Sky High Nitrites - Water Change?

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ShortyBiggie

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Hey everyone, really needing some help here.

Ive begun cycling my tank about 2 weeks ago using ace hardware pure ammonia and bio-spire. I dosed Ammonia to around 2.5ppm (no higher than 3) one time. The ammonia came and went, but I have had bright purple nitrites on the API test. So, today I filled one tube up with 100% tank water, and one tube 50% tan water and 50% RO water. Both tests came out identical in color, maxing out the 5 ppm max on the test kit.

I would think this would mean I have a bad test, however at the very beginning of my cycle nitrites began at zero.

Not sure why nitrites are so disproportionately hight compared to what ammonia was dosed to, but Im questioning whether I should do a large water change to lower them? Still not seeing any nitrates... Is there any way the API test could be reading Nitrates and Nitrite on the Nitrite test? This would be the only way I could understand why they are so high. Any help??

Heres a pic of the 2 tests. the 50% RO and 50% tank water is on the left and the 100% tank water is on the right.

IMG_3229.jpeg
 

Azedenkae

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Hey everyone, really needing some help here.

Ive begun cycling my tank about 2 weeks ago using ace hardware pure ammonia and bio-spire. I dosed Ammonia to around 2.5ppm (no higher than 3) one time. The ammonia came and went, but I have had bright purple nitrites on the API test. So, today I filled one tube up with 100% tank water, and one tube 50% tan water and 50% RO water. Both tests came out identical in color, maxing out the 5 ppm max on the test kit.

I would think this would mean I have a bad test, however at the very beginning of my cycle nitrites began at zero.

Not sure why nitrites are so disproportionately hight compared to what ammonia was dosed to, but Im questioning whether I should do a large water change to lower them? Still not seeing any nitrates... Is there any way the API test could be reading Nitrates and Nitrite on the Nitrite test? This would be the only way I could understand why they are so high. Any help??

Heres a pic of the 2 tests. the 50% RO and 50% tank water is on the left and the 100% tank water is on the right.

IMG_3229.jpeg
1ppm ammonia converts to 2.7ppm nitrite, so I probably would not consider it too disproportional. 2.5ppm ammonia would convert to 6.75ppm nitrite, so presuming you don't have any nitrite-oxidation really going on yet, you'd have one vial at 6.75ppm and the other at 3.375ppm, which imo is not really differentiable with the API test kit. Honestly I have never even been able to tell the difference between the colors for 2 and 5ppm ever. Try doing further serial dilutions, so 25% tank water + 75% RO water, 12.5% tank water + 87.5% RO water, and so on to see if there is actually a pattern or if the kit is faulty.
 
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ShortyBiggie

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1ppm ammonia converts to 2.7ppm nitrite, so I probably would not consider it too disproportional. 2.5ppm ammonia would convert to 6.75ppm nitrite, so presuming you don't have any nitrite-oxidation really going on yet, you'd have one vial at 6.75ppm and the other at 3.375ppm, which imo is not really differentiable with the API test kit. Honestly I have never even been able to tell the difference between the colors for 2 and 5ppm ever. Try doing further serial dilutions, so 25% tank water + 75% RO water, 12.5% tank water + 87.5% RO water, and so on to see if there is actually a pattern or if the kit is faulty.
Thanks for the reply. I just did 25/75 mix of salt to RO and its still the same color. Going to keep going down
 

dedragon

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After testing the ro water, test a bottled water and make sure that is reading 0 nitrite*. At least we will know if its a faulty test or something wrong with the ro system
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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that doesnt count because bottled water has no active nitrification going on. people benchmark their misreading api ammonia tests with hard yellow on bottled water, then the .25 light green in the tank where there's active conversion work looks like its off, when in reality that's a perfect reading from api on a reef ready to start.

what I recommend: do a 50 % water change and begin reefing, your cycle is done regardless of your nitrites we dont need to know them, ever.

that recommend comes from very very large proof threads but the going trend nowadays is to wait far past what the bottle label says would be the ready date, that's ok too. this should clear in another eight weeks

you paid for instant start though, and you can as he does below if u ever want to do that:

Api didnt just all of the sudden become an acceptable accurate test kit for nitrite, its merely the only one the hobby has so people treat it as if that one is always right.

we simply do not have to know about nitrite in any display anyway, but it will take several more years for that rule to catch on.
 
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dedragon

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Yes, but there shouldnt be nitrification happening so fast in rodi water + saltwater as well, idk if it is a faulty test or maybe hard to follow instructions... i dont think i ever tested nitrite, at least not in 15 years
 
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dedragon

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water change is a good idea, get those nitrates down to a readable level. Cylce should be complete or really close to it, what is ammonia reading at?
 
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ShortyBiggie

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Ammonia is at zero now, looks like .25 but tested against 50% RO and 50% tank water it reads the same. I know you never get a perfect 0 color on the API test.

As for nitrites, just pure RO gives a perfect blue 0 nitrite level, but adding 2 drops of tank water gives about a 0.5ppm test reading.

Mathematically, the Nitrite has got to be close to 100. My ammonia was about 2.5 when I started the cycle and went down to zero in a week. I don’t get it. at this point the only remedy I can think is either nearly a 100% water change or multiple 50%. thoughts?
 

Azedenkae

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Ammonia is at zero now, looks like .25 but tested against 50% RO and 50% tank water it reads the same. I know you never get a perfect 0 color on the API test.

As for nitrites, just pure RO gives a perfect blue 0 nitrite level, but adding 2 drops of tank water gives about a 0.5ppm test reading.

Mathematically, the Nitrite has got to be close to 100. My ammonia was about 2.5 when I started the cycle and went down to zero in a week. I don’t get it. at this point the only remedy I can think is either nearly a 100% water change or multiple 50%. thoughts?

Yeah that's defo odd. XD Feels like your test kit is off, in that it can detect nitrite but detects it much higher than it should be.

Without really knowing your nitrite, there is two options.

1. Ignore it completely. Nitrite is non-lethal to marine fish unless it reaches really, really, really high levels (unlike with freshwater). It can cause disease at much lower concentrations, like 25ppm. However I am really doubtful your nitrite could have somehow hit that, if you only dosed 2.5ppm ammonia.
2. Do a 100% water change, and dose something like 0.5ppm ammonia, which should result in like 1.4ppm nitrite and should be much more readable, to confirm whether your test works or not. Just good for the future in case you for some reason ever have to test nitrite again.
 
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ShortyBiggie

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sounds like
Yeah that's defo odd. XD Feels like your test kit is off, in that it can detect nitrite but detects it much higher than it should be.

Without really knowing your nitrite, there is two options.

1. Ignore it completely. Nitrite is non-lethal to marine fish unless it reaches really, really, really high levels (unlike with freshwater). It can cause disease at much lower concentrations, like 25ppm. However I am really doubtful your nitrite could have somehow hit that, if you only dosed 2.5ppm ammonia.
2. Do a 100% water change, and dose something like 0.5ppm ammonia, which should result in like 1.4ppm nitrite and should be much more readable, to confirm whether your test works or not. Just good for the future in case you for some reason ever have to test nitrite again.
sounds like a good plan. I put 5 drops of pure ammonia in, and never added more, so there’s just no possible way i’m getting 100ppm nitrite. thanks!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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dont forget this rule: nitrite cannot matter in any cycle.

it cannot become lethal in a marine cycle, that's why all lethality examples are non reefs. apples v oranges

here's 20 pages of nitrite positive starts and the outcomes for you to consider

if nitrite mattered, some or all of those would be dead and angry w me.

you can reef now based on your ammonia motion.

do the water change to have less algae fuel, begin, use quarantine and fallow for your fish or they die in eight months.

if you get cycling information from work threads/collections of live time cycles we can message folks and ask them about outcomes, you'll see that the worry over nitrite and ammonia never was valid. its fish disease killing nearly all these easily cycled tanks. the death comes in within eight months, not when you first add the fish the system can carry.
 
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ShortyBiggie

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dont forget this rule: nitrite cannot matter in any cycle.

it cannot become lethal in a marine cycle, that's why all lethality examples are non reefs. apples v oranges

here's 20 pages of nitrite positive starts and the outcomes for you to consider

if nitrite mattered, some or all of those would be dead and angry w me.

you can reef now based on your ammonia motion.

do the water change to have less algae fuel, begin, use quarantine and fallow for your fish or they die in eight months.

if you get cycling information from work threads/collections of live time cycles we can message folks and ask them about outcomes, you'll see that the worry over nitrite and ammonia never was valid. its fish disease killing nearly all these easily cycled tanks. the death comes in within eight months, not when you first add the fish the system can carry.
Hey Brandon,

Good Info, thinking of doing a large water change to better watch the conversion of ammonia.

The part about fallow or they die in 8 months, are you referring to the ammonia converting bacteria dying in 8 months without a food source?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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It’s in referral to the current biggest battle going on in the hobby: quarantine and fallow, or wing it. Common fish disease having nothing to do with cycling comprises the biggest loss of life in new tanks, we can’t even find one single example of a failed cycle killing fish but if we read this forum below, of 17 possible help threads per page ten of them are new tanks losing fish or trying to prevent it



a majority of the board is against quarantine and fallow, they’re passionate about it beyond nearly any aspect of reefing. The majority 100% wants you to add fish to your able tank once you deem it cycled without any preps to the tank or fish. They want this because they feel quarantining is harsh and mean and kills more fish than it helps.

but in that forum above, are they skipping preps or running careful preps that require you to wait months before adding fish?

you can choose what you feel is best chance based on that forum and what’s not an option in it compared to what is the daily option they use in all posts to help or prevent fish disease. If you input fish without preps even when cycled, I claim within 8 months most or all the original fish are dead and new ones have been bought, for most new reefs.


if we had lots of options to prevent fish disease, they’d be using them above. They’re using fallow and quarantine because that’s what zoos do. What aquarists do is customize their own approaches, kill fish, buy more ad libitum, and tell their peers what’s best for fish disease based on their own tank, not what actually works for helping reefs like we see above.


the man that runs that forum runs an entire zoo’s aquatic exhibit. That’s akin to having a bmw problem, and instead of having jiffy lube fix it we take it to a bmw mechanic who wins annual awards. You can tell I’ve been battling anti quarantiners all day lol


none of the issues above affect my reef as it’s too small for fish it’s a pico reef. But from the angle of gains feedback on ten thousand cycles a year I assure you disease from incomplete or no preps is the single biggest waste of fish life our hobby is causing. 0% is due to bad cycling
 
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ShortyBiggie

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Hey guys,

I did as close to a 100% water change as I could. The only water that was left was right at the top of the sand bed, and maybe 1/2 an inch in the rear chambers.

After mixing fresh saltwater, I tested nitrites and they were at 0. After putting the new water in, the nitrites are STILL reading either 2.0ppm or 5.0ppm. can’t tell the difference. The color looks very similar to the color before the water change.

I just don’t understand.

any further advice? I’m going to retest ammonia but want to do it after nitrite comes down, I don’t want to end up with 100+ nitrates
 

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ShortyBiggie

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Update:

Tested a 50/50 mix of the new saltwater in the tank with fresh mixed saltwater that reads 0ppm by itself, and the result is a color between 0.5 ppm and 1.0 ppm.

Multiples by 2 this must mean the new tank saltwater is now around 2ppm. Guess this is just a case where the API test kit colors are near impossible to decipher.

What’s the next move here? redose ammonia just a tad? worried about raising nitrite too high again
 
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ShortyBiggie

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Here’s the math I have done… I think it’s the correct way to calculate this but let me know if not.

So now If I believe the water is at 2.0 ppm (because now If I take the new tank water and 50/50 it with fresh salt I get 1ppm.) after probably a 95% water change, then that would mean the original level must have been 40ppm correct?

40ppm -95% = 2ppm.

Just curious as to how I could have gotten that high
 
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