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  • Results 1 to 10 of 10

    Thread: High Nitrite levels in quarantine tank.

    1. #1
      Gloin's Avatar
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      High Nitrite levels in quarantine tank.

      I have a fairly new quarantine tank (20 gal) with 1 koi (6 inch) in it.

      I test the water almost every day. The tank has been doing "ok" for 3 weeks. With nitrite levels around 1 or less.

      Yesterday when I tested the nitrite levels were very high, near 40ppm.
      Fish was clearly stressed.
      I did an emergency water change ~75%.
      Nitrites were still too high.
      Did 2 more water changes to get the nitrites down to under 5. Hard to tell exactly with test strips, but I would guess about 3.

      This morning the nitrites were high again, about 30ish.
      So, three more water changes. This time I was able to get the nitrites down to 1ppm.
      I'm lucky that my tap water has no chlorine.
      The fish seems ok at the moment.

      But I am concerned the levels will rise again. I have been using API Quick Start.

      I am confused about the nitrite spike after weeks of good(ish) levels.
      My best theory is that I have been overfeeding the fish, and the poop load just got to the point where the bacteria couldn't keep up. Perhaps it's not mature enough.
      Is API Quick Start not potent enough for koi poop levels?
      Does the tank just need more time?

    2. #2
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      So after reading this...
      https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-ba...fish-aquarium/
      I think I have a better understanding.
      I bought an ammonia test kit. My ammonia level is 0.
      So I think my nitrosomas have bloomed.
      But my nitrobacters are not there yet.

      Since I have two filters in the tank I decided to shut off one filter and dose it with Imagitarium Biological Booster and let sit for a day for the bacteria to take hold on the sponge.
      Then the next day do the same for the other filter.
      Keep testing and water changing to keep the nitrites at safe levels until it stabilizes.

      Any other advice?

    3. #3
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      I am interested in what method of measurement you are using that reads values as high as you state, "Yesterday when I tested the nitrite levels were very high, near 40ppm." The API Nitrite Test only measures from 0-5ppm, and some of the dip strip type tests will test 0-10 or 0-25, but the only method that I have seen that would read Nitrites of 40 is a meter for reading very high range that will read 0-150ppm. Are you sure you are not reading Nitr A tes rather than Nitr I tes. It is fairly common that the end product NitrAtes will climb to over 100ppm and values of 60 or 80ppm have not been a concern to me, but at your level, NitrItes would be very toxic.

      Aquarium Salt or Kosher salt can be added at 0.1 to 0.25 pounds to your 10 gallon aquarium to prevent nitrite toxicity, if the tests are truly Nitrite.


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    4. #4
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      JNW Testing, Pond Test

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    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      Aquarium Salt or Kosher salt can be added at 0.1 to 0.25 pounds to your 10 gallon aquarium to prevent nitrite toxicity, if the tests are truly Nitrite.
      I'm curious if the salt actually reduces the nitrites, or just reduces the toxicity of the nitrites. That is, will the test strips actually measure less nitrites when salt is added?

    6. #6
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      The colors had faded a bit, as the strips had started to dry out before I thought to take a photo.
      I didn't think to take a photo the first day, but it was definitely darker pink but not quite as dark as 40.
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      Last edited by Gloin; 09-06-2021 at 09:21 PM.

    7. #7
      icu2's Avatar
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      No, the salt won't do anything to the actual nitrite level.
      It can take 6-8 weeks before the filters fully mature.
      Like you said, strips are very hard to read. I'd get the API drip tests. They're less than $10.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    8. #8
      SimonW is online now Senior Member
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      I have had constant 0.2 - 1 ppm nitrite in my over-wintering tanks for almost 2 years now (also used in the summer), and 200 times more NaCl has been added. Never had a problem.

      40 ppm nitrite is incredibly high, and I donīt know how you succeeded with that. It must be due to the inaccuracy of the strips. I started to use biofilters 2 years ago and I have cycled several new filters, and I have never got this high level of nitrite. At most I got it somewhere around 5 ppm.

    9. #9
      Namo_Amituofo is offline Junior Member
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      For a small QT - if indeed high nitrite was caused by overfeeding (should avoid overfeeding in QT to start with...) - you could siphone out poop from the tank bottom a few times a day - that should reduce the load to filter significantly.

    10. #10
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      A big thanks for all the good advice on this thread. I have the nitrites pretty much under control now. For now, doing daily nitrite tests (got a better test kit), and lots of water changes, and patience. Bio seems to be working better as time goes on.

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