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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI Guys,

So I am having some issues. After adding large amount of bio load to my tank my Nitrite levels will not go down.

It has been holding steady now for over 5 days at
0 ammonia ~5ppm Nitrite and 10 ppm Nitrate.

My fish are showing signs of stress and I was hoping the cycle would catch up by now....

I am tempted to do some serious water changes and or add some Prime detoxifier but I also do not want to kill the cycle

My filtration for a 180 is just running on an FX5 ( i really thought this would be enough)

Any suggestions???
I might start to panic soon
 

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Was your tank completely cycled before you added more fish?
The fx5 should be enough for a 180 but if you were not fully cycled with a nice source of bacteria you probably dont have enough bacteria to support the load. If this is true if you have another cycled tank you may want to put some fish in there for now to get the bio load down. I would also cut feeding in half or maybe not feed at all for a few days.

If you are fully cycled i would do a large water change then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought I was cycled..
Before i added i had zero ammonia and zero nitrite and a trace of nitrate.
Im wondering if the bioload I had on there was just too small to make a difference.

The increase in nitrate makes me think there is some levels of bacteria that represent the full cycle but just not enough.
 

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Yea thats quite possible. I would try a large water change then and see what happens. How long has the tank been up? did you do a fishy cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yea the tank has been up since early april and i did do a fishy cycle.
The load i added was on the 26th of april so I may have been a bit early on the addition but the water was testing out ok.
 

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you could still be at the tail end of the cycle. You probably dont have quite enough bacteria for a sizeable load. i would do a w/c and see what it gets you
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so its monday and its still up...

im really tempted on doing a MASSIVE water change like 70%

What do you guys think?
 

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70% is overkill.

I would do 25% every couple of days. Looks like you overloaded the filter, as nitites should be 0, they convert to nitrates, which are removed with water changes.

If you do 70%, things can get bad in a hurry.

Add some prime, or cycle, and learn a lesson from this. If you lost no fish yet, no worries, but it is a shame when mistakes kill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No fish loss yet.. Amazingly only 4 fish are now showing stress which is part due to the male that is kicking everyones @$$ and then nitrites.

Im having nitrates go up but very slowly. I expected a spike in nitrites but nothing like this.

BTW i did use a bacterial additive just not biospira.

I'll continue with the water changes every couple of days
 

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hi all *** had this problem with nitrates my nitrates were high over 40ppm i cycled my tank for about 2months before adding fish i used a school of white cloads to cycle i have a 55 gal a freind of mine who deals with salt water tanks siad to try this it worked for me my nitrates are at zero i did a 75% water change filled it up then 50% change filled it up then 20% change filled it up and now there at zero ppm they use this in salt water tank to drop nitrates hope it works for u too if u should use this system also u have to do 25% water changes every week :fish: :fish: :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Its been now over 10 days now that my nitrites are not going down
and my nitrates seem to be holding steady...
My ammonia has a small trace now but is miniscule ( i think this is due to the almost daily water changes as my water has a trace amount of ammonia)
I have been doing 20% water changes every other day.

I am getting a gut feeling that my FX5 is not offering enough biological filtration...

What do you guys think??
 

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I would just be patient....great thing about the nitrite cycle is that one day it's there and the next day it's gone!

Unless the fish are showing signs of stress, you may want to stop the water changes as some would argue that this lengthens cycle time because you are removing free floating bacteria that have not settled yet.

Your FX5 should be more than fine. Canisters can take longer to cycle as well compared to wet/drys
 

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I am getting a gut feeling that my FX5 is not offering enough biological filtration...

What do you guys think??
No, it's fine. Like said, be patient. I've seen nitrite take 21 days to go down. You also need to continue water changes if fish are stressed and use a detox product to help with nitrite toxicity. I've heard that water changes slow or stall a cycle, but have never seen it happen to me. Do as many as needed to keep the nitrites down and fish stress free as possible. Nitrites will one day plummet as another poster indicated. Keep at it and don't panic. I wouldn't do a massive 70% change. I've seen massive changes actually cause nitrite spikes, but not small frequent ones like you're doing.

And whatever you do, don't open or mess with the filter, leave it be. Do nothing in the tank except small frequent water changes. Don't clean, vacuum substrate or anything else. Also feed very sparingly until nitrite drops. Fish can go for many days without food. I'd drop to one feeding every couple of days. The more you feed, the more you feed the nitrogen cycle and add to the problem.

HTH
 

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You also need to continue water changes if fish are stressed and use a detox product to help with nitrite toxicity. I've heard that water changes slow or stall a cycle, but have never seen it happen to me.
How would you actually know that it hasn't happened to you? :)
 

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How would you actually know that it hasn't happened to you?
I've cycled more tanks that I care to think about in many different ways. One of my interests in the hobby and I've done a lot of testing and research. Many others have tested this out as well. It's been an idea that's been floated around forever with nothing but anecdotal evidence to support it. It may be true, but never proven to be true. The only time I've seen a negative effect is with a massive water change. It tends to inhibit the bacteria the convert nitrite to nitrate, but no effect on the ones that convert ammonia to nitrite. Even then, it only caused a one or two day spike.

My motto has always been, "forget the cycle, save the fish". You can't stop the nitrogen cycle, but it's easy to kill fish with elevated levels of nitrite. The nitrogen cycle will recover quickly from anything that may try to slow it down (anything short of chlorine bleach that is :D ). Theoretically, some bacteria can be removed from the water column, but my gut says they migrate across surfaces more than 'free float'. Just my gut though. Don't think anyone really knows for sure. That's why 'seeding' with tank water is rarely effective where seeding with filter media, rocks, gravel, etc often is.

Also keep in mind that even though the fish survive the nitrite spikes, permanent damage can be done that affects long term health.
 

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the key to what you said is added a large bioload.

Your tank may still be cycling, it may be near the end. But if you go from 3 tetra's in a 55gal tank to cycle and then suddenly dump 15 3" fish in there, you are going to have some problems. The bacteria in the tank need a food source, so if you do not have a big bioload, you are not going to get a lot of bacteria. They simply are not in high enough numbers to degrade all of the new food source. The bacteria now need time to adjust to the increased bioload, in affect, you will have a second mini cycle while they multiply to eat up the new food source. The nice thing this time around is that it takes less time for them to get to sufficient numbers, so you shouldnt have to wait another month.

The best way to prevent this is to add your stock little by little so you dont overstress your tank. Add a few fish, and give the tank a couple of weeks to adjust. Then add some more, and allow it to adjust again.
 

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As I had mentioned, part of the delay is supposedly caused by removing free floating bacteria that haven't settled or as you said, haven't migrated across surfaces yet.

And as you said, we'll probably never know what's true or not...who knows, maybe the negative impact that inhibited the convert to nitrate was actually the removal of large enough quantities of the free floaters to actually observe an impact...

But anyway, this is not a hobby of exact sciences are we must rely mostly upon anecdotal advice and there are just so many variables....

In this case though, one thing for sure is protect the fishies first!!!
 
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