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Old 11-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
Ice
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Question Hmmm....

I did my weekly water test tonight. Here are my test results:

pH - 7.0
High pH - less than 7.4
Ammonia - 0 (last week it was .25)
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite- 5.0

My question- what can be causing my nitrite levels to be so high when all other test came out perfect? It's too late to go to Petsmart to pick up anything. I did add more Stress Zyme for safety measures. I probably should change my media filter as well since I haven't done so in a 1 1/2 months. So disappointed in myself for overlooking to change the filter media. Please advise.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Don't change the filter media as it will get rid of all your beneficial bacteria. If you need to clean it run it under tank water (Just siphon some out of the tank). If you feel the need to replace it, only replace half at the most so that you keep some of the bacteria. I had the same problem recently (my nitrites were high about a month ago) and I think loha told me it could be because of the plants in my aquarium because they can mess with your water parameters. I think waterchanges will dilute your nitrite. Also, do you have any carbon in your filter? That should be replaced every two weeks or so.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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How long has your tank been set up and running with fish? Nitrite spikes are common 1-2 months in. Hopefully stress zyme will do the trick. Changing water is the easiest way to get levels down.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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I usually do weekly water changes (about 40% - 50%) every week due to it's a 3 gallon tank. (Sunday night was my most recent water change and I do rinse the filter media in the bucket when I do the changes.) It's funny, my nitrite levels have always been 0 until tonight and that's what's puzzles me. I have a submersble canister filter.

I don't want to add any chemicals to eliminate my nitrite levels if I don't see the need to. If daily water changes will help, I'll do it if necessary.

I do see a little algae film on my decor but not sure if that can be the cause.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by emc7 View Post
How long has your tank been set up and running with fish? Nitrite spikes are common 1-2 months in. Hopefully stress zyme will do the trick. Changing water is the easiest way to get levels down.
Tank has been running since August 2012.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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You could be washing the media too frequently. Even when you use aquarium water you remove beneficial bacteria. I would keep up the frequent water changes and maybe rinse the media once a month in aquarium water.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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i think you have your tests mixed up...listing nitrata reading as nitrite...
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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You might be experiencing "reduction." Nitrate reverts to nitrite. Clogged filter media is the usual cause.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheOldSalt View Post
You might be experiencing "reduction." Nitrate reverts to nitrite. Clogged filter media is the usual cause.
but if he washes it every week how could it be clogged?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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I gently rinse it. Maybe I need not rinse it at every water changes. I'll do water changes daily until at least the weekend and test my water again. Hopefully that will improve my nitrite levels. Should I keep adding stress zyme with each water changes?

Loha - nope I didn't mix up my test. That's why I did the nitrite test again to make sure I added the correct amount of drops to test. It still came out 5.0 both times.

What I usually do if one of my test came out high, I always run it again to make sure.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #11
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it would appear that you are dead center in the middle of the cycle except that i don't believe in that being like this...simply because i feel that as long as the tank is cycling you will have ammonia present...
my idea of the cycle....
ammonia climbs.......then nitrite starts to climb but ammonia still climbs for a short time...
as nitrite climbs more the ammonia starts to decline...
then nitrates start to climb...ammonia declining...nitrite still climbing and nitrates climbing.....
ammonia goes down to "0.0" and nitrites start falling as nitrates keep climbing...
nitrites will reach "0.0" and nitrates will level off....cycle complete...
then as TOS stated.....there could be the "reduction" issue..and something within the filtration system could be causing the problems.....i would pull the cartridges and place them in some tank water....then pull the filter and take it apart and clean it...rinse the cartridges well and start the filter again....
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:54 AM   #12
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Thank you for your advice and insight. I'll start with cleaning out the clogs in the filter tonight.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:58 PM   #13
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Update -

I've been doing 40% 50% water changes 3 times last week; did my water test today and am pleased to say my nitrite levels has gone down from 5.0 to .25 - but I'm still not out of the clear just yet. At least it's a lot better than last week. Going to continue with my water changes 3 times a week until my nitrite levels reaches 0.

Oh yeah, I changed my filter system by switching to an AZoo HOB nano filter I ordered finally came in last night. My neons loves to hang out on the water flow and they seem more happeir and active now.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #14
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Gravel too deep or clogged can also cause reduction.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TheOldSalt View Post
Gravel too deep or clogged can also cause reduction.
I usually stiff around my gravel to release any uneaten/trapped food underneath as I vacuum but I agree it can be one of the causes.
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