What is nitrite?
Nitrite is produced by the beneficial bacteria in the pond and filters as they break down the harmful waste ammonia excreted by the fish. Although not as toxic as ammonia, nitrite is still very damaging to the health of the fish. Nitrite itself is broken down into nitrate which is virtualy harmless to pond fish.
Why test for nitrite?
Any nitrite present in the pond will be very damaging to the health of the fish. Toxic nitrite can build up in ponds where there are not sufficient beneficial filter bacteria to deal with the total waste from all the fish in the pond. This situation can arise in new ponds, when new fish are added, when the filter bacteria have been disrupted (e.g. during cleaning), or during accidental misdosing of pond medications.
What do I do if the Nitrite level is wrong?
If a level of 0.25 – 0.5 mg/l (ppm) is recorded then add a filter booster such as Koi Care Filter Bugs If a level above this is recorded then a substantial water change is essential. Change 25% of the pond volume for 1 mg/L (ppm) nitrite and 50% for nitrite levels above this. Koi Care Zeolite will remove ammonia (and thus nitrite) from pond water and can be recharged. If you do record a nitrite level in your pond, then it is important to check other vital water quality parameters, especially Oxygen, pH and Ammonia.
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