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Old 24-07-2007, 06:03 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

Several years ago many folks claimed excess nutrients caused algae
such as "excess" PO4 and NO3. I wanted to know how much excess it
would take for this to occur, so I added it to see(testing). Some
simple test can easily prove these assetions are patently false.

More recently, another group decided to claim that higher PO4 and NO3
are bad for fish. There are no PO4 toxic levels published in many
cases because it's virtually non toxic over the ranges ever
encountered by aquarists(say 10ppm or less).

Much like the algae testing of past, the claims are similar in their
arguement and approach for fish health. They make the hypothesis, but
they offer no back up support, no test, no primary research support,
no methods, nothing other than nice fuzzy words.

What has been published:

Pierce et al 1993 suggested for marine fish:
"Previous studies have indicated that long term exposure to nitrate-N
levels above 100 mg/L may be detrimental to fish(440ppm). This study
was undertaken to assess the acute toxicity of nitrate to five species
of marine fish, while efforts were taken to reduce the nitrate
concentration in the recirculating systems."

Marco 1999, suggests that warm water species have a suggested range of
"recommended levels of nitrate for warm-water fishes (90 mg N-NO3-/L)"

That's N as NO3, so 4.4X 90 = ~400ppm NO3.

Quite high.

here's a link to the common fathead minnow:

SETAC Journals Online - ACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY OF NITRATE TO
FATHEAD MINNOWS (PIMEPHALES PROMELAS), CERIODAPHNIA DUBIA, AND DAPHNIA
MAGNA

Do the math for the conversion of N-NO3 to NO3 for ppms.
Quite high huh? Note the sensitivity differences for inverts, they are
much better test subjects than fish.

Still not convinced?

Well take a long look at the Fish and NO3 toxicity section in this
good review paper at table 3:

http://www.s2.chalmers.se/~tw/DOWNLO...ate_limits.pdf

It's fully assessible.

Remember to multipy by 4.4 to get NO3ppms rather than N-NO3!

As you can see, the ranges are extremely high and that warmer water
fish tend to have a greater ability to withstand NO3 levels as well.
When fish breed, this representst the behavior(positive good) and the
most sensntive life stanges(eggs and fry). I routinely have breeding
occur in such higher NO3 tanks(30-40ppm etc).

Now some have made claims that my advice concerning NO3 dosing is bad
for fish and they have not supported with test, with primary research,
nor applied plant tank experience neither over short term nor over
long term test.
I've done test with Ghost and amano shrimp and gone to over 160ppm
with ghost shrimp and Amano's before death occured. No fish where
adversely affected.

Now I ask them to stand before others to show their evidence rather
than preceptions to show and prove otherwise.

What I hear from:

1. Calims about less is better(but they rarely say how much less or
over what acceptable range, where the risk cut off is/do we gain for
maintaining a tighter control)
2. No supporting primary research(still waiting for one review)
3. Anecdotal advice and heresay from other web sites
4. Toxicity citations about humans, not fish
5. No toxcity test of their own to deny/confirm(they make claims/
critiques and then do not test their own questions to see if they are
correct)
6. Claims that behaviors change(how do we measure this?They offer no
solutions, reproductive is a good one I suggest)
7. Ability to set up a control tank and do a repeatable test.
8. Ability to breed and raise fry of several species of a fish in
their tanks.
9. Lack long term usage of the higher NO3 levels as they assume they
are bad and do not attempt them out of fear.

The burden of proof is upon the critic here.

I've done my job supporting my advice, spent the time testing, have
years of fish health to draw upon, the real question folks should ask:
have the critics done their job supporting their advice?

I just don't see it.

This is not personal, this is about the topic and getting an answer.
Not assuming less is better or that high levels are really bad or not
without first trying it out and seeing if that is the case, not by
circumstantial evidence(do you convict a poor innocent nutrient based
on circumstantial evidence alone?) or correlation alone, rather,
beyond a reasonable doubt.
They get irritated when I go after them about supporting their
position, take it personally etc, but the bottom line is not a
personal issue, it's about the fish, the hobby and the methods we use
the advice that is given.

I do not roll over and accept criticism when it's plainly wrong. I'll
still come back and pound the issue till they offer up evidence, not
personal remarks.
We look at the observations and facts, set up a test to see if our
hypothesis is correct or not, then make a conclusion.

I've done this.
I've provided strong background support.
I've supported my own hypothesis that higher levels are not
detrimental to fish or reproduction through testing.
I've repeated such test for years on many species that are supposedly
sensitive softer water species.
I've bred, as have many others, fish in such tanks.

Now mine you, I'm not going around suggesting that other methods and
advice are detrimental to fish or cause algae. These critics are
bringing this up all on their own. I have little issue with folks
supporting their usage of a method whatever it may be, but when they
malign the methods and advice I suggest in the process, I will defend
it.

When I defend the advice, some have suggested I am a bad guy, make
lots of personal asumptions about me(some are downright funny however,
they are really clueless about others and very assumptive) and am not
a nice person. Again using a personalization argument rather than one
that supports their position.
My personal life and aspects have no bearing here .........nor should
it.

This is about NO3 and fish/shrimp.


Regards,
Tom Barr


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Old 30-07-2007, 09:57 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

In article ,
Marco Schwarz wrote:
Hi..

By accident I once subjected a tankfull of plants and
Ammano shrimp to 200ppm nitrate for 3 week. No ill effects
whatsoever.


200 ppm == 200 milligrams per litre

Richard, sorry but what shall it show us..?

Amano shrimps are brackish shrimps and brackish animals are
well known to be very very very tolerant relating to high
leveled NH4+, NO2-, NO3-- ..!!!


At 0.5ppm NH4+ half of my ammanos died.



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Old 30-07-2007, 05:46 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

On Jul 28, 10:02 am, Marco Schwarz wrote:
Hi..

By accident I once subjected a tankfull of plants and
Ammano shrimp to 200ppm nitrate for 3 week. No ill effects
whatsoever.


200 ppm == 200 milligrams per litre

Richard, sorry but what shall it show us..?

Amano shrimps are brackish shrimps and brackish animals are
well known to be very very very tolerant relating to high
leveled NH4+, NO2-, NO3-- ..!!!

High NO3 concentrations might inhibit the fertilisation rate
of the Amanos but unfortunately Amanos aren't able to
reproduce in freshwater - even not if it's
NO3_contaminated..! ;-)

Just another data point.


Absolutely..! :-)

--
cu
Marco, wondering and wondering and wondering..



Cl- helps with NO3 toxicity. However, this was not added.
It's not just any salt, it's specific cation and anion combinations.
Ghost shrimp and Daphnia make excellent toxicity test critters.

These can be tested in small tanks (Jars) with water sprite and light
etc to see the effects on KNO3 dosing on them.

You'll note, the article suggest rather high levels for a number of
species of invertebrates, however, the group as a whole is much more
sensitive to NO3 than are most fish on the list.

While not specific to each species, the article gives fairly
significant support to the claims many have placed on low NO3 causing
issues, rather, I would suggest, it is NH4, and NO3 is namely a
leftover residual that is being blamed merely by correlation is most
cases in this hobby.

We can see how detrimental NH4 and NO2 are to aquatic life.
Extreme.

NO3?
Almost non toxic by comparison.

The point?
KNO3 dosing/going above the target(which is bound to happen), it far
less cause for alarm or worry of poses a significant health threat as
many have historically claimed , without testing or reviewing the
research done I might add

You should test what you __say__ before saying it. Common sense.
Then you discuss it and see what seems most reasonable, then test that
and so on...........

I often wonder all the things that are said in the hobby and why folks
claim authority etc, when what they say is often shallow at best, and
out right wrong at worst. So I test to see. If I cannot show that, I
propose an alternative hypothesis that makes more sense given the
observations and go from there.

I might never arrive at the ultimate truth or cuase, But ..........I
will get a lot close than the folks caliming things without even
bothering to test them to see for themselves.

NH4 can be add
NO3 can be added
NO3/NH4 can be added
Organic sournce of N can be added that are transformed into NH4 first.

That way you can tease apart who's doing what and find the real
culprit.

I've been dosing KNO3 for 12 years, I've never seen any toxicity until
I got way outside the bounds of normal ranges suggested.

The research also supports that.
While folks are welcome to skeptism, they are also obliged to offer
support and an alternative to such skeptism, just as I have done
against such past advice often. Simply saying it, belief etc does not
make it so................

Regards,
Tom Barr

www.BarrReport.com



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Old 01-08-2007, 07:55 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

Hi..

At 0.5ppm NH4+ half of my ammanos died.


Hmm.., would you mind give more input..?
--
cu
Marco
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:44 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

Hi..

Ghost shrimp and Daphnia make excellent
toxicity test critters.


Well across the years my water flies in barrels and summer
ponds have demonstrated how resistant they can be. They
have been survived "significant" (lol) changes in water
quality. Don't know about ghost shrimps but I'm familiar
with chinese freshwater shrimps that are very restistant,
too..

These can be tested in small tanks (Jars) with water
sprite and light etc to see the effects on KNO3 dosing on
them.


Yeah, I know about tiny tanks - I'm a Nano Marco.. :-)

You'll note, the article suggest rather high levels for a
number of species of invertebrates, however, the group as
a whole is much more sensitive to NO3 than are most fish
on the list.


Is the referenced article available online..?

While not specific to each species, the article gives
fairly significant support to the claims many have placed
on low NO3 causing issues, rather, I would suggest, it is
NH4, and NO3 is namely a leftover residual that is being
blamed merely by correlation is most cases in this hobby.
We can see how detrimental NH4 and NO2 are to aquatic
life. Extreme.


No doubt about it and this is why I'm used to state for well
cycled (fishless cycled) tanks..

NO3?
Almost non toxic by comparison.


Agreed..

The point?
KNO3 dosing/going above the target (which is bound to
happen), it far less cause for alarm or worry of poses a
significant health threat as many have historically
claimed , without testing or reviewing the research done I
might add


Well I do respect you to be a very engaged (natural)
scientist but "significant" does _always_ correspond with
statistical methods. Unfortunately I do know enough about
scientific ecotoxicity tests to realise that it's in my
mind not always that goal-oriented (target-aimed?) it
should have to be..

You should test what you __say__ before saying it. Common
sense. Then you discuss it and see what seems most
reasonable, then test that and so on...........


Well when I decided to enter my very first aquaria group on
usenet I made the decision to be a hobbyist only..

I often wonder all the things that are said in the hobby
and why folks claim authority etc, when what they say is
often shallow at best, and out right wrong at worst. So I
test to see. If I cannot show that, I propose an
alternative hypothesis that makes more sense given the
observations and go from there.


But aquariums are unique and multifactorial systems. How to
validate such results..? Statistical methods..?

I might never arrive at the ultimate truth or cuase, But
..........I will get a lot close than the folks caliming
things without even bothering to test them to see for
themselves.
NH4 can be add
NO3 can be added
NO3/NH4 can be added
Organic sournce of N can be added that are transformed
into NH4 first.
That way you can tease apart who's doing what and find the
real culprit.


Sorry I guess (my) life is too short for all that crap.. ;-)

I've been dosing KNO3 for 12 years, I've never seen any
toxicity until I got way outside the bounds of normal
ranges suggested.


I've no doubt about it but in a well set up (=stable) and
well stocked aquarium with a rich life of aerob,
facultative and anaerob bacteria 200 ppm NO3 would never be
a problem. In my mind probable effects (reduction to NO2)
of high ppm'ed NO3 were the main problem..!

BTW: Are you eventually "power filterer" and "vacuumer"..?

The research also supports that.
While folks are welcome to skeptism, they are also obliged
to offer support and an alternative to such skeptism, just
as I have done against such past advice often. Simply
saying it, belief etc does not make it so................


www.BarrReport.com


--
cu
Marco


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Old 02-08-2007, 08:05 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 49
Default NO3 toxicity and it's application to planted tank dosing via KNO3

Is the referenced article available online..?

Yes,
Richard mentioned it did come up in the post here, I posted it
elsewhere though and it was fine for some reason.
:
http://www.s2.chalmers.se/~tw/DOWNLO...ate_limits.pdf

It's heavy read, extremely dense like most research articles, this is
justa review though, so they are mainly comparing things based on the
salient research that's been done to try and make a consensus.


No doubt about it and this is why I'm used to state for well
cycled (fishless cycled) tanks..


Well, since plants use NH4 directly, I've never had to do a fishless
cycle because the plants circumvent that process.
Also, one may simply add NH4 to a bucket and run the Filter in that
for 2-3 weeks or less if add mulm from an established tank or seed
water(dirtier the better).
Same deal with a marine system.
Adds precisely what is missing from an established cycled tank:
bacteria and organic matter.

Somehow us folks managed long before the Web existed and Fishless NH4
cycling was suggested
Why wait?

I don't.
Waste of time and testing.
I did not get into this hobby for that.
Did you?

Well I do respect you to be a very engaged (natural)
scientist but "significant" does _always_ correspond with
statistical methods.


Yes, it means that you can "see a difference" in this case.
If it subtle, it still might be significant from a control, but hard
to see.

Unfortunately I do know enough about
scientific ecotoxicity tests to realise that it's in my
mind not always that goal-oriented (target-aimed?) it
should have to be..


No need either, others do such work, you do things that they don't and
as a while group we can get a lot more done and do the different
things we enjoiy

You should test what you __say__ before saying it. Common
sense. Then you discuss it and see what seems most
reasonable, then test that and so on...........


Well when I decided to enter my very first aquaria group on
usenet I made the decision to be a hobbyist only..


Many do, but then they suggest and say stuff that they have never
tested, experienced or questioned, they just accepted it as truth
because someone wrote it or said it.

I'm much more skeptical and have good reason to be, many of the things
folks claim about aquatic plants have been false.

I often wonder all the things that are said in the hobby
and why folks claim authority etc, when what they say is
often shallow at best, and out right wrong at worst. So I
test to see. If I cannot show that, I propose an
alternative hypothesis that makes more sense given the
observations and go from there.


But aquariums are unique and multifactorial systems. How to
validate such results..? Statistical methods..?


Nope, isolate one thing at a time.
All I have to do to disprove a hypothesis, say excess PO4 will induce
an algae bloom, is show that when I add excess PO4, say 2.0ppm from
KH2PO4, to an otherwise stable healthy control tank, I do not get any
algae bloom.

It does not prove what causes algae, merely what it cannot possoible
be a cause.
This is called falsification. A hypothesis should be testable, if you
cannot disprove it through good well thought out test, then you
tenatatively accept the hypothesis as a possible cause perhaps and
keep trying to disprove it.

The problem arises that many hobbyist are unwilling to test, and
potentially destroy a tank in effort to answer a question. I cannot
blame them. Many folks with problems in their tanks are also hardly
candidates for good control and stable tanks to use as a starting
point. Again, they will believe anything in efforts to find balance/
cure/assumptions.

So essentially it does not matter all the multiple factors all I need
to do is show that for one parameter, say NO3, that high levels, say
50ppm have no impact on a wide range of common aquarium fish that are
known/assumed to be NO3 senesitive species such as Discus, Apistos,
Rose line barbs etc.

I provide good assumed levels for all the other parameters(also easy
to do with RO water and Ferts + large frequent water changes and
accurate calibrated test equipment).

That's more work than many are willing to do, I fully understand that,
but it's what needs to be done to show cause and not mere speculation
and guessing based on ignorance.
I do not give advice based on speculation if I can help it and if so,
I make it clear, it is speculation.

I also seldom tell folks to use test kits etc and other micro
management methods.
I do them, but I use them to answer specific questions about a few
possible causes I think I might be able to answer(with some luck and a
lot of work).

I might never arrive at the ultimate truth or cuase, But
..........I will get a lot close than the folks caliming
things without even bothering to test them to see for
themselves.
NH4 can be add
NO3 can be added
NO3/NH4 can be added
Organic sournce of N can be added that are transformed
into NH4 first.
That way you can tease apart who's doing what and find the
real culprit.


Sorry I guess (my) life is too short for all that crap.. ;-)


Yes, mine as well, but I've been doing this for well over a decade, so
I've picked away at it answering one question, disproving one cause
and heading on to the next.

In my mind probable effects (reduction to NO2)
of high ppm'ed NO3 were the main problem..!


Well, that implies fish waste, not KNO3 dosing.
I agree, very nasty stuff, for plants also.

BTW: Are you eventually "power filterer" and "vacuumer"..?


I do both, plus massive water changer.
I need no test kits since the tank is "reset" and any detritus is
removed.
I alos plumb my tanks for the water change so it backwashes the
filters, I hate cleaning filters and hate doing water changes.

I have the systme set up with a hard plumbed water line in and a drain
out, all I do is turn a few ball valves to change water, no hoses, no
buckets, no effort etc.

I save mysef no less than 60 hours a year of labor and am much more
likely to do a large water change knowing it takes little work. Also,
doing a large water change allows me to work on the tank easier
without sloshing water all over, which is important is deeper tanks
and when gardening.

So the added cost/effort to add a hard plumbed semi automated system
is well worth it for myself.
Even if I paid myself 5$ an hour, 5x 60 = 300$ per year per tank. Adds
up quick and the end result is a much more stable tank that's also
easy to maintain.

Marco


Regards,
Tom Barr
www.BarrReport.com



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