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Massive spike of nitrite and nitrate

Becksy

Member
Joined
16 Jan 2022
Messages
57
Location
Bedfordshire
Good morning

I have a well Cycled tank that’s been running for 6 weeks now, and after fighting of brown algae and finally getting an edge on it , I’m happy with my progres. In fairness it’s not been all my own doing, I’ve had some great help from you guys along the way. Anyway I was advised to dose my tank daily with Tropica specialised with one to tow pumps. And I must admit my plants are looking amazing ! But just out of curiosity I did a nitrate and nitrite test last night and was shocked at the results. My levels on both tests where at dangerous levels to fish. Can you guys help me to understand where this has happened please.

Tank 60 p
Bio master 350 filter
Co2 is at 3 drops a second for 9 hours a day
In flow Lilly pipe
Outflow with skimmer
Tropica specialised fertiliser
Lighting is at 7 hours a day with a nda
Temp is at 24
Nt labs test kit.
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
672
Location
Buckingham
What results did you get with the NT lab test kit?
What substrate are you using?
What is your water change regime?
For some substrates I'll do a 50% water change every couple of days in the first month, and for others maybe twice per week. Depends on the plant biomass.
 

Becksy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jan 2022
Messages
57
Location
Bedfordshire
What results did you get with the NT lab test kit?
What substrate are you using?
What is your water change regime?
For some substrates I'll do a 50% water change every couple of days in the first month, and for others maybe twice per week. Depends on the plant biomass.
Hi there,
I actually did a dark start for 4 weeks until I have 0 levels of No2 and No3 my levels have been perfect until I’ve started to dose daily. My substrate is DENNERLE SCAPERS soil.
I’m doing 30% wc every other day. The results where both at 4

david
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
672
Location
Buckingham
Hi David,
I would feel uncomfortable with those results.
There are problems with testing kits and there are many posts/threads about this if you want to find out more, but I wouldn't discount the potential risk.
I might put certain fish in a tub or bucket with an air pump, small heater and plenty of plants (ideally java moss) while things get sorted. Some fish species don't mind this at all. Others react badly, so use your judgement.

It is going to be your substrate that is the primary source, but I think your fertiliser also contains ammonium nitrate, which would cause similar results, and is probably contributing.
At this time of year you also often get more nitrates in certain tap waters due to agricultural crop fertilisation, but I don't think that is your problem.
Increased plant biomass, increased water changes, waiting for bacterial colonisation of your filter and aquarium, and reducing your plant fertiliser dosing could help to mitigate these problems.

You could fill your tank with floating plants to reduce the nitrite, and then remove them later.
You could switch to a micronutrient-based fertiliser for a while, reduce the amounts you use, or skip this altogether for the next few weeks.
Tropica Premium is something you could switch to temporarily, or just buy a chelated micronutrients and mix yourself.
Micronutrients are useful in certain situations, especially if you are leaching a lot of phosphate during the first few weeks and certain micronutrients are unavailable to young plants in the early stages of growth.
In some situations certain mature plants won't mind waiting a few days if you choose to lay back on your dosage for a while.
Alternatively, I might do more water changes, perhaps closer to 50% every day.
Plenty of options :)
 
Last edited:

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,845
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
And I must admit my plants are looking amazing ! But just out of curiosity I did a nitrate and nitrite test last night and was shocked at the results. My levels on both tests where at dangerous levels to fish. Can you guys help me to understand where this has happened please.
I would feel uncomfortable with those results. There are problems with testing kits and there are many posts/threads about this if you want to find out more, but I wouldn't discount the potential risk.....You could fill your tank with floating plants to reduce the nitrite, and then remove them later.......
In some situations certain mature plants won't mind waiting a few days if you choose to lay back on your dosage for a while.
Alternatively, I might do more water changes, perhaps closer to 50% every day.
I agree with @Simon Cole, usually <"testing for nitrite (NO2-)"> is less problematic than for nitrate (NO3-), but I'd be surprised if values are really that high. Either way I'd definitely suggest a large water change and a lower level of fertiliser addition for a while.

Plants take up all forms of <"fixed nitrogen"> so will reduce levels of ammonia (NH3), nitrite (NO2-) and nitrate (NO3-).

cheers Darrel
 

Becksy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jan 2022
Messages
57
Location
Bedfordshire
Hi David,
I would feel uncomfortable with those results.
There are problems with testing kits and there are many posts/threads about this if you want to find out more, but I wouldn't discount the potential risk.
I might put certain fish in a tub or bucket with an air pump, small heater and plenty of plants (ideally java moss) while things get sorted. Some fish species don't mind this at all. Others react badly, so use your judgement.

It is going to be your substrate that is the primary source, but I think your fertiliser also contains ammonium nitrate, which would cause similar results, and is probably contributing.
At this time of year you also often get more nitrates in certain tap waters due to agricultural crop fertilisation, but I don't think that is your problem.
Increased plant biomass, increased water changes, waiting for bacterial colonisation of your filter and aquarium, and reducing your plant fertiliser dosing could help to mitigate these problems.

You could fill your tank with floating plants to reduce the nitrite, and then remove them later.
You could switch to a micronutrient-based fertiliser for a while, reduce the amounts you use, or skip this altogether for the next few weeks.
Tropica Premium is something you could switch to temporarily, or just buy a chelated micronutrients and mix yourself.
Micronutrients are useful in certain situations, especially if you are leaching a lot of phosphate during the first few weeks and certain micronutrients are unavailable to young plants in the early stages of growth.
In some situations certain mature plants won't mind waiting a few days if you choose to lay back on your dosage for a while.
Alternatively, I might do more water changes, perhaps closer to 50% every day.
Plenty of options :)
 

Becksy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jan 2022
Messages
57
Location
Bedfordshire
Hello Simon

Thank you very much for your reply, I will take all your knowledge on board and put it into practice! I did a 50 % water change last night before bed and my levels have come back normal this morning. I’m going to reduce my dose to one pump and check my levels after that.
David.
 

Becksy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jan 2022
Messages
57
Location
Bedfordshire
Hi all,


I agree with @Simon Cole, usually <"testing for nitrite (NO2-)"> is less problematic than for nitrate (NO3-), but I'd be surprised if values are really that high. Either way I'd definitely suggest a large water change and a lower level of fertiliser addition for a while.

Plants take up all forms of <"fixed nitrogen"> so will reduce levels of ammonia (NH3), nitrite (NO2-) and nitrate (NO3-).

cheers Darrel
Hello Darrel

Thank you for your help, my levels are back to normal now after a 50% wc and over night filter. I’ll keep the post updated.
David
 
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