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AC Members
Mar 21, 2020
Agree with The Loach. Now it's the time to use sodium chloride. I'd look at kosher or aquarium salt. You don't need much salt to neutralize nitrite poisoning. I use a tablespoon per 5 gallons (when it's needed) and I keep soft water fish like rams and other SA fish.

I'm probably more a salt person than others, but it very helpful for certain issues.

I like this article for salt info

the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
Most hobbyists should thank their lucky stars for there being an aquaculture industry. Especially, since many of the fish in their tanks probably came from the aquaculturing of ornamental fish industry.
No, lets get it straight; hobbyists were already keeping fish for many decades before the intensive aqua culture industry came along. We could do without them no problem, sure the fish are a little more expensive, but you will get better quality. Large scale aqua culture of ornamental fish has caused and introduced diseases and is often willingly supplying fish of low quality, gross deformations and monster fish.
I have been keeping fish for well over 40 years, and am providing help to folks here from personal experience. Everything I say or recommend is because I am doing it or have been doing it myself, for many consecutive decades. I know it is decent advice, and I really don't care whether science or aquaculture or whatever approves it or disapproves of it. If people follow my advice, it will work.

I agree with Fish'o here salt is the exception, don't salt the tank or pond permanently no matter what 'aqua culture' says.


AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
TTA, The part I skimmed was dosage/pond acre etc. This is what I was objecting to from the article you cited:

A good water quality monitoring
program can help prevent brown
blood disease. Pond water should
be checked for nitrite two to three
times a week during fall and
spring, and at least weekly the
remainder of the year. We recommend
maintaining a chloride-tonitrite
ratio of at least 10:1 for catfish.
Check ponds daily during a
known high nitrite incident, even
if adequate chlorides are in the
ponds. Also check chloride after
periods of heavy rain or active
flushing from well water; both
these events can dilute chloride
concentrations and reduce the
chloride:nitrite ratio

This says (paraphrasing) nitrite needs to be checked 1-3 times/week & sodium chloride needs to be present since nitrite may show up any old time. Also some species are more tolerant of nitrite than others. I can agree with that to a point. Zebra danios are a classic "cycling fish" because they can live through many adverse what if they only live a year or so from some beginner's mistakes? Farmed fish are harvested in a relatively short amount of time, much less than I expect my fish to live.

TTA, I'm sorry you seem to take my comments it as a personal attack, I certainly didn't mean it that way. I too, have kept fish for 40 years & in our early days didn't really understand the nitrogen cycle. Although our 1975 Little Golden Guide to Tropical Freshwater Fish does mention it (our first fish "book"). It says with an under gravel filter it takes about 2 weeks, LOL. As I've said before, you often have very good articles you cite & I appreciate that even though I admit to skimming parts.

There often different ways to keep fish, treat diseases, etc. successfully. I had only a brief 1 year experience with discus & joined a group to learn more. I was shocked by some of the treatments experienced people did to their fish for suspected diseases. But discus are expensive, overbred & can be surprisingly sturdy for some things, others not so much. Same with some "herbal remedies", they work in some cases. & loach keepers have their own set or "rules" that seem to work most times. I "try" to limit myself to own experiences, water conditions, fish & plants but not always...we all have opinions, lol.


AC Members
Jul 13, 2021
The traditional method of lowering nitrate levels in a freshwater aquarium is to change a good portion of the water every week or so. Aquarium keeping is an expensive hobby. If you have a limited budget, then you should get a nitrate remover that will not break the bank.
Apr 2, 2002
New York
A Arthur11 This thread is a a bit old and deals with nitrite not nitrate.

Also, there are two major differences and one big similarity between aquaculture and keeping fish in a tank. The first is one is a business and involves a lot of capitol and jobs etc. and the other is essentially a hobby. The second is that one involved in extremely high density stocking and the other is not. Also, the density in aquaculture is subject to cycles where the density and bioload change regularly and often drastically.

The similarity between aquaculture and the hobby is that the chemistry is identical in both. Ammonia in NH3 whether it is in huge aquaculture pond or a 5 gal. aquarium. The mechanism by which nitrite kills fish is the same in both and so is the fact that chloride can block nitrite is true in both.

Unfiortunately, much of the research into fish and things related is directed towards aquaculture.

According to the ICUN,

It has been estimated that the total number of all fishes is 32,500 species (Nelson, 2006). Considering that freshwater may constitute less than 0.3% of available global water, it is remarkable that there are more than 15,000 freshwater fish species.

There is no way there is science on the ammonia tolerance of even 10% of them. So we need to steal what info we, as fish keepers, can benefit from in the research directed to benefit the aquaculture industry. So, there is every reason for us as hobbyists to use chloride re nitrite but we have no need to be testing for it regularly once we have cycled a tank.
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