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Re: [Killietalk] More on Nitrate poisoning.
It is true that methemaglobinemia could not be quickly reversed by
treatment with salt. However, it is nitrite that causes it, not nitrate.
In some animals ingestion of nitrates CAN cause metHbemia because their
digestive systems, or rather bacteria in them, can convert nitrate to
nitrite, which then causes the oxidation of the Ferrous iron to ferric,
in the Hb molecule. These animals are ruminants, in which bacteria in
the rumen can reduce the nitrates to nitrites. The production of
nitrites from nitrates should not occur in fish.
Nitrates are relatively non-toxic in aquaria but high levels are an
indicator of inadequate water changes. Thus, if nitrates are high, other
contaminants, which may be potentially toxic are too.
The bottom line is that I do not believe that high nitrate or nitrite
levels could affect only one fish in a group and nitrite toxicity could
not be easily reversed using salt treatment. Other than that, I have
heard of the phenomenon that Joe described, in which salt water
immersion caused an apparently "dead" fish to quickly recover, but I
have no explanation.
Barry J. Cooper
Sweet Home, OR 97386
lee Van Hyfte wrote:
> Hey yall,
> After being asked to provide more info and something to back up my
> claims that Nitrate does alter the hemoglobin's function, I thought I
> would do a little more research. Results are below.
> an overly abbreviated explanation.
> First for those that do not know. Hemoglobin is a string of proteins
> bound together that carry Iron with it so as to attract Oxygen. The
> hemoglobin is what carries the oxygen in blood to allow it to get to
> all the cells and respective organs in a living organism.
> Hgb = hemoglobin
> Fe+2 = ferrous iron
> Fe+3 = Ferric Iron
> Nitrate = NO3-
> Nitrate = NO2-
> What occurs in the animal exposed to Nitrate is that it meets up with
> the Hgb carrying Fe+2 and converts the Iron to Fe+3 when this occurs
> the Hgb is converted to Methaemoglobin. This is incapable of carrying
> Oxygen to the cells.
> Whether the NO3 or NO2 stays with the hgb or if it is just there
> altering the iron and leaving I DO NOT KNOW! Sorry!! I could find
> NO simple answers on the matter and just wanted to get to the heart of
> the issue.
> At any rate the known treatment that is practical in fish is Methylene
> Blue. How this reverses the Methaemoglobin I do not know. I do know
> that it is the prescribed treatment in all the sites i have been able
> to find.
> SO what does all of this mean.
> Nitrate poisoning will not be reveresed by merely removing the NO3.
> The damage is done and needs to be reversed. The fish maintained in
> nitrate free water should eventually destroy and replace the MetHgb
> through natural processes. However I assume this is not a quick
> process and the fish is likely to succumb before the methaemoglobin is
> replaced with hemoglobin.
> First way to avoid NO3 poisoning. CHANGE THE WATER OFTEN!!
> 2nd adequately lit and fertilized aquatic plants and ferns. To use
> up the waste products
> 3rd feed only what your fish can eat in a reasonable amount of time.
> 4th use some Red Ramshorn snails to scavenge up the aquariums, they
> use waste as feed.
> God Bless, lee Van Hyfte<><
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