Nitrites! 0.25

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Nov 9, 2008
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I checked my water today and I seem to be zero on Ammonia but I have an increase in Nitrite. I usually have a zero reading but now I am on .25.
What should I do?

Will this be bad for my Mercs?

I'm doing a water change after work.

Dino
 
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That's not that bad actually. Water changes should help. If it gets over .30 then that might become an issue.

You might find some nice macro algae to add to the tank. It will help absorb some of those nitrates.
 

DWhatley

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AM, if Dino has not confused the two (it took me forever to keep them straight) that was Nitrite not Nitrate.

Change extra water daily and monitor until it is back to zero. You should not never be able to detect nitrites. Putting back some of that LR now would help once you have them back down (as long as you kept it in water the entire time).
 
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Yes it is Nitrites... weird I know. The reading was taken after having an uneaten piece of frozen shrimp in the tank. I'm not sure if that could have skewed the results.
I was quite surprised to see the Ammonia and Nitrates unchanged and to see an elevated Nitrites.
I did a big water change earlier.
I'll let it settle and check again tomorrow. Maybe I do need to put back some of the LR I took out earlier this week.
 

DWhatley

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The cycle is Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. You will always have it as decaying food and critter waste will produce the ammonia but your biological filtration should run the conversion quickly enough that there is no build-up of either ammonia or nitrites in the water (therefore undetectable). Water changes (be sure to stir up your bottom substrate and give your rocks a blowing off with a turkey baster) are the only nitrate removal in your current system. I think I mentioned that shrimp are especially good at creating ammonia :hmm:. Since you are seeing nitrites, your original cycle and the biological filtration that was created was likely weakened when you removed the LR without time for more bacterial build up with the increased bioload. This will be a little tricky to control for awhile and adding back LR that is fully cycled will help since you need to build up more bacteria but keep the water as nitrite free as you can (which will slow down the new cycle but keep the animals healthier).
 
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Thanks again for the great advice guys... I brought back some of the rock I took out of the tank and the levels went back to a stable zero. I think I may have shocked the system by taking out so many rocks at one time the same day I left a chunk of shrimp for the octos.

Lesson learned. :smile:
 

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