Nitrite-Nitrate

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Alan, 7 Jan 2009.

  1. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hi Hennie, i see in one of the threads it is suggested that fish dying could be because of Nitrate poisoning. First off i must say i do not question your knowledge at all, in fact i am wondering if i may have missed something along the way.
    If i did, is it any different for marine fish and fresh water fish?
    This subject has been debated at length on fresh water sites and in fact the subject became so heated that it was banned on most of them. All i can relate is my personal experience with NO3, i used to breed discus many years ago and in my grow out tanks would sometimes have 100+ discus in a 4ft tank, okay it sounds heavy but they were around the R5 coin size. The thing is they were fed about 7x a day with heavy water changes daily about 80% at a time, the Ph at the end of the day would be below 4 around the 3.8 mark and then with the water change would rise again to about 7 and then slowly work its way down again over 24hrs. I ran these tanks on massive canister filters and had nitrates off the scale of any test kit but never had any problems with these readings causing the fish any kind of stress at all or any gill deformities.
    Now although not poisonous it is far from ideal to have nitrates in a system as they do not exist in nature, unfortunately in a breeding set up they are unavoidable.
    So i was wondering if there was a difference between the Marines and fresh as i have never had high nitrates with my marine system, if there is could it be PH related as it is with Ammonia?
    Thanking you in advance.
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    IF I may add something to this Alan - I actually MEASURED nitrates in the water over Sodwana reefs, having a reading of 30 to 35 (using my Salifert test kits).... I am no expert at all - BUT, I can think that fish can get accustomed/acclimated to higher nitrate levels?
    BUT - THAT any QUICK increase in the nitrate levels could definitely still kill fish? Right? Any SLOW acclimation to high nitrates (for fish) could get the fish to become used to this, and have a HAPPY life?
    Or am I too on the wrong track here?
     
  4. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi Alan,

    You are quite right to question me - I am wrong more often than I like...and this is a case in point.

    I am so used to talking about nitrite > nitrate in the context of filtration that I suppose I just automatically typed the nitrate part :baffled: I actually meant to say nitrite poisoning :blushing:

    In my (very limited, fortunately) experience, acute nitrate poisoning (more than 80 - 100 ppm in marine tanks) make the fish lethargic, and more susceptible to other diseases - but I have never had a fish die from this alone...

    Sorry about this, and THANKS for correcting me :thumbup: I will see if I can still edit the post in question, and correct this mistake.

    Hennie
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Hennie, please by no way was i questioning you, as stated i was worried i may have missed something along the way and got myself confused between marine and fresh water.........anyway nice thread to start a discussion.
    Jaques thanks for the info, i must say i find it highly disturbing that we find nitrate levels that high in mother nature, looks like the ocean may need a water change.
     
  6. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Oh, but you must. This is one of the nicest things about Forums such as MASA - automatic peer review :thumbup:

    This makes whatever info is posted so much more valuable, if everyone else can question / disagree with whatever has been posted - in the end, the Truth will prevail :thumbup:

    Hennie
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i see i made the same mistake, try make a mistake like this on a software develepment forum/mailing list
     
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