Nitrite query.

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Nitrite query.

Postby MarkP » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:49 pm

I thought tank cycling was pretty much predictable within only slightly varying limits but reality seems nothing like what I expected. Some of you may have seen my other posting where I have explained that I am now into week 12 and never seen any nitrites http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18467.

Now my son has started keeping tropical fish and is seeing nitrite at day 3. This sounds impossible from all I have read on the subject.

I am getting over-run with platies and have decided to separate the males from the females. I have given my adult males to my son.

My sons tank is a 48 litre version of my tank and has a pf1 3 stage filter as supplied by petsathome.


Day 1 - 2 platies added.
Day 2 - 6 celestial pearl danios added.
Day 3 first water measurements taken.

Water readings he informed me were ammonia 1ppm and nitrite around 5ppm.
Knowall (that's me) told him he must have misread the nitrite. But when I looked the api solution was indeed a dark purple colour.
I said it can't possibly be that your tank is producing any nitrites. You must have poured the tank water that came with your fish into the tank when you added the new fish from the fish shop.
He then did two immediate very large water changes and got the nitrite reading down to near zero.
The following day the nitrites were back up to around 5ppm.

Has anybody else seen nitrites appear this quick. I do not know if he has a problem or if he is very lucky and his tank really is cycling very quick. The two of us seem to have such similar setups except for the difference in size. We are even both using the same JBL planted aquarium substrate.
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Re: Nitrite query.

Postby Carylnz » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:41 am

It does seem odd. He has added more fish than I would recommend but I am assuming all are juveniles.
Did he set everything up fresh from scratch? All new tap water, new, unused, filter?
Your tap water doesn't now have nitrites along with nitrates does it? :wink:
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Re: Nitrite query.

Postby MarkP » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:48 am

Hi Carolynz.
Yes they are all juveniles and they are of course a very small breed of fish so hopefully this will be okay.
Everything was set up from scratch and everything was new.
There is no sign of nitrite in the tap water. In fact doing water changes has brought the nitrite down to close to zero which proves this. However within 24hrs the nitrites are back up to over 5ppm.
No additives have ever been added to the tank other than tapsafe.

Do you think that the substrate we are using could have any adverse effects on the water?
I don't know what it contains but am beginning to wish we had both used a more traditional gravel rather than this JBL plant feed stuff.

Has anybody ever used this under gravel plant feed substrate and did it have any effect on their tank cycling?

Thank you
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Re: Nitrite query.

Postby Carylnz » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:06 am

I would not worry about it for now. Temporary rises are not uncommon in a new tank. As long as the fish appear fine and are not having problems with it I would leave it and see what happens as time goes on. It should get taken up and converted as the cycle continues. As it converts to nitrate it will be taken up by the plants.
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