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L# Freshwater Aquaria
 L# Water Quality
  L# nitrite problems
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Subscribenitrite problems
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 3
Votes: 0
Registered: 18-Jan-2012
female uk uk-england
Hi everyone

I recently set up a 100 litre fresh cold water tank, about a month ago. I added 3 small fancy tailed goldfish last weekend.This eve I used a test strip and discovered the nitrites are really high. The fish look happy and healthy but I'm a bit worried, I did a 10% water change and retested but got the same result. I realise the tank must be cycling, should I do bigger water changes till the nitrites go down or will this reduce bacteria and slow the cycling process?

Any advice would much appreciated, thanks
Post InfoPosted 19-Jan-2012 00:06Profile PM Edit Report 
Posts: 5108
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi Mia,
Welcome to Fish Profles!
What you are seeing is the normal cycling process.
The ammonia will first spike, and then the nitrite will
spike, and then the nitrate will start to indicate.

Don't add any more fish, that will only increase the
ammonia, which will cause the nitrite spike to go even
higher. You could cut back on the amount of food you
are giving the fish, but as long as the fish in the tank
are behaving normally, I would do nothing and let nature
take its course. Cycling in a cold water tank takes longer
than in a tropical tank.

You really don't need to change the water, unless the
ammonia gets too high, and with the nitrite reading
growing the ammonia reading should begin to drop off.

You can find more information by clicking on the FAQ link
at the top of the page and reading the article on
cycling a tank.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 19-Jan-2012 15:15Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 3
Votes: 0
Registered: 18-Jan-2012
female uk uk-england
Thanks Frank for the reply

I went to the pet shop this morning with a water sample and they retested it. The nitrites were were very high, I think it said 5 ppm, the nitrates were also very high - which confused me a bit as I've just statrted the tank, and the ammonia was slightly high. So I did a bigger water change at lunch time, about 40%. When I retested at home, the nitrite level was lower but still high. Hopefully it'll start to drop. I haven't fed them today, they look very hungry, oh and I've been adding the beneficial bacteria to the tank. They still look fine and the plants I bought are doing really well :-)
Post InfoPosted 19-Jan-2012 17:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Small Fry with Ketchup
Posts: 6833
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Registered: 17-Apr-2003
female australia us-maryland
Goldfish will always look hungry, they're better than dogs at begging!

Feeding every other day is fine, it's better to reduce the load during the cycle than kill off fish. Just a pinch when you feed them is enough, they'll always beg .

What franks says is exactly right. Read through the FAQ on cycling we're here to answer any questions you might have.

It can take a while for nitrItes to drop, and coldwater or unheated tanks really do take a little longer. The lower the temperature the slower it takes for the right bacteria to grow.

Welcome aboard


Post InfoPosted 24-Jan-2012 01:02Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
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