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Nitrite spike tips


Pizzafan
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Hi all,

I’ve had my tank for a few months now, generally with no ammonia or nitrites anymore. just recently have had a large spike in my nitrites since the past couple days (~3-5 ppm with api kit), but zero ammonia. Is this pretty common to happen that the nitrite metabolizing bacteria can crash even though the ammonia metabolizing bacteria are fine? Any tips?

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On 6/16/2021 at 10:49 AM, Pizzafan said:

Hi all,

I’ve had my tank for a few months now, generally with no ammonia or nitrites anymore. just recently have had a large spike in my nitrites since the past couple days (~3-5 ppm with api kit), but zero ammonia. Is this pretty common to happen that the nitrite metabolizing bacteria can crash even though the ammonia metabolizing bacteria are fine? Any tips?

It’s a hard thing to diagnose. There are a lot of possibilities...

If you notice it following a water change, your source water could be experiencing an elevated level of ammonia. Your bacteria is just working through that.

Now, it is possible that your bacteria colony has experienced a crash. There are two “species” of aerobic bacteria: Nitrosomonas (converting Ammonia to Nitrite) and Nitribacter (converting Nitrite to Nitrate). If your Nitrobacter colony is not doing well, Nitrite can linger.

Try adding an air stone. More oxygen = more processing. Toss in some FritzZyme 7 if you can find it.

 

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Thanks all for the comments and suggestions! It is a pretty heavily planted tanks and no die offs so far or noticeable issues with the fish… but it’s only been a couple days. I have sand, and have vacuumed up some crap this weekend, so maybe that had some effect? I also never thought about testing ammonia in my tap water 🙂 Got a bottle of Tetra safestart today to throw in, so hoping that helps. I was just curious what could be the cause of the issue so it doesn’t become a recurring problem. 

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my tanks would randomly spike in nitrate to ~1ppm and like you my ammonia would 0. I thought my test trips were just wrong because days later it would be back at 0.

Not sure how to stop this so I just leave it alone. 

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