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whiteysar whiteysar
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 18:36
Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #1
Hi

I have done a mid week water test as fish gasping at surface which is very out of character. Have found a considerable nitrite spike and don't know for sure the cause...please help!

Juwel rio 180 tank fully cycled, one black moor and one fantail added in August
No changes except new aquarium plants a few days ago. Have since been advised here that plants may be unsuitable and I wonder if they have caused the problem.
Also had a small issue of fin rot due to injuries through playing in the tank. Interpet fin rot treatment added last Tuesday and virtually no evidence of this remains.

Nitrate - 20
NitrIte - 1ppm ......aaaargh!
Ammonia - very slight

Will be doing the water change shortly and removing 'suspect' plants.

Any other help / advice please? ! Fish almost always at surface :( :( :(
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:04
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #2
Although the plants may be unsuitable they aren't likely to be the cause of the spike unless they have died an been rotting for some time.

Have a look at this article for help dealing with the immediate situation, but try and track down the cause of the spike as it may be that you've had some underlying issues (fin rot suggest that's a possibility).
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:09
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #3
Hi

Nitrite will make fish gasp as it changes haemoglobin qualities.

Big water change will help. Do you have any Prime at all? Will lock up nitrite making it safer for the fish until the bacteria can deal with the spike. Fab stuff for emergencies.

Unlikely to be the plants, would take a lot of rotting plants to cause an ammonia spike (that was seemingly missed).

Have you cleaned the filters recently?

P.s. she beat me to it again lol
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whiteysar whiteysar
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:12
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #4
Thanks fishlady,

Just completing 50% water change now which I hope will make the fish feel better in the short term.
I totally want to know what caused the issue but really not sure. Will check filter is all clear although I really don't suspect this.

Would the fin rot treatment have caused the change? The rot was not at all serious but catching it early I hoped to avoid major issues. The fish are both boys but have been desperately chasing one another to make fishy babies which has caused the odd torn fin and led me to replace plastic plants for natural.

Any other things I could investigate as the cause?

Thanks so much
whiteysar whiteysar
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:16
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #5
Thanks Violet,

Feeling most ashamed that I must have missed the ammonia spike. ...still not sure what may have caused it...
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:25
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #6
Hey, don't you worry, happens to us all occasionally. Blips and the like.

Considerations:

1. Over clean of the Juwel internal filter?
2. Juwel filter not good enough now to deal with the poop of two fast growing fish (Juwel filters not really aimed at these messy fish)?
3. Do you run a good external in tandem? If not do consider adding one. I use the Eheim 200 in addition to the internal for my two fatties.

Externals are generally considered a 'must have' item with these fish.

If you don't have Prime already, invest. It's fab stuff, last for absolute ages given the tiny amount you need and fantastic for blip anomalies like this
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whiteysar whiteysar
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:34
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #7
Thanks again Violet!

I do not currently run an external filter, Rusty and Leo were tiny when we got them in August although I have a feeling they must be a year as they have breeing tubercles? Ten mins since change was completed and they they already look better, no gasping and hunting for food! They have never shown any signs of ill health aside from a minor fin rot episode last week which I treated.

Do you know if the Eheim 200 processes enough water for the 180 litre tank? If I was to invest would run alongside the juwel. I did clean the filter last Tuesday but only in tank water.

Thanks again for the advice :)
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:47
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #8
The clean may have just tipped the delicate balance - something as simple as that. Or even just a growth spurt in the fish meaning more waste.

Together with the internal the Eheim 200 (only used as an example) is doing just fine for my set up for now. With goldy tanks the aim is to run at least double the filtration that a trop tank would usually run at.

It fits nicely into the base unit too. Some keepers go bigger, excessive flow with bigger externals can be mitigated by use of a spray bar (I use one of those too though).

Fishlady and Suey run a number of external filters - other brands - on their tanks, I'm sure they would be happy to give you their comments feedback on how these other brands fair. I have no experience other than Eheim I'm afraid.
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Coralline Coralline
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 19:50
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #9
Hiya, just noticed in your last post a good reason for an ammonia spike.. What did you use to treat the fun rot? Many meds can have an affect on the filter bacteria. But as you mention that you had a fin rot issue this could be an indication that the filtration needs to be increased.
Gill

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Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 7/10/2013 20:01
Re: Sudden nitrite spike, please help urgently! #10
Hi Coralline, hope you and yours are well

Not aware that the Interpet meds knock out filter bacteria unlike the dreaded pure Methylene blue, of course but have never personally used these. I tend to stick with Esha or Waterlife meds if I need to treat.

Have you checked the bottle for any words of caution whiteysar?
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