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NitrITE Problem Help Please!
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)19:58    Post subject: NitrITE Problem Help Please! Reply with quote

First of all, here is my original thread started in Freshwater Basics but I'm starting a new one here because it seems more appropriate http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=40862

I'm just really having a hard time trying to get this "mini" cycle to stop. It feels more like a mega cycle! How long do these "minis" usually last? Here are my tank specs as of 5 minutes ago:
10 Gallon
80 F
Ammonia 0
NitrITE .25ppm
NitrATE 15ppm
1 male betta
3 cherry barbs
3 peppered corys
3 ghost shrimp
1 mystery snail

I had an ammonia reading this morning of .25ppm and a nitrITE reading of 1.0ppm so I did a large water change. I tested this afternoon and nitrITE was beginning to show trace, ammonia was still 0. Now I'm getting that reading of .25ppm for nitrITES again! I am adding AmQuel+ and NovAqua at each water change.

What the heck am I doing wrong? Why do I keep getting these spikes after water changes? I have made no changes to my filter media. All I did wrong was remove a large decoration 5 days ago which I think started this cycle and I've been battling ever since to keep my fish alive.

I'm so frustrated that I'm about to remove ALL the fish and take them to my LFS or euthanize them.
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)22:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee, where's Bob when you need him.... Laughing
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)22:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the ammonia and nitrite test kit compatible with AmQuel+ and NovAqua? Many times these tests will give you a false reading if they are not compatible. Why don't you double check this...

I your earlier thread and don't believe your removing this decoration had anything to do with a mini cycle. Most of your good bacteria is in your filter material, there is some on the gravel and sides of the tank, etc. BUT, really most is in that filter box. Did you remove or change your filter sponge/carbon thing?

Have you had your fish store test your water? Perhaps your test kit is off. And one other question, have you tested your tap water - is there any ammonia in that? (Or nitrites, etc)

OK, I lied, there is one other thing I can think of. Chloramines. If you have them and are not using the right product, when that chloramine bond is broken, extra ammonia is released and the water conditioner doesn't deal with that extra ammonia. SO, try a different product. Seachem makes a great one called PRIME. You only need to use a bit, so though that bottle seems like it costs$, it is very reasonable.

I do know that some municiple water supplies do use chloramines and chlorine back and forth depending on the season and the rainfall...

Hope you get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, add 1 TBLS aquarium salt per 10g's water. It will reduce the toxic effects of the nitrites...

Cathy
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)22:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Cathy!

I use the API test kits and according to the AmQuel+ bottle they are compatible. The only thing that I have done recently to my filter is remove the carbon so that I could treat my new corys with MelaFix. I have never changed the filter cartridge, all I've done is rinse it in old tank water to remove some of the plant material that gets stuck in it. Even then, I don't do a vigorous cleaning because I am so afraid of removing the good bacteria.
I don't think my test kits are off because I am also going by the way my fish are acting. The cherry barbs especially. They are staying close to the surface, gulping air once in awhile. They have stopped eating and chasing each other. They pretty much don't do anything. The male has stopped chasing the females around trying to breed with them. This all seemed to start when I got the corys, removed the decoration, put in some rocks for caves for the corys, and began treating with MelaFix. I have stopped the MelaFix treatment and added a couple more live plants.
My theory: All the changes plus the mini-cycle are really stressing out my cherry barbs! The betta seems fine although there was one day that he was really sucking air! The corys only did their frantic racing up and down when the nitrite spiked this morning. Otherwise, they are fine. Their fins even seem to be healing without the MelaFix.

Sorry this is so long! I THINK I'm doing everything right but I'm still so new at this that I just want to be sure. As soon as my husband lets me go back to the LFS (he's just about fed up with this aquarium hobby of mine Rolling Eyes ) I will invest in some Prime. I'm willing to try anything at this point!
Thanks again!
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)23:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick update: My cherry barbs are eating and swimming around the tank. I haven't seen them eat in almost two days! I kept the lights off a lot today and they seem to be less stressed when the lights are off so maybe a few more water changes and lights off and everything will get back to normal.

....crossing my fingers and praying...... Confused
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lenoirj
Regulars


Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.20(Sat)12:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez, this is truning into a journal of sorts...

This morning my nitrITEs are back down to 0! Everyone looks less stressed and the cherry barbs are even back to roaming the tank looking for tidbits on the tank floor. The male is even his bright red mating color this morning! As long as it stays this way today, I will leave them alone and go ahead and do a water change tomorrow.

**Breathing a cautious sigh of relief**
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