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NitrAte and NitrIte levles

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by Ryan, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    How can I lower them and what happens if they are to high?
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Are you currently having a problem or is this just hypothetical?

    High nitrItes decreases the blood's ability to carry oxygen so exposure can cause the fish to suffocate. If you're seeing nitrItes, there's 2 possibilities. Either you don't have enough filtration or the tank isn't cycled/is going through a mini cycle. As an immediate but temporary fix, you can do a water change.

    NitrAtes are the end product of the nitrogen cycle. They're not as toxic as ammonia or nitrItes, but long term exposure to nitrAtes above 20ppm can cause a weakened immune system which means more illnesses, and in some cases it can cause a disease called hole in the head. There are 2 ways to remove nitrAtes. The fist is with plants. A planted tank will have fewer nitrAtes, but you would need a ton of plants in order to remove all the nitrAtes. The other way to remove nitrAtes is via water changes. Keep in mind that the more heavily stocked your tank is, the quicker the nitrAtes will build up. Idealy, you should only have to do 25% - 35% water changes once a week in order to keep the nitrAtes below 20. If you're having to do more than that, you should consider either getting rid of some fish or getting a larger tank.

  3. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    Well I was/am having problems, I just did a 35% water change and bought some chemicals to fix it. I will take another test in abuot 3 days to see how things are going. I hope that this fixs it, this chage in levels came out of no where. I havent added any new fish or anything like that just did a water chage about 5 days ago and did a test to day and was like WHOAH! I'v got my self a problem here.
  4. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    What chemicals did you add? It's best to avoid chemical solutions to problems like this if at all possible. Did you rinse your filter media out in tap water?

  5. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    I added (AmQuel + Plus Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Chlorine & Chloramines), and Proper pH 7.0.

    I had in the tank NovAqua water conditioner, Wide Spectrum Tonic, Salt, Stress Zyme, and just regular AmQuel.

    What is in the tank at this moment after the water change is:
    - AmQuel Plus
    - Wide Spectrom Tonic
    - NovAqua Water Conditioner
    - Stress Zyme
    - Proper pH 7.0
    - Salt

    Also I did not was out the filter, should I now?
  6. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    No, leave the filter alone. I just asked because washing it in tap water could kill some of your bacteria which would result in a nitrIte spike. But apparently that's not the case.

    Also, what is your pH normally? In most cases you're better off leaving the pH alone. Fluctuating pH (from adding chemicals to adjust it) is more stressful to the fish than a pH that is slightly off.

    Amquel & Novaqua are both dechlorinators so there's no need to use both. Of the two, I'd use Amquel because it detoxifies ammonia.

    Wide Spectrum Tonic is a medication so unless you're treating some sort of infection, you don't need to be adding it.

    The salt will help counteract any nitrIte poisoning, but in general, unless you are using it to treat a specific condition (ie ich, nitrIte poisoning, etc), there is no need to add salt to a freshwater tank.

    And personally, I don't think Stress Zyme works. If it hasn't been refrigerated, chances are, the bacteria are dead. It's a bit of a controversial subject. I don't think using it will harm anything, but IMO it's a waste of money.

  7. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    Well my pH was high like 8.1! So I added some of the pH 7.0 to take it down, seemed to work good. But now all the fish seem kinda inactive. I dont see any signes of ICH or internal parisites. Maby the tank just needs to cycle for a while and things will clear up in a few days.
  8. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    What type of fish are you keeping? 8.1 is a little on the high side, but still not too horribl. That's what my pH is and I keep everything from african cichlids who love the high pH to cories & otos whose ideal pH is around 6.8.

    The fish are probably just inactive due to the nitrIte poisoning and not getting enough oxygen. If you don't have an air stone, try adding one. Other than that, just keep up with the frequent water changes until everything settles back down.


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