Nitrite question for cycling

gmcgarry

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I am cycling a tank using Dr. Tim’s One And Only Nitrifying Bacteria. I have cycling for about 2 weeks and everything has been going well except for Nitrites.

Ammonia is at 0 and nitrites are at about 1.0 or .75. The problem is my nitrites have been stalled there for about 4-5 days. Is this normal, or what should I do to fix it?
 
RAP

brandon429

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This is the simplest you’ll ever get the matter: do not own a nitrite test kit it’s useless in reefing.

I know you’ve read otherwise but part of posting here is getting input from bio hackers who use the most updated science, and this is part of it.

though you’ve read nitrite can stall your cycle, it cannot, you’ve been told that solely by sellers of bottle bac not the bio hacks who make cycles work for decades without a single one ever stalling, not once.


nitrite does not matter at any stage in display tank reefing, Dr Tims is ten day bac per the label so you’re ready to reef, you paid for that ability. There is not one instance in display tank reefing where we need to know nitrite status, not a single time. It doesn’t even matter if nitrite affects nitrate readings, even without nitrite present any common hobby nitrate kit won’t read in line with others, we can easily see on comparison threads.

do not own or run a nitrite test in reefing if you want to save money, have less doubt, and be more resolved and in control of your investment. Nitrite testing can only lead you to doubt, hesitation, and redone purchases.
 

elorablue

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I have a just under 8 week old 75L cube (my first SW tank) and I went through the same thing as you. I read 0 Ammonia in 4 or 5 days but I was getting readings of 2ppm of nitrite for over a month! Only now have they started to drop (at 0.25ppm now). It was really frustrating but then I researched on this forum and found out that nitrites in an SW tank are really irrelevant.
After a couple of weeks of cycling I dosed ammonia back up to 1 ppm and it was gone in 24 hours. I added 2 clowns 2 weeks later and everything is hunky and dory. :)

I'm still testing for nitrites just because I reeeaaaally want to see it at zero , it bugged me that much LOL
 

Azedenkae

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I have a just under 8 week old 75L cube (my first SW tank) and I went through the same thing as you. I read 0 Ammonia in 4 or 5 days but I was getting readings of 2ppm of nitrite for over a month! Only now have they started to drop (at 0.25ppm now). It was really frustrating but then I researched on this forum and found out that nitrites in an SW tank are really irrelevant.
After a couple of weeks of cycling I dosed ammonia back up to 1 ppm and it was gone in 24 hours. I added 2 clowns 2 weeks later and everything is hunky and dory. :)

I'm still testing for nitrites just because I reeeaaaally want to see it at zero , it bugged me that much LOL
Lol same. Theoretically nitrite can climb to a point that start hurting marine fish, and there is evidence that even if nitrite does not cause immediate harm, high enough levels can cause some growth issues anyways. Figured it is just more peace of mind to get 0 nitrites. XD
 
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PatW

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I used Dr Tims. When I cycled, I only had measurable nitrites very briefly. It almost looked as if it went from ammonia to nitrate. I guess the conversion of nitrite to nitrates was so fast that nitrites only briefly showed up. That was years ago and I have not measured nitrites since.
 

tc3driver

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The question I would have, and have not yet seen the answer to, is what is "High enough levels"?

I think it is an interesting conversation. If my understanding is correct, and that is that the nitrite receptors in salt water animals is the same as the receptor as the sodium chloride (salt in the water) thus the nitrite would have to out-compete the sodium chloride, it would stand to reason that [at least in my non-expert mind] high enough levels would be approaching parts per thousand to even dream of competing with the sodium chloride.

I am a lowly Linux engineer, biology and chemistry are not my daily grind. Just something I am curious about.
 

Azedenkae

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The question I would have, and have not yet seen the answer to, is what is "High enough levels"?

I think it is an interesting conversation. If my understanding is correct, and that is that the nitrite receptors in salt water animals is the same as the receptor as the sodium chloride (salt in the water) thus the nitrite would have to out-compete the sodium chloride, it would stand to reason that [at least in my non-expert mind] high enough levels would be approaching parts per thousand to even dream of competing with the sodium chloride.

I am a lowly Linux engineer, biology and chemistry are not my daily grind. Just something I am curious about.
Here we go: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php

That's Randy's article, it has a few specific examples. Normally I'd post that link, but I was lazy earlier. So anyways, for example with ocellaris clownfish, LC50 is 344ppm nitrite (334ppm nitrite is needed for half of the tested population of clownfish to die).

Issue is, we probably don't want to reach a point where half our clowns (or other fish) dies lol. So we'll probably want nitrite to be lower than for LC50, though the exact numbers is kinda unknown. At least for deaths.

For sublethal effects, well nitrite can cause quite a few things for ocellaris clownfish at sublethal, but high nitrite concentrations. This study: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10499-015-9965-9 suggests nitrite to be kept below 25ppm (if my chemistry/math is correct) to keep ocellaris clownfish healthy. And below 0.57 ppm ammonia, while we are at it.
 

tc3driver

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Here we go: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php

That's Randy's article, it has a few specific examples. Normally I'd post that link, but I was lazy earlier. So anyways, for example with ocellaris clownfish, LC50 is 344ppm nitrite (334ppm nitrite is needed for half of the tested population of clownfish to die).

Issue is, we probably don't want to reach a point where half our clowns (or other fish) dies lol. So we'll probably want nitrite to be lower than for LC50, though the exact numbers is kinda unknown. At least for deaths.

For sublethal effects, well nitrite can cause quite a few things for ocellaris clownfish at sublethal, but high nitrite concentrations. This study: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10499-015-9965-9 suggests nitrite to be kept below 25ppm (if my chemistry/math is correct) to keep ocellaris clownfish healthy. And below 0.57 ppm ammonia, while we are at it.
Thank you for this information!

That was a great read.
 
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brandon429

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The studies about nitrite toxicity don’t come from any reef tank examples, thats so important to know in context.

taking studies from fish aquaculture which is packing so much bioload per gallon it drives filtration to its ends has literally no application to our high dilution, low bioload, high current reef tanks.



the reason zero examples for nitrite lethality can be found in reef tanks is because nitrite is useless to know at all times in reefing.

there is literally no examples for nitrite lethality in any reef tank ever posted to the Internet, Aze can link us one if there is.

just because someone pushes toxicity in a lab setting to measure ld50 doesn’t mean any reef tank ever posted reached those levels, you can’t reach those levels with the active bacteria used


***Azes studies are not from cycled reefs*** they’re from lethality studies, in systems that don’t suppress nitrite theyre dosing it to study death level maximums



Randy clearly discusses lethality, and we discuss here that no reef tank has ever reached that lethality during a cycle.




 
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Azedenkae

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The studies about nitrite toxicity don’t come from any reef tank examples, thats so important to know in context.

taking studies from fish aquaculture which is packing so much bioload per gallon it drives filtration to its ends has literally no application to our high dilution, low bioload, high current reef tanks.



the reason zero examples for nitrite lethality can be found in reef tanks is because nitrite is useless to know at all times in reefing.

there is literally no examples for nitrite lethality in any reef tank ever posted to the Internet, Aze can link us one if there is.
Was finally curious enough to see what you had to say, turned out to be this.

The reason why we don't see nitrite killing marine fish in our aquarium is because it is doubtful nitrite commonly reaches levels high enough to cause deaths. Even if one cycled an aquarium with 10ppm ammonia, that only converts to 27ppm nitrite, barely above the 'safe limit' suggested, and that's just to prevent diseases rather than preventing death. For death, nitrite concentrations had to be even higher. Which presumes a lot of ammonia has to be oxidized AND very little nitrite oxidized to get there.

So I highly doubt it has much to do with whether the fish are stressed or not in the studies. Have you read through what I linked above, especially the second one? It was not on an aquaculture system, rather it was of the same clownfish we'd normally buy. They provided the best environment they can, before doing their tests. It's very close to what we have in the hobby, specifically with QT tanks or holding tanks at a LFS. Only exception really is that they purposefully had no filtration to obviously allow ammonia or nitrite to do their thing.
 

brandon429

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the context shown there is directly applicable to what reef tank cyclers will encounter. The point of the whole study was to determine a safe start date for the major brands of bottle bac
 
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Azedenkae

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nobody had to wait longer than the label on the bottle bac said to wait, ten days max, above. And that’s one huge study using reef tanks. We feel the context shown there is directly applicable to what reef tank cyclers will encounter.
Wait, what does that thread have to do with my reply to you?
 
RAP

QuinnLee512

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the context shown there is directly applicable to what reef tank cyclers will encounter. The point of the whole study was to determine a safe start date for the major brands of bottle bac
Hi Brandon. I'm on day 27 of my cycle. I dose 2ppm of ammonium chloride and my ammonia goes to 0 the next day. My nitrite takes about 1.5 days to go to zero. Now I find this thread. :) So don't worry about the nitrite? What about nitrates though? My API test says 40ppm after 1.5 days of dosing the ammonium.
 

brandon429

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nitrates arent even accepted as correct from those test kits, its why everyone's heading towards hanna digital for accuracy as best as possible. but if those nitrate readings are spot on, and Paul B's excellent sps reef runs 150 nitrate at times, yours is fine. that param has nothing to do with cycling either, your cycle is certainly done thanks tons for posting.


nitrate tuning is handy for invasion control in some cases and for tuning coral coloration, ability to detect some or not has zero impact to reef cycling whatsoever, we've completed a thousand cycles before on kits that showed zero nitrate at the end because we had them dose way under normal ammonia amounts, so they could avoid the final water change, by already having clean water. large ammonia proofing isn't needed either, though yours passes that too.

nitrite has no bearing in reefing, just because nitrite might be influencing your nitrate test kit also means nothing, and when nitrite is subsided that doesnt mean api nitrate became correct all of a sudden, use hanna digital if you want the best nitrate meter.

only ammonia control and duration underwater leading up to it matters in calling a cycle closed, nitrite and nitrate are no longer required factors in updated cycling science, so if those two params conflict in early reads we simply don't care, they're both unfactored levels. an aquarium that has simply had water in it for 30 days is cycled regardless of any testing whatsoever, when time is given to that degree we dont even have to proof the ammonia, the environment has unassisted cycled the tank free of charge.
 
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QuinnLee512

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nitrates arent even accepted as correct from those test kits, its why everyone's heading towards hanna digital for accuracy as best as possible. but if those nitrate readings are spot on, and Paul B's excellent sps reef runs 150 nitrate at times, yours is fine. that param has nothing to do with cycling either, your cycle is certainly done thanks tons for posting.


nitrate tuning is handy for invasion control in some cases and for tuning coral coloration, ability to detect some or not has zero impact to reef cycling whatsoever, we've completed a thousand cycles before on kits that showed zero nitrate at the end because we had them dose way under normal ammonia amounts, so they could avoid the final water change, by already having clean water. large ammonia proofing isn't needed either, though yours passes that too.

nitrite has no bearing in reefing, just because nitrite might be influencing your nitrate test kit also means nothing, and when nitrite is subsided that doesnt mean api nitrate became correct all of a sudden, use hanna digital if you want the best nitrate meter.

only ammonia control and duration underwater leading up to it matters in calling a cycle closed, nitrite and nitrate are no longer required factors in updated cycling science, so if those two params conflict in early reads we simply don't care, they're both unfactored levels. an aquarium that has simply had water in it for 30 days is cycled regardless of any testing whatsoever, when time is given to that degree we dont even have to proof the ammonia, the environment has unassisted cycled the tank free of charge.
Oh cool. So happy to hear that my tank is cycled. Slightly off topic but I've also been researching best testers. I have Hanna for alk and phosphate. I have red sea for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Nyos for cal and mag. So you recommend Hanna for nitrates? I've read mixed reviews which is why I haven't bought it.
 

brandon429

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I myself won’t own a nitrate test kit since by not targeting it with removal media, however it lands in my setup is fine. the best way to choose is to read several test comparison posts where mixed name brands are stated off a given tank sample / choose most consistent


ammonia and nitrite can be permanently retired. the only thing that causes ammonia to veer off course in reefing, is a massive fish kill from disease, poison, or heating issues/ hardware fails. Ammonia never, ever, creeps up and causes the fish kill. Owning an ammonia kit won’t stop the causes of fish kills, so they’re not needed after cycling. Ammonia and nitrite self stabilize.
 

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