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Re: [APD] Nitrite toxicity and GH
I believe Robert T. Ricketts wrote this email section below:
In a word, no. Nitrate or nitrite play no role in General Hardness, and are
undetected by that test. Unfortunately there is no available test kit for
us to detect chloride ion in freshwater.
The reason I asked was that there is a nitrite toxicity calculator test on
the PFK site and on using it, it asks you for nitrite level, GH and volume
to tell you where or not there is enough of the Chloride ion in the tank.
This seems to indicate a relationship between GH and hardness.
"This program calculates the level of NaCl required to raise chloride levels
in the system to that at which the nitrite present can be detoxified, and
takes into account the background level of chloride already present in the
A friend of mine has a small planted 30L tank with an oddly persistent level
of 0.25 ppm of NO2 and a GH of 9
This calculator returns the above values with a result of :
"Research on the reduction of the toxicity of nitrite to fish has shown that
the ratio of chloride to nitrite must be at a minimum level to be effective.
Your water already contains sufficient chloride to make the nitrite present
less toxic to the fish, so we would advise conducting a partial water change
and not adding any further chloride to increase the level."
(At present she is adding Prime to render the nitrite non-toxic.)
But yes, chloride ion does block nitrite toxicity in freshwater fish, by
competitive inhibition - competition for the binding site on the hemoglobin
This was how I understood it too. :-)
I have seen recommendations as low as one-tenth teaspoon per US
gallon (from the Skeptical Aquarist), but I have used significantly more -
but still quite low dosage - at one quarter to one-half teaspoon per US
gallon without problems.
Thanks for that Bob.
If you are concerned with the sodium ion, potassium chloride will have the
same effect as would ordinary salt (sodium chloride). Potassium chloride is
the material in many salt substitutes available from the grocery stores.
200 Million years in the making...
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