High Nitrites In Regional Council Water

Hi All, I'm new to the forum, this is my first post. I've recently started up my 6" x 2" x 2" tank where my main focus will be a range of discus plus cardinals/rummy nose tetra/sterbai corys/clown loaches. I have successfully cycled my tank and introduced some of the discus and the corys, they look great. My query in on the local supply of water by Unity Water to my home in Woody Point, Moreton Bay. I noticed at the start of my cycling exercise that I immediately had Nitrites of 2.0ppm, measured on my new API Freshwater Master Kit. I was surprised as there was no way that bacteria had managed to convert Ammonia to Nitrites as the water was only 2 hours old. I therefore tested the water directly out of the tap and as expected the water was giving a reading of 2.0ppm Nitrites. This was subsequently confirmed by a mate's test kit and my LFS. I have been in touch with Unity Water and they refuse to discuss their water parameters but directed me to a page on their website that confirms that in our area their Nitrite level has been a maximum of 1.66ppm in their 12-month reporting period. Although my tank now has Nitrites at 0.00ppm I am afraid of performing 30% water changes which I've always done every 4 days as I will be introducing a high level of Nitrites but I don't see any alternative. Advice from those more knowledgeable than me would be appreciated, thanks.


  • Heintz.G
    Heintz.G Moderator Posts: 1,367
    Hi Woody,

    Get your self a food grade IBC container and age the water that should do the trick.
    Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes & dreams.
  • Woodypoint
    Woodypoint Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2021
    Thanks for your response, appreciated, unfortunately our accommodation (unit) is not conducive to having an IBC container. Following a discussion with Ross at Arcy Aquariums (formerly Living Reef Aquariums) I think my solution will be;

    My tank holds +/-500 litres of water, I'll do +/-160 litre (ie 1/3) water change every +/-4 days.

    Either I'll treat entire tank, including new water, with Prime or alternately I'll only treat new water, before placing it in the tank with Prime. I think whole tank is better.

    The Prime will ensure that the Nitrites are "bound" and negated for 24-48 hours.

    The Nitrogen cycle in my aquarium is complete, Nitrites are at 0.0ppm so I know there is an established bacteria community in my tank.

    Assuming the Nitrites of the new water are at 2.0ppm the Nitrites of the entire tank, including new water, will average out at about 0.7ppm

    With a decent bacteria community already established in the tank the Nitrites will be eliminated well before the Prime stops being effective.

    This solution seems like a good way forward. Another possible solution, after talking to an advisor from FSA (Filter Systems Australia) is the purchase and use of a 50GPD AQUARIUM REVERSE OSMOSIS FILTER SYSTEM, this is available from FSA for $206. Apparently the use of an R/O system would mean that I no longer need to use Prime at all? I don't know much about R/O water. As my problem is confined to only periods when Unity Water supply high Nitrite water I don't believe that there is really a need for the R/O filter as this proves to be an expensive option so the outlined solution is the one I will stick with for now. I would actually do the Prime treatment as a matter of course irrespective of the incoming Nitrites.