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High Nitrite Levels


Leela
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Hi all In one of my new unfiltered tanks I've been getting a high nitrite reading, over 2ppm, and I assume this is the last stage in the cycle going to work. I'm not too clever when it comes to this sort of thing... :blink: This level has been constant even after doing a 50% water change yesterday. I have seen there is a product you can buy called Nitra-Zorb that you put in the tank and it soaks up the nitrite and some ammonia while it's at high levels, has anyone used this? And was it successful? Is there any other way to remove nitrite in unfiltered tanks? Any comments appreciated. :) Cheers L

Edited by Leela
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As you've mentioned, nitra-zorb is (unless I am mistaken) for nitrAte (not exactly toxic end product of the cycle) not nirtIte (highly toxic 2nd stage of the cycle). So I doubt that nitra-zorb would help much. NitrIte is believed by some people to be more harmful than ammonia (I assume you don't still have ammonia by this stage of the cycle). So it's important to get your fish out of it, or to get it out of your tank. Unfortunately I believe the only way to get rid of it is more (bigger or more frequent) water changes. This will of course delay the cycle. Have you considered fishless cycling in future tanks? There are links to articles on it in the Library :blink:. Not terribly helpful for the immediate problem unfortunately.

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Hmm, thanks for the info Lilli. :blink:

I was checking on the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals website, they actually say that Nitra-Zorb is made to absorb the nitrIte in water, as well as nitrAte and ammonia.

click on Nitra-Zorb

Have a look at the tech sheet and can you please let me know what you think? I'm interested to know whether I should give this a go.

Cheers

L

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But this is an unfiltered tank, right? It isn't going to establish a biological filter sufficient to maintain good water quality without frequent water changes. If you're concerned that nitrite levels are still high after a water change, check how much you're feeding, and make sure there isn't any waste food or decaying organic matter accumulating in the tank. Doing a comparison check with the nitrite level in your tap water might help, too.

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I agree with Vicki. The only way to maintain the water quality in an unfiltered tank is to continue with the frequent water changes. If you are still getting high readings after doing a water change you may need to look at changing a higher percentage of the water and ensuring there is no waste left after feeds etc.

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Thanks for your help everyone. I've changed the water in the offending tank twice in the last 3 days, and the nitrite levels are completely unchanged. ;) It's very strange that the levels are still reading the same after a water change, I'm completely baffled! I'm extremely rigid with water changes, once a week I change at least 70% of the water, and use the gravel vac. I checked the nitrite levels in my aged water and they are 0. The offending tank holds my Turquoise HM, he seems to be a messy fish, creates more waste than most of the others :( , so perhaps this is the problem? The ammonia levels are still negligible. I got some stuff to add good bacteria to the water today, I'll see if that helps. Just have to do a bit of experimenting I guess. Or invest in a few dozen filters.... ;):( Cheers L

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adding good bacteria to an unfiltered tank isn't going to do a heck of a lot unfortunately because without a filter for the bacteria to colonise they will just die off and get sucked out again with your next wc. With the gravel in there you may get some colonisation of the substrate, but not enough to cycle a tank. HTH

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*sigh* I guess I'd better invest in that filter then. What size filter should I use for a 8L tank? And with what sort of material? And would it be best to do a thorough clean of the entire tank before I put the filter in, to start the cycle over again? Or do I just add the filter to the existing water [which I changed yesterday]? Thanks again L

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Hagen make a small, rectangular air-driven filter, too: I think it's called the Elite. Unlike the "Small World" Penn Plax jobbies, it doesn't use cartridges. I've got a couple of them in smaller tanks. As well as the dirt-cheap corner box filters (which work as well as anything), the small As Bichung sponge filters are good. There's also a funky little sponge number (not sure who makes it, might be HETO) that has a smoky-grey clear plastic case and looks like a rocket nose-cone :cloud9: It's a little ripper -- I've got one in a 6L guppy bowl. I think they also come with the 'Aquarium Starter Kits' that Crazy Clarks and the Warehouse stock in various sizes. (BTW, CC's has the small size kits -- 12L glass tank, air pump, filter etc -- for only $20 at the moment!)

Edited by VickiPS
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Great! Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Unfortunately I was called in to work all day yesterday and didn't get to the LFS before it shut. :cloud9: SO I'll have to continue with the 2nd day water changes until at least Thursday.... *sigh* Things that we do for our fish eh? :thumbs:

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Ok, I changed my shift yesterday and managed to get to the LFS, I bought a small filter run by an air pump, and put it in the tank. He didn't know what to think at first! Took him an hour or so to warm up to it, then after a while I caught him playing in the bubbles! :lol: Anyway, last night when I got home at about 1am, I noticed me was looking a bit unhappy. This morning he's not eating at all, and is actually scared of me! :lol: He's never been scared before, I wonder if something happened last night? I'm about to check all the levels again, hope I haven't had another spike that's causing this behaviour :D Cheers L

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Hmm, the levels are all unchanged, ammonia good, nitrite still a little high. I shifted him into a dark spot on my bookcase and he seems a little happier. He even ate a little bit.:lol: I haven't got a regulator on the air line, but the filter is so small (it's just a little sponge jobbie) it barely makes a current, except on the surface. However, I will get one tomorrow and hopefully this will fix him up. Talk about fussy.. :lol: Cheers all

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, my communnity tank is nearing the end of its cycle, and I think I have a spike of nitrate, at only 0.5ppm, which in my opinion, is pretty good. :lol: This is only after 2 weeks, wow! I have been using Seachem 'Stability' on the tank every day, and can thoroughly recommend it to everyone, I never had an ammonia spike as the stability keeps it under control. i haven't overstocked the tank, only 4 female bettas, and 3 small bristlenose in a 2 foot x 1 1/2 foot x 1 foot tank. So, my next question is, do I do say, a 25% water change tomorrow and reduce the nitrite, or buy a nitrite removing solution and use that, to balance out the levels? Does anyone have any suggestions? Cheers L :scared:

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