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Thread: Nitrites in aged water

  1. #16
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    Mark Lee

    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Quote Originally Posted by peewee1 View Post
    Don't give up too quick. Test every two or three days until ammonia is stabilized. After two weeks, ammonia levels should read 0.0 p.p.m. and nitrites should increase and maintained under 0.75 p.p.m. After the sixth week, nitrites should decrease again and nitrates should increase, approaching a reading of 25.0 ppm. Someone else will post numbers that may modify mine to adapt to discs but the point being to give yourself sufficient time in weeks to truly give your water a chance to adjust and for you to be able to enjoy discus keeping.
    It is not an issue of waiting for the tank cycle. Its not being able to trust my tap water. Letting tap water sit overnight and reading high nitrites isn't something that time will fix.
    I am trying without the carbon filter. I will see if that may be part of the issue. Until I can trust that a water change is safe I don't want to move forward.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    peewee1 is right. I just went through this when restarting my discus tank in March of this year after an 8 year of vacation. Yes an API ammonia test will show water with chloramine to be positive for ammonia. My tap water test 1 ppm before Prime and 1 ppm with Prime and aged 24+ hrs. This is what it seems to come down to.
    I run a bare bottom 125 gallon tank with a fluvial fx5 filter with foam filter sponge and stuffed full of Biohome Filter Media any media will work. With a homemade carbon filter in one end of the tank. I used Angle fish and added nitrifying bacteria to get the bio filer working. I had real bad spikes and did 50% water changes every 48hrs. After 6 weeks thing started to fall into line. I changed water last night with the water showing 1 ppm ammonia. My readings right now are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5ppm nitrate I change water to control the nitrate. Plants in the tank would help control nitrate but I am too lazy to have a planted tank.
    With any fish tank you must have a working bio-filter give it time to work or change a lot of water.
    Good luck hope this helps
    Deadwood (Les)
    I have seen the wonders hidden in Kenny’s garage

  3. #18
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    Don Speers

    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Mark, I think you are overthinking this, tap shows ammonia 0.5-1.0, 0 NO2 or NO3, source of that is probably chloramine breakdown which is considered safe up to 4 ppm. So age the tank, add the prime to the tap, age the water x 24 and when you do a water change the tank will almost immediately eliminate the ammonia with only a small bump in Nitrates. Adjust your water changes to your target Nitrate level. Adult discus can tolerate a little higher level than juveniles. Different authors have different targets, mine are 15 and 10 ppm respectively.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeers View Post
    Mark, I think you are overthinking this, tap shows ammonia 0.5-1.0, 0 NO2 or NO3, source of that is probably chloramine breakdown which is considered safe up to 4 ppm. So age the tank, add the prime to the tap, age the water x 24 and when you do a water change the tank will almost immediately eliminate the ammonia with only a small bump in Nitrates. Adjust your water changes to your target Nitrate level. Adult discus can tolerate a little higher level than juveniles. Different authors have different targets, mine are 15 and 10 ppm respectively.
    I def have a tendency to overthink things...
    I removed the carbon filters and plan to fill the drum 24 hours before I do a change and not let it sit so long. Nitrites are dropping in my tank so i think it's about cycled.
    I may get a few tank mates next week to see how they do. Im just disappointed this is more complex then I hoped for.

  5. #20
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    Don Speers

    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Make sure you keep feeding your main tank ammonia till you add fish to keep your nitrifying bacteria happy and then do a water change to get your nitrates down to about 5 ppm before you add fish. After that, just add prime or safe to your aging tank and you should be good. Might be wise to limit routine water change % to deal with the ammonia in your tap. Alternatively if you like massive water changes (what that means is debatable but to me means > 50% on a single change) put a seasoned sponge filter in your storage tank and convert the ammonia to nitrates prior to adding to your main tank.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Quote Originally Posted by Makko View Post
    I def have a tendency to overthink things...
    I removed the carbon filters and plan to fill the drum 24 hours before I do a change and not let it sit so long. Nitrites are dropping in my tank so i think it's about cycled.
    I may get a few tank mates next week to see how they do. Im just disappointed this is more complex then I hoped for.
    It does not need to be complicated. About 2 years ago I was given a tank, heater, filter from a long time angel and discus breeder. He recommended that I buy 4 fish from Kenny. About 2 days before the fish arrived I filled the tank with tap water, installed the filter, and heated the tank. Fish arrived and I put them into the tank. That was it. Months passed, I discovered the forum, and began following and learning. I discovered water changes and bought a test kit because I was curious what the ph of the tank was. Nothing more complex than that. Recently I got a KH test kit out of curiosity and then a TDS meter a few weeks ago. Again I was curious about what everyone was talking about. About 2 months ago I purchased a 20 gallon for breeding. Same, I filled the tank with tap water, next day put the two that I had selected for breeding, and 5 days later they spawned. Again, I was curious what the ph, KH, and TDS was so I checked it all about a week later. Water changes began with daily changes totaling 100% every seven days. I increased to about 40% per day in the breeding tank when I discovered that the TDS was around 1,000. The fish did not seem to mind but I did so after a week I have got it down to 400 TDS and the fish continue not to mind and spawn anyway.

  7. #22
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    Don Speers

    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Peewee OK you live in wonder water land, that or find 4 leaf clovers on an hourly basis How are those original 4 fish doing? I am curious, does your TDS parallel your NO3 levels, if no I would assume something in that tank is dissolving. Will try and find that thread.

    Mark, it may not be quite that easy, but certainly doable. Don't give up on owning discus.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Don and Peewee make great points. Keep it simple. A seasoned sponge filter in the barrel should take care of the ammonia and nitrites.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Nitrites in aged water

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeers View Post
    Make sure you keep feeding your main tank ammonia till you add fish to keep your nitrifying bacteria happy and then do a water change to get your nitrates down to about 5 ppm before you add fish. After that, just add prime or safe to your aging tank and you should be good. Might be wise to limit routine water change % to deal with the ammonia in your tap. Alternatively if you like massive water changes (what that means is debatable but to me means > 50% on a single change) put a seasoned sponge filter in your storage tank and convert the ammonia to nitrates prior to adding to your main tank.
    good point I will continue to add ammonia. I have a crap ton. I got powder for 11 bucks and I have used like 1 % lol

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