Saltwater Fish Health: How To Prevent Nitrite Poisoning In Your Pet'S Tank (And How To Do So)
Fish excrete ammonia as their nitrogenous waste product. The toxic ammonia is converted to nitrite by beneficial bacteria in the aquarium. Nitrite is also toxic to the fish. When ammonia levels are elevated, elevated nitrite will soon follow. Nitrites poisoning is also known as "brown blood disease. " This is because fish turns brown from an increase of methemoglobin. Methemoglobin causes a more serious problem than just changing the color of the blood. It makes the fish unable to carry oxygen, and the fish can suffocate. Common symptoms include gasping at the surface of the water, hanging near water outlets, rapid gill movement, and a change in gill color from pink to dark brown. The addition of a half-ounce (1 cup) of salt per gallon of water will prevent methemophoric toxicity by blocking the nitrite absorption through the fish's gills. It is critical to continue daily testing and treatment until the nitrites level falls to zero. The key to eliminating fish death is to avoid extreme spikes and prolonged elevation of nitrite. When starting a new tank, add only a couple of fish at first. Do not add more until the tank is completely cycled. Feed sparingly and remove uneaten food and change water regularly. Saltwater Fish Health: Call your vet if you suspect your pet is sick . Always consult your doctor, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet. For more information on Saltwater fish health visit . .