Problem with Nitrite and Cleaning

Joetee

Prolific Poster
Mar 26, 2006
64
0
6
63
Lexington, KY
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
 

quenton

Guru Class Expert
Mar 14, 2006
170
0
16
Toronto Ontario (Canada?)
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.
 

rrkss

Prolific Poster
May 7, 2006
67
0
6
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.
 

imatrout

Prolific Poster
Apr 4, 2005
96
0
6
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.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
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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
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
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