Filtration – Nitrate in the aquarium
Nitrate in the aquarium is never a good thing, but not too many people understand what problems are caused and where the actual damage is done. In an article in AquaristMagazine.com titled “Nitrate in the Aquarium, Why It’s Bad and How to Get Rid of It” the effects of nitrate are discussed and a clearer understanding of this toxin to fish and fertilizer to plants emerges.
What does nitrate do to fish?
It is generally known that nitrate stresses fish, in turn leading to a weakened immune system, lessened ability to reproduce and, on occasion, death. Whilst the exact physiological response to nitrate in their environment isn’t crystal clear, there are some observed effects found in fish exposed to nitrate. Most of these are centred around the composition of a fish’s blood. Changes in blood chemistry brought about by nitrate in its environment cause stress; reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the fish’s blood and may be at fault for damage caused to organs.
Once the effects of the toxin are outlined, as far as research has established, the article takes a look at the ways to both prevent and control nitrate in the aquarium.
Prevent and Control Nitrate int he Aquarium
Prevention requires reduction of substances that contain nitrogen that, when broken down, form nitrate in the aquarium as result of biological filtration. The best way to reduce and prevent the buildup is to feed less. No matter what you do, though, to prevent the precursors of nitrate in the aquarium, there will always be some produced. This is inevitable, so the second step is to controil the produced nitrate in the aquarium. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. The classic partial water change is the most common and effective, assuming that they are performed regularly and the water from the tap does not contain high concentrations of nitrate to begin with.
Other methods to control the building concentration of nitrate in the aquarium are to add live plants. Another way is to keep the substrate clean of organic debris. That isn’t tough as this should be done with a gravel cleaner during the regular water changes. The last possibility is to use a nitrate adsorbing media