12-26-2009, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fishyinpa
I just read this....what do you think??
Nitrate (NO3) is NOT toxic to freshwater fish in any concentration. Here is the dirty little secret about Nitrate, it is a great scape goat for pet stores when you come to them and say your fish are dying. Instead of having to actually know anything about fish or trying to find the real cause of the problem, they test the Nitrate, along with some other tests, and since just about every tank in existence has a nitrate level the is "un-safe" (according to the direction on the nitrate test kit) they have an instant answer for you.
This works well when they are trying to CYA when a new fish you bought from them dies. They test the water and tell you it is YOUR fault the fish died because of this nitrate problem, then you see, they can say they didn't sell you a bad fish.
If your Nitrite and Ammonia are ok and the fish are not stressed, it sounds like all is well. Don't worry about it.
20 years in the Aquarium business as an aquarium store owner, a manager of 2 different aquarium stores and most recently owner/manager of professional aquarium maintenance company.
Well, I've no comment on allegations about fish stores or staff, but...
The first sentence is absolutely inaccurate. Nitrate will kill fish, period. It needs to be very high, and different fish have different levels of tolerance. And while it will not usually kill them in a normal aquarium, the stress from higher-than-acceptable nitrates will lead to other problems like disease and parasites. Stress weakens the fish's immune system for one thing.
Any reputable and reliable authority will tell you that nitrates should be kept below 40 ppm in a freshwater aquarium, and preferably at 20 or lower. This is sound advice. In a balanced planted aquarium nitrates will seldom be above 20 ppm unless something goes wrong.