Nitrite (NO2) is a chemical nitrogen compound and contains nitrogen as major constituent. The majority of nitrite in the aquarium reacts to nitrate (NO3) as a result of nitrification. Nitrification refers to the bacterial oxidation of ammonium (NH4) and ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2) and subsequently to nitrate (NO3).
Especially in freshly equipped salt water aquariums significant nitrite overconcentration can occur, especially if bacteria cultures aren’t sufficiently present.
Typically, established aquariums with a functioning nitrification do not show critical nitrite concentrations. If the concentration should rise nevertheless, ammonia (NH3) absolutely needs to be measured too. Reasons for this, could be a fish overpopulation, overfeeding but also the use of medication could have disturbed or even destroyed the bacteria cultures.
The GIESEMANN nitrite test is a specifically precise test focussing on the lower range ranging to 2.0 mg/l for the regular analysis of the water values.