Video:How to Test for Nitrites in Freshwater Aquariumswith Dan Thornton
Nitrites in your home aquarium can be deadly to your fish. Watch this how-to video from About.com on the proper way to test for nitrites in your freshwater tank.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Test for Nitrites in Freshwater Aquariums
Hi, I am Dan Thornton, owner of Reef Encounters in Erie, Colorado. I am here today for About.com to tell you how to test for nitrates in fresh water aquariums.
Nitrites Appear in the Aquariums First Cycle
Nitrites will kill the fish. You don't want them ever above one part per million, on a test kit. You are going to see them when you first cycle your tank. So a brand new tank with a brand new filter, you are going to see ammonia first, and if you were to keep track of it and put it on a graph, you would see ammonia reach a peak, and as the ammonia started coming down, you would start to see nitrites.
Some Fish Can Tolerate Low Nitrites
If you are first starting a brand new tank, and you are trying to cycle the tank, you have to pick fish that are very hearty, that can tolerate small levels of ammonia and nitrite. Good examples of those would be Danios, White Cloud minnows, some of the African Cichlids that are real hearty, that could start a bigger tank. You also don't want to put too many fish in there, there is no fish that can tolerate high amounts of nitrite.
So you just start with a couple of fish, and then you get your bacteria going, and those bacteria that are your biological filtration, they multiply exponentially.
Testing for Nitrites
To test for nitrites in a home aquarium, you can use a dipstick, or a test tube and drop method. The test tube and the drops are probably going to be a little more accurate than the dipstick. You have to read the instructions, each test kit is a little bit different. See there are zero nitrites. It's a good idea to keep track of your tests, and keep a little log book.
Thanks so much for watching. For more information on fish, please visit us at About.com.