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Nitrite 

The ideal level of nitrite in any aquarium is zero. Ammonia is converted by Nitrosomonas bacteria as part of the nitrogen cycle and becomes less harmful nitrite. Though less deadly than ammonia it is still highly toxic to fish in high levels. You may experience a temporary increase in nitrite levels when you introduce new fish, this is due to the increased load on the filter. The friendly bacteria should soon multiply to high enough levels to deal with it efficiently.

Nitrite interferes with the oxygen metabolism, it destroys the haemoglobin (oxygen carrying cells) of the fish. Symptoms of nitrite poisoning include breathing problems and listlessness.

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