The key to healthy fish is a clean fish tank. Over feeding, lack of proper aeration, and too many fish can lead to the all too common problem of nitrate poisoning. Nitrate poisoning, also known as the “brown blood disease” often follows ammonia poisoning in aquariums, and prevents blood from being able to adequately carry oxygen.
Signs that your fish are suffering from nitrate poisoning are when they can be seen gasping for air near the top of the aquarium, rapid breathing through their gills, discoloration of their gills typically turning a tan or brown color, or when your fish become listless.
Sudden spikes in nitrate levels can lead to rapid death of the fish in the aquarium, but even prolonged exposure to low levels of nitrates can lead to your fish having a diminished immune system, often resulting in the death to secondary diseases and infections.
Ways to avoid nitrate poisoning or to alleviate elevated nitrate levels in your fish tanks or aquarium are to increase the aeration to your tank ensuring an ample supply of oxygen for your fish. It is also suggested that you avoid overfeeding the fish, or do your best to remove excess food from the tank within a few minutes after feeding. Also note that you should gradually add fish to your aquarium, never more than one or two at a time, and always be reticent of having an overpopulated fish tank. When stocking a new tank, do it slowly, again adding only one or two fish until your aquarium has had the opportunity to fully cycle.
Maybe the most important element to avoiding nitrate poisoning is keeping a clean fish tanks! It is suggested that you should clean your tank weekly. Ensure when cleaning your aquarium to remove any dead vegetation inside the tank. You should also change your water regularly, it is suggested that you should gradually change your water with every other cleaning.
Avoid nitrate poisoning, one of the most common killers of aquarium fish. Remember by keeping a clean fish tank, periodically changing water, and ensuring good aeration your fish tank should be a great home for your aquatic friends.