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Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Joetee, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    I've got a problem. Just over a week ago, I did a massive pruning and cleaning of my planted tank do to algae. I cleaned 1/2 of my canister filter spunges and changed my filter floss. Cleaned the glass, vacuumed the substrate, and did a 50% water change.
    Problem is, I think I went over board. I now have to change my water everyday because my Nitrite is high, about .5 ppm everyday. I know it should be around 0.

    Question is:
    1. How high can my Nitrite be before it is bad enough to kill my fish.
    2. What should I do to get my bacteria back up to handle the high Nitrite.
    3. What about my ferts, do I continue with dosing?

    What I am doing now everyday is in the evening I change 50% to 60% of my water and dose a full dose of macro ferts for the week everyday at water change, and Micro ferts in the A.M. knowing that tomorrow I will change my water again until my Nitrite goes back down.

    Thank you

    Joe
     
  2. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    If your nitrite is at .5ppm I would not worry too much, but if it goes above 1 yes. So watch it, if it hits 1 or above then do a WC.

    During my last cycle, nitrite hit 5ppm -- mostly it was around 1 -- I had no fish problems.

    Likely you have just reduced the bacteria, so it should complete this mini-cycle in a few days.
     
  3. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    It has been ranging from .5 to 5.0 ppm in 24 hours. The fish seem to be fine.
     
  4. rrkss

    rrkss Prolific Poster

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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    Nitrite kills fish in a similar manner as Carbon Monoxide does to humans. It irreversably binds the hemoglobin making the blood useless in carrying oxygen. You are doing the right thing keeping it below 0.5. Just keep waterchanging and things should settle in about a week or so.
     
  5. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    Get some BioSpira from your LFS. It will repopulate the bacteria colony quickly and almost eliminate the possibility of Nitrite poisoning. It's great stuff.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    Rather than apporaching this from a microbiologist view point, try a Botanist :gw

    What do plant assimilate besides NO3?
    NH4.

    What happens when NH4 is added via the bacteria pathways? NH4=> NO2=> NO3.

    What happens when the plants get a hold of NH4? => Glutamine, fixed nitrogen, no longer part of the water column.

    No NH4, no NO2, no NO3.

    So crank the heck out of the plant's needs, lights/CO2 etc, make sure you have K+, PO4, Traces.

    Plants can use 1.0 ppm per day or close to it of NH4.


    Do a larger water changes, say 80% etc, then crank the plants. Need more removal? Buy some cheapy plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

    Also, test you tap water and see if it measures any NO2, sometimes test kits are squirrlely.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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