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Old 08-28-2004, 05:28 PM   #1
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How bad really are nitrite levels...

Well last night I moved my fish back from my little 20 g QT tank to my 55 g. The am levels were safe as well as everything else. Today however the am. spiked a tad but still not in a dangerous level but the nitrite (or nitrate whichever am turns into) is between 1.0-2.0. Is this a toxic amount? The QT tank is also in the beginning of a cycle so it has too high an am level at the moment although I could do a massive water change if needed. Should I be concerned? I am pretty sure that they will live it out because the all appear in good health and they made it through a bad ammonia spike before. What does everyone think?

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Old 08-28-2004, 05:40 PM   #2
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Nitrite is highly toxic even in low amounts. You need to start doing water changes and get it down to 0 if possible. Fish do not get used to bad water conditions, eventually they will succumb to disease and die.

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Old 08-28-2004, 06:31 PM   #3
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The analogy I always use is carbon monoxide and people. It binds with haemoglobin and as a result drastically reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.

This is what nitrites do to fish in the aquarium, so any detectable amount should be cause for concern. Even if the levels aren't high enough to be fatal they will most likely have long term effects on the health of the fish.

Water changes are paramount.
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:50 AM   #4
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Ammonia is converted to NitrIte. NitrIte at 2ppm is toxic, and like Atari says, it basically starts blocking the fishes ability to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream, thus suffocating it.

Some fish tolerate nitrites better than others, which can die when nitrites get above 0.00ppm.

Water changes are needed, possibly every day, until nitrites are back in check.
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