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  L# Extremely high Nitrites?
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SubscribeExtremely high Nitrites?
4fish
Small Fry
Posts: 13
Kudos: 9
Votes: 1
Registered: 29-Jan-2009
male usa us-nebraska
Has anyone come across an issue with rocks or sand causing extremely high nitrites? I set up my Malawi tank on October 4th running an emperor 400 with existing bacteria on bio wheels (it has been running for nearly a year). Shortly after getting it set up my nitrites were over 5ppm (that is as high as my test kit goes) and have not budged since? My ammonia spiked and is now showing zero and my Nitrates went up to around 10-15ppm but are now down around 5ppm which is where they were prior to the tear down. Through both the ammonia and nitrate spikes the nitrite stayed above 5ppm.

I have about 40lbs of limestone and 30lbs of slate that I purchased from a bulk rock place near my house and used Quikrete's "Play Sand" for the substrate. Has anyone had experience with this type of sand/rock in their tanks and have you had any issues? I have been doing 15-20% water changes every other day trying to keep some fresh water in the tank. Any advice anyone can give is greatly appreciated.

75gal Malawi-Electric Yellows, Demasonis, Elongatus Mpangas, Red Top Hongis, Auratus, Red Zebras, Clown Loaches

180gal C/A-1 Green Terror, 1 Red Devil, 1 Jack Dempsey, 2 EB Jack Dempsey, 2 Salvini's, 5 Firemouths, 1 Striped Raphael, Common Pleco
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2009 14:55Profile PM Edit Report 
Shinigami
 
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Ichthyophile
Catfish/Oddball Fan
Posts: 9962
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Registered: 22-Feb-2001
male usa us-delaware
It's impossible that ammonia or nitrites are from any of those rocks themselves, unless there was something on them that you didn't wash off, which would be unlikely if you rinsed them down. For the most part, rocks do not contain nitrogen compounds.

I have used that brand of play sand successfully without any problems.

--------------------------------------------
The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian.
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2009 16:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
4fish
Small Fry
Posts: 13
Kudos: 9
Votes: 1
Registered: 29-Jan-2009
male usa us-nebraska
Shinigami, thanks! I was under the impression that the rocks/sand would be fine but wanted to make sure as the Nitrites spiked quickly and has not moved in over a week and a half.

75gal Malawi-Electric Yellows, Demasonis, Elongatus Mpangas, Red Top Hongis, Auratus, Red Zebras, Clown Loaches

180gal C/A-1 Green Terror, 1 Red Devil, 1 Jack Dempsey, 2 EB Jack Dempsey, 2 Salvini's, 5 Firemouths, 1 Striped Raphael, Common Pleco
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2009 20:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Callatya
 
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Moderator
The girl's got crabs!
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female australia au-newsouthwales
Was there lichen or moss on the rocks? I had some dramas with bush rock from a landscaping place that had old dead lichen on it. It didn't look particularly bad, but you could see the colour. I soaked and scrubbed and baked, but it was not going anywhere and I thought it would break down slowly. No such luck Live and learn I guess

Maybe it could be something similar to that.

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 20-Oct-2009 06:17Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
4fish
Small Fry
Posts: 13
Kudos: 9
Votes: 1
Registered: 29-Jan-2009
male usa us-nebraska
Callatya, I didn't see anything odd on the rocks and did scrub them. At this point I am at a loss as I haven't been able to figure it out.

75gal Malawi-Electric Yellows, Demasonis, Elongatus Mpangas, Red Top Hongis, Auratus, Red Zebras, Clown Loaches

180gal C/A-1 Green Terror, 1 Red Devil, 1 Jack Dempsey, 2 EB Jack Dempsey, 2 Salvini's, 5 Firemouths, 1 Striped Raphael, Common Pleco
Post InfoPosted 20-Oct-2009 15:51Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
jafo
 
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male usa us-tennessee
Have you tested with another kit yet? It's not uncommon for older kits to give inaccursate readings.
Post InfoPosted 21-Oct-2009 12:53Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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male usa us-colorado
Hi,
The answer to your original question is No, the rocks are
not the cause of the high nitrate reading that you are
seeing.

The limestone is a carbonate and the result of it being
in the tank will be an increased pH reading raising toward
the 8.0 level. Slate is the metamorphic result of shale.
Shale, when compressed, and heated, under great pressure
changes into slate. It is essentially inert and will not
affect the water readings.

The sand is a form of Silica (SiO2) and is inert, as far
as the water chemistries is concerned. The problem with
sand is that the spaces between the grains is so small that
it is easily clogged has very little water flow around the
grains, and can easily form areas of anaerobic bacteria
that gives off Hydrogen Sulfide, a toxic gas to both fish
and plants.

With high nitrates (100+) the phenomena is called Old Tank
Syndrome or OTS. This is caused by poor maintenance of the
gravel bed.
http://www.bestfish.com/oldtank.html

Do check your test kit for the expiration dates. As Jafo
mentioned, out of date test kits will give false readings.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 21-Oct-2009 14:31Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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male canada ca-ontario
EditedEdited 23-Nov-2009 14:25
With your tank setup being 15 days old at time of your post, if you still had a nitrite reading, wondering if your cycle was not yet complete.

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 23-Nov-2009 13:51Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
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