So I stopped adding food and about 2 weeks later of the red test pegging the kit all the sudden in 2 days dropped down to 0. Since then I have had a couple of similiar experiences with FW fish with huge bioloads.

my .02
 
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Discussion Starter #10
20 gallon high none of my fish are over 2 inches long the puffer actually is the smallest. I have only lost two fish total since i started the tank one mono which was stressed when the black convict laid first set of eggs and then the black convict after laying eggs for a third time I am to the point where I want to go to a non aggressive since I have a jungle of plants.
 

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The waste produced by those is probably more than your tank can handle if not now very soon and you need to look at adult size when picking your fish. I was looking around and every fish you have has a 30 gallon minimum size tank requirement and thats per fish. I am sorry if I am sounding like a jerk because I am not trying to and am very happy you came here and are asking questions. I would also like to remind you that LFS's or Pet Stores are there to sell you fish so some are likely to tell you anything to make a sale. I hope you keep asking questions here because we really want to help people and I bet most of us went thru the same thing as you.
 

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Thanks, yeh I am actually happy that this is the outcome as these fish have been way to aggressive plus I want to have my tank look more like a jungle with smaller fish in it. What should I do with the fish I currently have as I can not afford a larger tank as I have invested a lot in the filter and light system for this tank.
 

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I would take them back to your LFS and see if you can get store credit but wait till your tank finishes cycleing before you add anything. I would also suggest that you come up with a stocking list that you would like and then post on here so we can help you to not end up in the same boat you are in now. I will say again I am sorry if I came off like a jerk, just trying to help you out.
 

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You know depending on you light you could go up to a 29 or 30 gallon and that would give you alot more options for fish because your filter will handle the larger tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No problem your not coming off as a jerk already called LFS and they will take them back no store credit though I hate to give them almost a 100 of free fish though pain in the ***. Can my tank finish cycling with just my plants as their doing great already taken root and blooming. Is there anywhere I can find suggestion lists for fish that fit my tank size?
 

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Ok thanks again for all the help sorry to be a pain with all the questions.

No problem (or pain) at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much better than the pain of a tank crash.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #20
oh last thing I went with the aggressive fish based on my LFS suggesting them with a planted tank so they wouldn't eat the plants. Since I cant really trust what my LFS says how do I find out if the fish eat plants or not before putting my list together. Also when will my tank be completely cycled?
 
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