Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?) - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 04-12-2007, 11:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

Well I setup my 20H on March 31st, and am now experiencing a huge buildup of Nitrites daily. I do complete water changes once a day and add AmQuel+ as well. The buildup has slowed, but reads at about 1ppm by the time I do my water change. I also have been adding a very small amount of Aquarium Salt to detoxify the Nitrite.

How long will this problem last? Will the soil ever stop producing Nitrite?

I'm worried about my fish and snails, the snails seem to be very upset about my daily water changes as their is little hardness in our water here (2 dH) and the pH is quite low ( ~6.6-6.8 ) so the Dolomite in my soil has a tuff time catching up.

Do I need to do daily water changes?

AmQuel+ states I can dose daily without them, but it seems adding chemicals daily would be bad.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

Do you have any calcium chloride on hand? It would serve the same function as sodium chloride in protecting against nitrIte poisoning (for fish who have chloride cells in their gills). plus it would harden up your water some.

CaCl is sold as ice melter and in pool stores to harden pool water.

With goldfish, .1% salt should protect up to around 60ppm nitrIte and water changes aren't needed. Back when I was reading up on it, the recommendations on how much salt was needed varied by species, so it may or may not protect your fish.

You might consider adding a bunch of fast growing floating plants (e.g. duckweed, water lettuce, hornwort, najas grass, anacharis, etc) and increasing lighting temporarily. or adding a seasoned filter for a while till the soil settles down.
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

Do you have a source where you can get some mulm from an existing set-up to help cycle your aquarium? That would help a lot.

How many fish do you have? Lots of fish in a new 20g set-up can be trouble when cycling...
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

The tank is cycled, ammonia is zero and nitrates are building 10-20 avg. Something is causing Nitrite buildup though in mass amounts. I only have 6 Black Phantom Tetras and a few snails. I have a bunch of frogsbit and hornwort in the tank currently. I have plenty of lighting 3wpg, plus sunlight now. I have a quickfilter that seems to be working just fine and I even squeezed it into my quarantine tank and it kickstarted it. Plant growth is good and there is some algae present.

I'm running out of ideas, but it sounds like I'm on the right path.

I have been on the hunt for Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, and Potassium Chloride locally. Any ideas for finding all of these? Ice melter seems like a good possiblity.
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

Elimination of ammonia is just the first stage of cycling. Elimination of nitrites is the second stage. I was suggesting you might be going through that second stage.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

Yeah I understand the second stage, but I think its not, because the nitrite sometimes reaches 5ppm in I leave it alone. Then after a complete water change it slowly builds up again in one day. With my fish load and tank size doesn't this seem excessive? Or am I just being paranoid?
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

It'll chill out when the soil settles down.
Do you have a bunch of rooted plants in there?

Mag sulfate is epsom salt. should be able to find it at any grocery store or pharmacy.
Potassium chloride is a salt replaement you can usually find at grocery stores.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

some one correct me if I'm wrong, but Magnesium sulfate is just epsom salt? it's available at just about any drug store.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_sulfate
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrite Buildup (Nitrate Respiration or Incomplete Nitrification?)

You are correct (dataguru pointed this out :P), I use a mixture of Kent Turbo-Calcium (dowflake is not available right now) and Magnesium Sulfate to create my 6-8 GH level in my tanks, so far its working great.

Nitrites seem to be falling finally. Algae is still hanging on, but Iron has to run out sometime.

I grabbed some Flourish Potassium as I didn't like all the extra ingredients in the Salt Alternatives at the local stores and nobody seems to carry Muriate of Potash.
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