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Nitrites every time I do a water change

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Extra ceramic media successfully crammed. :)

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Hi all,

 

The tap water is stable and reads zeros across the board. The only variable I sometimes see when I check is trace ammonia. I rinse all of the tubes very thoroughly and the test kit is less than a year old, so something is going bonkers in the filters or water column. 

 

I use sand with root tabs, and whenever I change the water I siphon up any visible mulm. Every month or so I swish filter media in tank water, and I did this to the filter floss during today's water change since it was very black. No squeezing, etc. I don't feed my fish a ton, and high protein foods like blood worms maybe twice per week since I've had a juvenile goldfish. (I'm not very interested in giant, groomed fish--just happy ones, even if they are little.)

 

I referred to the cycle being stable for a week because I had torn down the whole tank due to disease/parasite issues, and the cycling was--and I guess is--an ordeal. I'm not sure why it has all gone to hell this time but it's troubling. 

 

After today's water change I didn't redose ferts or Excel; I did put in gH booster and baking soda (in addition to Prime), as well as more salt to protect the girls.  :idont

How long ago did this teardown occur?

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Hi all,

The tap water is stable and reads zeros across the board. The only variable I sometimes see when I check is trace ammonia. I rinse all of the tubes very thoroughly and the test kit is less than a year old, so something is going bonkers in the filters or water column.

I use sand with root tabs, and whenever I change the water I siphon up any visible mulm. Every month or so I swish filter media in tank water, and I did this to the filter floss during today's water change since it was very black. No squeezing, etc. I don't feed my fish a ton, and high protein foods like blood worms maybe twice per week since I've had a juvenile goldfish. (I'm not very interested in giant, groomed fish--just happy ones, even if they are little.)

I referred to the cycle being stable for a week because I had torn down the whole tank due to disease/parasite issues, and the cycling was--and I guess is--an ordeal. I'm not sure why it has all gone to hell this time but it's troubling.

After today's water change I didn't redose ferts or Excel; I did put in gH booster and baking soda (in addition to Prime), as well as more salt to protect the girls. :idont

How long ago did this teardown occur?
A few months at this point. Around 3.

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I have an AC70 - they are great and have lots of room for media.

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Hi everyone. I thought I would do a quick update in case it is useful. I've tested my parameters this morning and they read:

 

Ammonia: .25 ppm

Nitrite: 0-.25 ppm (more blue than periwinkle)

Nitrate: 10 ppm

 

I am planning to double dose Prime and hope that everything rights itself. I hope that cleaning out the filter solved the problem! Thanks for your help so far.

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Hi all, 

 

I thought I would give another update about my water quality to ask if I am doing the appropriate things. 

 

My parameters this morning read: 

Ammonia: .25 ppm

Nitrite: .25 ppm (this has crept up from 0-.25 ppm for the past two days (I did a water change on the 6th), but it's much slower than the nitrite ROCKET that had had happened before.

Nitrate: 5-10 ppm 

 

I added more ceramic in both AC 70s, as I mentioned before. It's the ceramic that AC manufactures that is made of smaller pellets instead of just big Fluval rings (of course the Fluval rings are still in there, too), and I did a big cleaning of the filters with tank water and sponge-squeezing during the last change. There is salt in the water for nitrites and I've been double dosing Prime (two capfuls per 29 gallons) daily since the girls seem a little jumpy and gulpy in the morning sometimes. Duchess, my older fish, is very sensitive, but her tail isn't getting worse and she is not bottom sitting or anything like that. She is having a little trouble controlling her swimming but doesn't seem too frustrated with it. Both fish are eating and very hungry, since I've been feeding them sparingly. They are a bit mad at me about this and bored without an afternoon vegetable treat. Would some nori hurt the chemistry further? I don't want to make them more agitated than they have to be. 

 

I was thinking of just leaving the tank be for now to try to let the growing BB correct these tank imbalances. I have giant hygro (Temple plant) coming from PAC tomorrow as well as another onion plant (though I figure that the onion won't be much help in the water chemistry department), so perhaps this might help with ammonia?

 

Anyway, I was wondering if and when you would recommend a water change, or if I should just keep monitoring the cycle bump. 

 

Thanks again for all of your help so far.

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When ammonia + nitrite gets > 1, then do a WC. You're doing great! Keep testing daily and let us know when/if you need help. :)

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When ammonia + nitrite gets > 1, then do a WC. You're doing great! Keep testing daily and let us know when/if you need help. :)

 

So I'm still getting ammonia and nitrite readings (around .25 ppm, though today ammonia seems to be between .25-.5 ppm), and unfortunately I leave the country for 10 days on Tuesday. My boyfriend has agreed to come to my apartment to pour in two capfuls of Prime every other day, and I might leave a very small amount of food (pre-measured) that he should feed them on the sixth day. 

 

I was planning to do a 90% WC on Monday night, redose 5-6 tbsp of salt, no ferts, and regular lighting (it has a timer) for my plants. I was also going to check the sponges and squeeze them a bit. Is there anything else I should do other than hoping for the best? I wish I could look forward to leaving more, but I am worried about the girls. 

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How long does it take for the ammonia and nitrite to rise?

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I did a partial water change (about 50%) on Friday. Since my great sponge cleaning on Monday, though, the nitrites have not risen above .25-.5 ppm. The ammonia has stayed at .25 ppm even after water changes.

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I did a partial water change (about 50%) on Friday. Since my great sponge cleaning on Monday, though, the nitrites have not risen above .25-.5 ppm. The ammonia has stayed at .25 ppm even after water changes.

 

This morning nitrites are now at around 2 (?!) ppm and ammonia is at .25 - .5 ppm. I still fed them this morning since they're going to get their huge water change this evening and, depending on your advice, not eat for 10 days. 

 

Should I squeeze the sponges and all that during the WC, too? I hope they survive my trip :(

Edited by QandD

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I hope this is not too late for you. Do squeeze the sponges but only in tank water. I would have your boyfriend feed lightly at least one time during the 10 days. Is it possible for him to do a partial water change?

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I have to use buckets so I can't ask him to do that in good conscience. It's bad enough for me! I squeezed the sponges in tank water and did near a 100% change with Primed water also in the filters after dumping them. He's going to feed some premeasured pellets in a week and do the double Priming every other day.

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I would double Prime daily and add salt at 1 tsp per 10 gallons (once, not daily) .  . . 

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Thanks, I added salt! I'll ask if he can visit every day.

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I did a partial water change (about 50%) on Friday. Since my great sponge cleaning on Monday, though, the nitrites have not risen above .25-.5 ppm. The ammonia has stayed at .25 ppm even after water changes.

 

This morning nitrites are now at around 2 (?!) ppm and ammonia is at .25 - .5 ppm. I still fed them this morning since they're going to get their huge water change this evening and, depending on your advice, not eat for 10 days. 

 

Should I squeeze the sponges and all that during the WC, too? I hope they survive my trip :(

Goodness! That's crazy changes. Maybe less squeezing the sponge and more... gentle tapping? Arguably squeezing breaks them down faster anyway. I highly doubt that is causing this water chemistry instability, though! Have you discovered what may have knocked back your filter, yet?

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I did a partial water change (about 50%) on Friday. Since my great sponge cleaning on Monday, though, the nitrites have not risen above .25-.5 ppm. The ammonia has stayed at .25 ppm even after water changes.

This morning nitrites are now at around 2 (?!) ppm and ammonia is at .25 - .5 ppm. I still fed them this morning since they're going to get their huge water change this evening and, depending on your advice, not eat for 10 days.

Should I squeeze the sponges and all that during the WC, too? I hope they survive my trip :(

Goodness! That's crazy changes. Maybe less squeezing the sponge and more... gentle tapping? Arguably squeezing breaks them down faster anyway. I highly doubt that is causing this water chemistry instability, though! Have you discovered what may have knocked back your filter, yet?
No, I haven't figured it out. I'm in the airport now after the water change yesterday. I scrambled home at noon and nitrites were zero and ammonia at .25. My boyfriend is going to dose a capsule of Prime every day he can and I'm hoping for the best :(

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Did you add the salt?  :idont

Yes, they are well salted! (Helpless greetings from the UK!)

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