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Article - Protecting Fish From Toxic Contaminants

Protecting your fish

Fish become more active when water temperatures rise, producing more waste and consequently, risking pollution to their environment. The ammonia from fish waste breaks down first into nitrites, then nitrates by beneficial bacterial organisms. Even tiny amounts of both ammonia and nitrites are life threatening to fish. However, not many people know that Ammonia becomes even more dangerous in higher pH water, possibly resulting in severe problems or death. Because Ammonia is less toxic in water with lower pH, if you do discover that your Ammonia levels are escalated, try to lower your pH (slowly) down to around neutral.

Another product that can help reduce the toxicity of Ammonia is Ammo-Lock which can be found on our website or ordered here:
As Ammonia is broken down by beneficial bacteria, the resulting by-product is Nitrite - also toxic to fish.  Excess Nitrite levels can also affect fish health adversely as well. 

Fortunately, Nitrite toxicity can be minimized by adding pond salt to your pond water, which is always a good idea anyway for bacteria and parasite control. Pond salt is one of our favorite

Pond Salt The formation of metheamoglobin from nitrites in the hemoglobin of the fishes’ blood also prevents the efficient distribution of oxygen in their bodies, which slows them down physically and makes them sluggish.

Although nitrates pose no direct threat to freshwater fish and provide nutrients for pond plants, they spur unwanted algal growth. To avoid this problem, test regularly every several weeks with a commercial testing kit and back off on feedings until the algae and Nitrites are under control as fish waste is the primary cause of all of the above chemicals.

Back flushing pressure filters and rinsing biological media in pond water helps if water flow slows appreciably. Ranging from plastic cylinders or spheres to long, thin strands or foam-rubber pads, biological media should never be washed with chlorine-containing water, such as that from a garden hose or faucet as it will kill the beneficial bacteria.  We like the PF-100 Chlorine removing hose filter for doing this, or for adding new water to the pond.

For more info on the PF-100 Click Here

And make sure you never scrub these media to clean them; rinse off only, to keep beneficial bacterial organisms alive, intact, and active in order to maintain the important process of biological function they provide that keeps your water-garden or pond clean, clear, and conducive to good health for plants and fish.