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Old 08-19-2010, 04:43 PM   #11
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That is not true at all. Nitrite is not very toxic at all to saltwater fish and inverts.

Nitrite and the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
"The marine aquarium hobby is replete with commentary about nitrite, some of which is, unfortunately, incorrect or misleading. Its toxicity in marine systems is far lower than in freshwater systems. Nevertheless, many aquarists incorrectly extrapolate this toxicity to reef aquariums and suggest that any measurable amount of nitrite is a concern.
In reality, nitrite probably is not toxic enough to warrant measuring in most marine systems."
Im sure this catches a lot of us by surprise as it does me. It is in stark contrast with what I have been told on this site as well. Also would have been nice to know back when I was unsure if my tank was safe due to the odd nitrite reading I was seeing.

Still though, you have to admit that ANY nitrite reading suggests a problem with the stability of the system in a cycled tank, no?

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Old 08-19-2010, 04:51 PM   #12
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And dont forget Doug`s other suggestion about carbon.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:04 PM   #13
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Still though, you have to admit that ANY nitrite reading suggests a problem with the stability of the system in a cycled tank, no?
Not necessarily. Running a UV can break nitrates down into nitrites, but for the most part if you see nitrites there is probably an ammonia issue that needs to be dealt with.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:26 PM   #14
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...but for the most part if you see nitrites there is probably an ammonia issue that needs to be dealt with.
That would be my main concern also. Nitrites are a bad thing because they point to something wrong with your nitrogen cycle - either loss of bacteria, sudden overcrowding, overfeeding, etc.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:57 PM   #15
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I suppose Nitrite's reduction in toxicity makes sense as Cl- is used to neutralize it in FW.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:15 PM   #16
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I suppose Nitrite's reduction in toxicity makes sense as Cl- is used to neutralize it in FW.
Close, its NaCl... Thats kinda what I was thinking as well... Makes alot of sense, I had also wondered if nitrite was as big of a deal in SW as it is in FW in terms of being harmful to the fish
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:42 PM   #17
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Fish excrete sodium by cells in there gills that specialize in cloride removal. These ions are plentiful in the ocean and are near statuation levels. Because of this Saltwater fishes systems remove the clorides to stabilize their systems of the salt ions that would surely kill them. By doing this they have little or no methods of removing nitrites and nitrites pass through their systems before nitrites can harm them. Something like a slow poison that takes so long to do any damage that they are excruted as waste before they can do any harm.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:22 PM   #18
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All this new talk about harmlessness of nitrites has me wondering why we cycle our tanks for so long? For me, the nitrite spike is always the longest one. If nitrites pose little threat, why not call it done when ammonia goes to zero?

I guess the next questions should be, how high do nitrites need to be to be dangerous?

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Old 08-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #19
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None of this is new. The article I linked to is over 5 yrs old. I also have a book by Albert J. Thiel (who I met about 20 yrs ago and he signed the book) and the same info is in there.
Quote:
how high do nitrites need to be to be dangerous
Read the article.
"exposed tank-raised clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) to nitrite concentrations ranging from 0 to 330 ppm in artificial seawater. Two of five fish died after a few days at 330 ppm"
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #20
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None of this is new. The article I linked to is over 5 yrs old. I also have a book by Albert J. Thiel (who I met about 20 yrs ago and he signed the book) and the same info is in there.

Read the article.
"exposed tank-raised clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) to nitrite concentrations ranging from 0 to 330 ppm in artificial seawater. Two of five fish died after a few days at 330 ppm"
Maybe not new, but I am new to salt water. (Started a little over a year ago).

This is the first I have heard of this. 330ppm is much more than any tank should develop on its own, so might it be safe to assume that a tank is ready for a fish once the ammonia spike has passed?

Im now left wondering why the nitrite spike is even addressed during the cycle? Seems ammonia is now the only thing to worry about.

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