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Old 04-04-2006, 05:11 PM   #1
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Nitrite Poisoning- HELP!

It appears that my 7 year old over-fed the fish while I was away on business. My Nitrite levels are off the charts! I've done a 50% water change and the levels are down but still way too high (i.e.2.8 Nitrite and 37 Nitrate) Lost a small fry that was 6 months old and have seven 2 week old fries in tank (mollies).

My mother molly is showing signs of Nitrite poisoning. I'd hate to loose her, she's the oldest in the tank and my daughters fish.

Any advice on how to reduce her stress and possibly save her life?

Heard about adding salt, is that a good idea for freshwater tank?

Thanks soooo much.

Mom to mollies!!
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:24 PM   #2
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I would do another water change. You may have to do two more to get those levels down. Salt will help with the nitrite poisoning.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:11 PM   #3
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I agree, keep doing water changes as many as necessary to get the nitrites down. Salt will help your molly. Are mollies the only fish in the tank? I ask this because there are several fish the salt will harm. As long as adding dechlorinator every time, such as Prime, you can do as many water changes as necessary IMO.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:30 PM   #4
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Prime says on the bottle that you can overdose it up to 5 times the normal amount to help with nitrite poisoning. I've never tried it but maybe others have and can vouch for its effectiveness.

I've always just done pwcs to drop my NI readings and added 2xs the Prime. I don't usually use dechlor as I'm on an individual well and have no chlorine.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
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plus...mollies need salt, they are brackish and tend to do good adding a teaspoon of salt to 5-10 gal. HTH and you don't lose her! I just lost a molly a few days back from some sort of parasite, broke my heart...
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsplace1
plus...mollies need salt, they are brackish and tend to do good adding a teaspoon of salt to 5-10 gal. HTH and you don't lose her! I just lost a molly a few days back from some sort of parasite, broke my heart...
Partially true, yes. However most pet store mollies are bred and raised in a freshwater environment, so salt is not needed. Just mentioning this because not adding salt will not harm anything in this case. Mollies are very versatile in that they can live in full freshwater, brackish, or full saltwater conditions.

I agree with the others, do daily water changes until you see the issue fixed.

HTH
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:50 PM   #7
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geez...learn something new everytime I get on this website...I guess everyone has their own oppinion. the lfs told me (as well as quite a few on here) to be sure to add the aquarium salt for the mollies. ( I don't think I ever would have known what "brackish" was if not for this wonderful website)

Sorry for the incorrect advice, apparently I got it too.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:23 AM   #8
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No need to apologize, woods.

You are correct in that everybody has their own opinion. To be honest, I've seen mollies that needed the salt. Without it, they were just stressed and did the "salt shimmy" as I've come to call it. If your lfs told you that they are keeping their mollies in a brackish environment(or just some salt added), then that is what you will want to keep yours in.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:37 AM   #9
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Go ahead and do a PWC, and do a double-dose of Prime for the whole tank. That's should help a bit more. Also, a small amount of aquarium salt will help some as well. I've added salt before at a dosing of 1tsp per 10G. Didn't bother the pleco I had at the time either, which now a friend has. Just dissolve in warm to mildly hot water, and add to tank slowly. Don't put the salt grains directly into the tank. If not all dissolves, then add to tank only the saltwater, then refill the cup and stir more til the rest is disolved. And slowly add to tank.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:21 PM   #10
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Yes salt will help with nitrite posioning, and the level needed is small (something like 0.05% will do) so is not likely to be a problem even in salt sensitive fish & mollies should be able to handle that and more.

However, a better way is simply to eliminate the NO2. As long as your change water is dechlorinated, temperature, pH, KH & GH matched to your tank water, you need not limit yourself to 50% PWC per day. In emergencies, I have done 100% water changes (ie remove the fish to fresh clean water & completely drain & refill the tank). This is a bit stressful to the fish - but no more so than you removing the fish from the lfs & putting it in your own tank (actually less as your water will be identical except for the lack of toxins).

With the NO3 up in the 3's even after your first water change, I would do a 75% change right away to bring the level to less than 1. Also to be sure to remove as much mulm & decaying food as possible or you'll get another spike a few hours after your pwc. Once you get the NO2 down to managable level, keep checking & doing pwc as needed till levels becomes zero (will take a few days depending on how much food is left in tank).

You can use prime at 5x dose, but the priotective effect is only temporary (about 24 hours according to company person when I emailed them a couple years ago). Therefore you still need to do pwc's to remove the NO2.
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