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nitrites are going out of control.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by mikem120, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. mikem120

    mikem120 Junior Poster

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    hello everyone,
    i was hoping someone could give me some advice on how i can quickly and permanently lower my nitrites...For a while my nitrites were at 0 ppm and then one day they just blew up to almost 5ppm. its been almost a week and nothing i do seems to work..i've added 3 bags of nitra-zorb with no effect, i've done a ton of water changes with little effect and i've constantly had to de-toxify with prime. today i added some biozyme hoping that the extra bacteria will help. a little background on my tank: setup about 4 or 5 months ago..first 2 or 3 months i had nothing in it except ecocomplete and driftwood. then i added plants and endlers and so on until i got to around 30 fish which include, endlers, taiwan bitterlings, cardinals white clouds a bushy nose and galaxy rasboras. i have about 15 rcs and amano shrimp left and about 20 fish because the nitrites are killing off everything. my tank is 75 gallons with one marine land c-360 canister filter and a uv sterilizer which is currently off due to the fact that i added the biozyme, testing states that my ammonia is at 0ppm, ph is between 6.8 and 7.2, KH is between 50 and 100, nitrates are hovering around 20 ppm..any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can do any or all of the following to help your problem. I'd do:

    1) Toss in a ton of plants, learn how to fertilize them and provide proper light:co2 ratios.

    2) Keep using prime until the nitrate goes down

    3) perform water changes to keep NO2 below toxic levels

    4) Use a commercial bacteria culture

    5) seed the filter using material from another tank


    I usually just do 1 and 5 to prevent the entire problem, and I use prime for my water changes anyhow. Water changes are 50% weekly because I use EI, and I perform them twice weekly on new tanks. NH4/NO2 problems have never been a problem for me since using this method.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. mikem120

    mikem120 Junior Poster

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    thank you for your advice
     
  4. mikem120

    mikem120 Junior Poster

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    i added a lot of biozyme, i don't know if it worked yet or not. the package says it usually takes 24 hours for the bacteria to settle in. i already have a ton of plants from mosses to insanely fast growing stem plants (you can see a picture of my tank here problem lowering nitrites., and i'm definitely going to keep using prime. i only have this tank so seeding isn't an option for me, and im going to continue doing water changes daily thanks for the advice
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    What Philosophos said, good action plan. ;)

    Just for clarification, it is the Nitrites that went from 0 to 5 ppm. Nitrates have remained stable and in accordance with your expectations based on your dosing plan, bio-load and so forth.

    Humor me, take a good whiff of the tank water and tell me how it smells.:rolleyes:

    How do you know what you think you know? What test kits are you using.

    Aside from your test kit, what are you observing that would lead you to suspect something is amiss?

    What troubles me is no change in nitrites, with all the Nitro-Zorb and water changes.

    My suspicion would normally be that you increased the bio-load too quickly and triggered another nitrogen cycle.

    I suspect that you have too little filter and flow that is a heavy bio-load in the tank.

    Biollante
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I just read what the folks over at The Planted Tank said.

    I agree with malaybiswas, brohawk and kid creole said.

    I simply do not trust hobbyist test kits.

    Biollante
     
  7. mikem120

    mikem120 Junior Poster

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    yes it is nitrItes that blew up..nitrAtes stay pretty stable around 20 ppm

    I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals freshwater master test kit. when i do the nitrite test, its a very deep purple and according to the test card, that's 5 ppm. i add a ton of prime and the test turns light blue and according to the test card, that's 0 ppm. when i first noticed something was wrong, i actually thought it was an overdose of co2 because every fish, snail and shrimp in my tank was at the surface, the snails and some shrimp had even crawled completely out of the water. my shrimp are constantly hiding and i can clearly see the fishes gills moving a mile a minute. when the fish died it was 4 total on the first day with 3 shrimp, and then two or three a day ever since. they only stop gasping and things return to normal after the lights have been on for a while and the plants start pearling. I'm assuming because they are dissolving a lot of oxygen into the water, also after i add prime. it seems like the problem gets worse during the night, i don't know if its just a coincidence or what, but every day when i turn the lights on, there's a few dead animals and the rest are on the brink until i detoxify the tank with prime.

    I don't notice any strange smells, nothing stinks, there's pretty much no odor

    I too think that i may have overloaded things with all the new fish..most of them were purchased within a week of each other and all within a month.

    And i totally agree about the filtration..since i added the uv sterilizer to the filter, output has been cut drastically, and then i added a sponge over the intake because i have a few shrimplets swimming around and didn't want them to get sucked up, so im sure that didn't help either. I work nights all weekend and i plan on going to the store and getting a second filter for the tank.
     
  8. mikem120

    mikem120 Junior Poster

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    what testing equipment do you recommend? i'm open to any suggestions
     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Optional

    Hi,

    As long as you are doing 50% or better water changes at least once a week and following a decent EI type dosing plan, I see no real reason to test.:)

    Observation is the key.

    Even the most sophisticated and highest quality test setups and equipment must be calibrated on a regular basis.;)

    There are some good choices in test kits and equipment, if it is part of what you like to do, just realize that as long as you observe good practices’ testing really is optional.

    Biollante
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    For now I'd probably just start doing some water changes. 50% or so daily or every other day until everything catches up and settles down. Especially if you're getting daily fishkills. Some tanks I've not even noticed a loss except to find a skull or something when vacuuming. Other tanks I'll notice right away that something isn't rights, so it really depends on your system. Right now you have a major imbalance, so dilution ( water changes ), will help until you get things back on track.

    -
    S

     
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