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Hello All..  Brand new to this kind of gardening.  Been at it for 3 weeks and added fish and plants a week ago.  I am concerned my nitrites are in the deep purple for several days with the nitrates beginning to show.

Should I be concerned because the nitrites are so high?  Ammonia is abt .25 and the water is becoming very clear with some slime on the sides of the IBC Tote.  I am using 2 grow beds with the clay pebbles at aprox 30 sq. ft of space. I currently have aprox 80 feeder goldfish in the tank.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Steve

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I ran across a paper where they looked at the "can't use iodized salt" as a nitrite remedy. Their conclusion was "no significant differences" in mortality and that it was safe to use iodized salt - at 4ppm continuous dose, or 25ppm dip.

DOI: 10.1080/10454438.2011.626968 

Use of Iodized Versus Non-iodized Sodium Chloride in Therapeutic Dips and Baths for Freshwater Fish

ALEXA J. MCDERMOTT and B. DENISE PETTY 


Ryan Garlington said:

No No- NOT epsom salt. Aquarium Salt is like salt we eat, but has no anti-caking additives or iodide added. This is the exact product I used:
http://www.petco.com/product/1697/API-Aquarium-Salt.aspx


Steve R said:

anything above 2 for nitrites is potentially lethal to fish. like jonathan said do a big water change.  Ryan by aquarium, salt do you mean epsom salt? what kind of salt?

You guys speak of using Epsom salt in AP but don't go crazy with it... I have a 150 gal FT. What would a recommended dose be an if I use it as foliar, what's the ratios?

If you're using epsom salt in your system water, you want to go for 15-30ppm magnesium. Epsom salt is about 9.9% magnesium. If your fishtank is 150 gallons, I'm assuming you have about equal grow bed volume, so let's go for 300 gallons of water in your system (?). If you're showing deficiencies, 6oz in 300 gallons will get you about 15ppm. For a foliar spray, dissolve 1 tbsp of epsom salt in a gallon of water.

That is perhaps what I like most about this forum. You can ask one question and the current takes us to even more brilliant answers to an entirely different question. Never judge a thread on here by the title or you will loose out on some amazing info that leaves you with "I had no idea"

Thanks Alex and everyone.

Alex Veidel said:

If you're using epsom salt in your system water, you want to go for 15-30ppm magnesium. Epsom salt is about 9.9% magnesium. If your fishtank is 150 gallons, I'm assuming you have about equal grow bed volume, so let's go for 300 gallons of water in your system (?). If you're showing deficiencies, 6oz in 300 gallons will get you about 15ppm. For a foliar spray, dissolve 1 tbsp of epsom salt in a gallon of water.

Thanks you guys. I get home from work around midnight and I start looking for all the new posts and I start reading. I learn something every night

you need to test yout GH and calcium to figure out your magnesium in fresh water. This is the tables i use for figuring that out what are you using? i forget where i found this its in a notepad file i have.

You need to know your GH and Ca to know your Mg levels. The last part of this note speaks of the hard water areas. 

CALCULATING Ca and Mg from GH

In order to find magnesium hardness, you must take a hardness reading with a GH test.

Lamotte's calcium test is a GH test with an inhibiting agent that prevents magnesium from affecting the test. There's no way you can find the magnesium level by using the calcium test alone.

The calcium reading of the calcium test is in a CaCO3 equivalence. CaCO3 is 40.04320% calcium. So if the kit reads 75 ppm as CaCO3, 
then 75 * .4004320 = 30.0324 ppm actual calcium.

For magnesium, take your GH reading minus your calcium reading. For example, if your GH reading is 100 ppm as CaCO3, then 100 - 75 = 25 ppm magnesium as CaCO3. If you want to express this as actual magnesium, multiply by .2428391. So 25 * .2428391 = 6.0709775 ppm actual magnesium.

(In case you're interested, the .2428391 comes from the assumption that calcium and magnesium react equally on the GH test. Calcium weighs 40.078 grams per mole; magnesium weighs 24.305 grams per mole. Therefore, calcium weighs 1.64896 times more than magnesium (40.078 / 24.305). Take your 40.04320% calcium in calcium carbonate, and divide by 1.64896 = 24.28391%)

Alex Veidel said:

If you're using epsom salt in your system water, you want to go for 15-30ppm magnesium. Epsom salt is about 9.9% magnesium. If your fishtank is 150 gallons, I'm assuming you have about equal grow bed volume, so let's go for 300 gallons of water in your system (?). If you're showing deficiencies, 6oz in 300 gallons will get you about 15ppm. For a foliar spray, dissolve 1 tbsp of epsom salt in a gallon of water.

I agree. I regularly dose iodine in my invert tanks for egg health. not much but i use iodine in my invert aquariums iv yet to use it in my AP systems but its on my list should i run into any issues with my shrimp in my AP system. I dont see why it would be bad in AP but my understanding of idioine is not as good as others on here. I use it in my aquariums when i do a water change on an invert tank or if i see there fertility is declining and its not due to a KH issue.


Scott Roberts said:

I ran across a paper where they looked at the "can't use iodized salt" as a nitrite remedy. Their conclusion was "no significant differences" in mortality and that it was safe to use iodized salt - at 4ppm continuous dose, or 25ppm dip.

DOI: 10.1080/10454438.2011.626968 

Use of Iodized Versus Non-iodized Sodium Chloride in Therapeutic Dips and Baths for Freshwater Fish

ALEXA J. MCDERMOTT and B. DENISE PETTY 


Ryan Garlington said:

No No- NOT epsom salt. Aquarium Salt is like salt we eat, but has no anti-caking additives or iodide added. This is the exact product I used:
http://www.petco.com/product/1697/API-Aquarium-Salt.aspx


Steve R said:

anything above 2 for nitrites is potentially lethal to fish. like jonathan said do a big water change.  Ryan by aquarium, salt do you mean epsom salt? what kind of salt?

The important thing when salting to mitigate nitrite toxicity, is that you use a chloride salt, so something like Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) isn't going to do a damn thing in that regard (though your plants may appreciate it, it will not and cannot help your fish pull through a nitrite spike).

Iodine seems like a bad idea in AP because we like our microbes and probably want to treat them well ...and not do things that might harm or kill them...you know, like adding ant-microbial agents to our systems

As far as I know, there are 4 common anti-caking agents used in by salt producers. A couple of which  (like MgCO3 or CaCO3) actually seem beneficial to an AP system

A few years back, I looked into this anti-caking agent thing (and wrote about it somewhere here), because it seemed like most folks here just say "don't use any salt that has anti-caking agents", without knowing why? or what those anti-caking agents are comprised of?... and that's probably the safest route to go...and requires the least information on the part of the AP system operator, but the truth is some anti caking agents are perfectly OK...beneficial even, while others may or may not be...

Some common potentially NOT OK anti caking agents are sodium ferrocyanide, and potassium ferrocyanide (these will often be listed as E535, or E536 respectively, and wont degrade into cyanide or hydrogen cyanide gas when consumed by humans( they are found in the salt on your kitchen table whether you are aware of that or not), but I'm guessing that since they have the words "cyanide" in them, folks just naturally want to avoid themin AP). I've purposely used salts containing potassium ferrocyanide in a small test system a few years back with no ill effects that I could discern...but folks need to make their own call on that front. But in reality, I cant see how you would ever break the molecular bond in any of the ferrocyanides (since it is a particularly strong one) to produce anything that would be toxic. 

I'd be less inclined to use the iodine than any (commonly used) anti-caking agents found in salt...Just my two cents.

Steve, I'm no expert and I am a risk taker but so far I haven't lost any fish (real fish). The feeder gold fish are sacrificial anyway so I wouldn't worry too much at this point. I'd let it ride for a couple more weeks and see what happens. Just keep the feeding low to contain the ammonia but .25-.5 ammonia is good for cycling. I did loose feeders when I first started but it's no great loss.

Thanks Jeff.  Reading all the posts, I went and put in some aquarium salt in the tank according to directions. Thought it would help with the high Nitrites. Stopped feeding. After all that I did the Nitrites are still 5ppm +. Readings are as follows.

Temp 82

PH 6.8

Amm  .15

Nitrites 5+

NItrate  80

Guess I will do like you recommend and wait it out. Don't understand why the Nitrites wont come down and/or stabilize.

The reason why the nitrites don't come down right away is that different bacteria eat ammonia than eat nitrites  Nitrosomonas, which convert ammonia to nitrite reproduce about twice as fast as Nitrobacter, which covert nitrite to nitrate.


Steve Armeros said:

Thanks Jeff.  Reading all the posts, I went and put in some aquarium salt in the tank according to directions. Thought it would help with the high Nitrites. Stopped feeding. After all that I did the Nitrites are still 5ppm +. Readings are as follows.

Temp 82

PH 6.8

Amm  .15

Nitrites 5+

NItrate  80

Guess I will do like you recommend and wait it out. Don't understand why the Nitrites wont come down and/or stabilize.

Let me be more specific I didn't mean using over the counter iodine i meant using something like Lugoes iodine or another aquarium diluted version. My understanding is that iodine helps with regeneration and overall health in invertebrates when properly dosed and so far in my experiences that has been the case. Thanks for all the kick ass info on anticaking agents. 

Vlad Jovanovic said:

The important thing when salting to mitigate nitrite toxicity, is that you use a chloride salt, so something like Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) isn't going to do a damn thing in that regard (though your plants may appreciate it, it will not and cannot help your fish pull through a nitrite spike).

Iodine seems like a bad idea in AP because we like our microbes and probably want to treat them well ...and not do things that might harm or kill them...you know, like adding ant-microbial agents to our systems

As far as I know, there are 4 common anti-caking agents used in by salt producers. A couple of which  (like MgCO3 or CaCO3) actually seem beneficial to an AP system

A few years back, I looked into this anti-caking agent thing (and wrote about it somewhere here), because it seemed like most folks here just say "don't use any salt that has anti-caking agents", without knowing why? or what those anti-caking agents are comprised of?... and that's probably the safest route to go...and requires the least information on the part of the AP system operator, but the truth is some anti caking agents are perfectly OK...beneficial even, while others may or may not be...

Some common potentially NOT OK anti caking agents are sodium ferrocyanide, and potassium ferrocyanide (these will often be listed as E535, or E536 respectively, and wont degrade into cyanide or hydrogen cyanide gas when consumed by humans( they are found in the salt on your kitchen table whether you are aware of that or not), but I'm guessing that since they have the words "cyanide" in them, folks just naturally want to avoid themin AP). I've purposely used salts containing potassium ferrocyanide in a small test system a few years back with no ill effects that I could discern...but folks need to make their own call on that front. But in reality, I cant see how you would ever break the molecular bond in any of the ferrocyanides (since it is a particularly strong one) to produce anything that would be toxic. 

I'd be less inclined to use the iodine than any (commonly used) anti-caking agents found in salt...Just my two cents.

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