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TOPIC: Nitrates Rethought

Nitrates Rethought 2 months 6 days ago #71952

  • Aquamoo
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I was browsing the forum when I came across a post by bloodmourn which said:



"I know this is old, and I just found the academic study on fathead minnows here: hero.epa.gov/hero/index.cfm/reference/de...s/reference_id/92296

In the study it states the measurement as Nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N).
The no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) and the lowest-observed-effect concentration (LOEC) for neonate production in C. dubia were 21.3 and 42.6 mg/L NO3-N, respectively.

This means that you have to convert nitrate to nitrate-nitrogen. According to this ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=7744

21.3 ppm of NO3-N is actually 94.36ppm of Nitrate (NO3)

The API nitrate kit tests for total nitrate content (NO3), which means that fathead minnows are fine until 94.36ppm of nitrate as measured by the API test kit."




Anyways, I was wondering if this changes anybody's thoughts about the under 20ppm rule. I know that it's great for the fish's health, but is it really necessary to have it under 20ppm? In the U.S. the legal limit for Nitrate in regulated public water systems is 10ppm, but the primary reason for this was that it has harmful effects on babies.



Sources:
www.oscarfish.com/forum/oscar-fish-care/...ocking.html?start=10
www.water-research.net/index.php/nitrate
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Nitrates Rethought 2 months 6 days ago #71953

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Fish have different tolerance levels to nitrate before suffering negative effects to their physiology. Generally speaking, Oscars are thought to be more sensitive to nitrate than are the fish in the study.

Based on my layman study of the topic, as there are no known peer reviewed academic studies, it seems to me much of the 20ppm max nitrate level is based off of the collective experience of long time Oscar keepers.
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Nitrates Rethought 2 months 6 days ago #71956

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I've had hard times when it reached 7ppm let alone 20. I've also heard that it depends how the ppms build up.
Ex. If i never did water changes the ppms would slowly rise until he couldn't take it any longer.

Now if I simply collected all the dirty aquarium water and suddenly poured it in the tank then the shock and sudden raise in ppms would probably kill him.
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Nitrates Rethought 2 months 6 days ago #71958

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I am among those that have been in the hobby many decades, and I 100% guarantee that nitrate should be as low as you can manage to keep it. What some folks fail to grasp is that long term exposure, and elevated levels when the fish is young will compound later and most often lead to shortened life spans. If something comes up in life and your water maintenance goes a bit slack, no biggie. Even maybe for a month or so. Its the month after month, year after year of living in poor water that takes a toll. While the big 3, being ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are the toxins most often causing concern, you must realize that there are other harmful elements in the water column that need managing. Phosphates, silicates, dissolved metabolites. Fish emit a growth inhibiting hormone thru their urine. One of natures survival of the fittest elements. Mineral loss is a problem. To simply sum up, there is nothing more important than clean, fresh water for fish health. I often use an statement that says.. fish live in their own toilet, it needs to be flushed, CONSTANTLY!!!
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Nitrates Rethought 2 months 6 days ago #71961

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Aquamoo wrote:
In the U.S. the legal limit for Nitrate in regulated public water systems is 10ppm, but the primary reason for this was that it has harmful effects on babies.

The US legal limit for nitrate-nitrogen (or nitrate measured as nitrogen) in drinking water is 10ppm. After converting nitrate to nitrate-nitrogen, 10ppm NO3-N is actually 44.3ppm NO3 (nitrate) allowed in US drinking water, which then means that the EU allowable nitrate level in drinking water is not far off at 50ppm of nitrate.

Also, Aquamoo is just showing there are flaws in the article on this site: oscarfish.com/water/79-is-nitrate-toxic-...itrate-toxicity.html, where it is mixing numbers of nitrate with nitrate-nitrogen concentrations. If you find the studies pertaining to fathead minnows and medaka, you will see that the scientists are measuring nitrate-nitrogen, not just nitrate.
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