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pictus catfish not doing too good

This is a discussion on pictus catfish not doing too good within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by James1968 the unit of measurement for nitate on the tetra 6-in-1 strips is mg/1 does a reading of 100 sound more ...

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pictus catfish not doing too good
Old 12-25-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
Byron's Avatar
Originally Posted by James1968 View Post
the unit of measurement for nitate on the tetra 6-in-1 strips is mg/1
does a reading of 100 sound more likely now ?
my tap water is definately just below the 100 mg/1.
i have just done a web search and the uk stanard for nitrate in the water supply is 50 mg/1.
our water company says all its drinking water meets the uk standard ???
First a general observation: what is "safe" for humans to drink can be very unsafe for fish to live in, thinking of any of the heavy metals frequently found in tap water, as well as nitrates, etc. For instance, in NA, copper levels are monitored so as to be "safe" in our water but in some areas this is so high it would kill fish.

As I mentioned, test strips are somewhat uncertain--your tap water nitrate might be very low as much as it could be closer to 100, so I would check your water supply board for the actual nitrate number; some have websites with postings of what's in the water (it varies from region to region depending upon the source of the water) and nitrate is normally listed.

Nitrate in an aquarium should remain below 20ppm (ppm equals mg/litre if memory serves me correctly). Most of the fish we keep can manage at higher levels, say up to 40ppm, and some higher still. But as fish in the wild are unlikely to be exposed to nitrates anywhere near this level, and some do have adverse reactions that may not be visible to us, it is best to aim for 20ppm or lower. Plants help achieve this, as do regular water changes--at least in the aquarium. If the nitrate is coming in from the water supply, then a good conditioner that detoxifies nitrate is advisable. Prime will do this, it is the only one known to me that does. This will handle nitrate in the water at water changes, and provided there is no source in the aquarium "out of control" it will not be an issue. Again, live plants will greatly benefit this.

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