Nitrite Spike in QT

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joro

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I've had a 20G QT setup for approximately 10 days now which I seeded with a sponge left in my DT's sump, Bio-Spira, and filled initially with water from DT. I've got 2 clowns and a Kole tang in their currently and I've noticed the past few days that Nitrites have been going up while everything else is remaining flat. Here's current numbers from today:
  • Specific Gravity - 1.026
  • Ammonia - between 0 and 0.1 ppm (SeaChem Ammonia Alert bade is in "safe" level)
  • Nitrite - 1.0 ppm
  • Nitrate - 0 ppm
  • pH - 7.8
  • Temperature - 78
The fish are all eating well and acting normally and we've been performing regular matienence on the tank including vacuuming up uneaten food/waste and water changes (5G at a time or 20% volume). From what's I've read, usually Nitrite spikes with Ammonia but that's not been the case, so I'm wondering if there is something I'm not seeing that could be causing the increase? Also, is there something I should be doing to bring this back down to 0?

Thanks!
 
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joro

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Also, in case it's relevant, I'm using the following for testing -

  • Salinity - Milwaukee Digital Refractometer
  • Ammonia - API and SeaChem Ammonia Alert badge
  • Trites, Trates, and pH - API
 

Elysium

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Chances are the seeded sponge and Bio-Spira have established enough of a bacterial population that they are using the ammonia as fast as it is being produced.

And 1.0 ppm of Nitrites won't hurt the fish.
 
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joro

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Ran the tests again tonight and the nitrites have spiked even further (see attached). Both my wife and I believe it's closest to 2 ppm but not sure, these colors all look the same! Ammonia is still reading between 0 - 0.25 on the API kit with the SeaChem Alert badge still clearly in the "Safe" zone. Thoughts? o_O
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Nitrite is not a concern. It probably is just not fully cycled, but unlike a freshwater tank, nitrite is not toxic in marine systems until super high. I generally recommend that folks don't even bother measuring it unless you just like chemistry. :)
 
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joro

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Nitrite is not a concern. It probably is just not fully cycled, but unlike a freshwater tank, nitrite is not toxic in marine systems until super high. I generally recommend that folks don't even bother measuring it unless you just like chemistry. :)
I re-tested everything again and the nitrites are still around 2 ppm and nitrates have gone up to closer to 5 ppm. I've also noticed the water is starting to get a little "cloudy" depiste vacuuming up the feeding remnants/waste each day with an Eheim Vac. Are these two issues related or is there something I should be doing to "clear up" the water? Note, I started the first dose of Copper yesterday so don't want to put Carbon on the tank.
 
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Also, current tests show:

  • Nitrate: 5 ppm
  • Nitrite: 2 ppm
  • Ammonia: between 0 and 0.1 ppm (SeaChem Ammonia Alert badge is within "safe" level)
  • Ph: 7.8
  • Salinity: 1.027
 
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joro

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The cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom. There's no need to be particularly concerned about it in a qt tank, as long as it is well aerated.
I've got a HOB filter and a Hydor Koralia Nano 240 powerhead which I have pointed at the top to break the surface water. Is this sufficient or should I also put in a bubbler?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I've got a HOB filter and a Hydor Koralia Nano 240 powerhead which I have pointed at the top to break the surface water. Is this sufficient or should I also put in a bubbler?
That's likely sufficient. :)
 
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