1. Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Using natural Vitamin C ( Absorbic Acid ) to lower PH

Discussion in 'General Dwarf Cichlids' started by Fingerling, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Fingerling

    Fingerling New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi guys, ive been doing reading up abit, and i realise most commercially prepared foods do not contain this Vitamin - Vit C for fish, is there a reason behind this? I managed to cure my cichlids' mild HITH simply just adding squeezed lime juice ( natural source of this Vitamin ) and doing a minor water change.


    Given if its good to dose vitamin C for your fishes, i was wondering if you can make use of it being an acid to be a ph lowering source for your tank especially for apisto breedings tanks.



    Any thoughts on this?:biggrin:
  2. Nebraska_cichlids

    Nebraska_cichlids Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Most animals (guinea pigs and humans being notable exceptions) can synthesize their own vitamin C and do not depend on dietary sources.
  3. KevinC

    KevinC New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ken Davis mixes a few vitamin C tablets into his home made fish food. 1 vitamin per 2 pounds of food he prepares. Interesting that you used lime juice to treat HITH.
  4. Bev N

    Bev N Forum Donor 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The food we feed does have stabalized vitamin c added.
  5. james595

    james595 Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    In aquaculture, there have been several publications that have found an association with increased dietary vitamin C and decreased deformities. As I understand Vitamin C is required to form collagen which is the precursor to bone.
  6. Nebraska_cichlids

    Nebraska_cichlids Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. It is frequently used as a food additive to prevent degradation of other nutrients, which may be sensitive to oxidation.

    Yes, the biological function of vitamin C is to participate in collagen formation. Since fish can make their own vitamin C in their body cells, they shouldn't depend on dietary sources. The only exception that I can envision are "stress" situation such as abnormal rates of growth in aquafarming where vitamin C synthesis may not be able to keep pace with the requirements of the fish.
  7. james595

    james595 Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    It seems that the current understanding is that Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for fish. Here are some links supporting this: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2115&page=32
    http://www.dsm.com/en_US/downloads/dnp/51644_VitaminC.pdf

    Kent produces a vitamin C solution intended for Sweetening the water if you will as an effective delivery method.
    http://fishinsects.suite101.com/article.cfm/do_fish_need_their_vitamins
    If you find a cheap source of aquiring Vitamin C, it should be effective at lowering the pH as well as supplying your fish with an essential micronutrient.
  8. Nebraska_cichlids

    Nebraska_cichlids Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thanks for the info, but I'm not convinced you are right. You may want to google for the book titled "Vitamin C in health and disease" authored by L. Packer and J. Fuchs. (I didn't want to post the link because it runs over several lines.) Both Drs. Packer and Fuchs have a life-long track record of researching vitamin C and other antioxidants. Starting on page 35 of their book, they clearly state that only some animal species (possibly including a few species of fish) cannot make their own vitamin C (exception being stress situations mentioned above).

    Of course, vitamin C is a fairly non-toxic compound and also is pretty cheap, and using it shouldn't do any harm. Perhaps we should end this thread by leaving it up to the individual hobbyist what he/she wants to use as a food supplement?

    Cheers!
  9. james595

    james595 Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    One last rebuttal :)

    Packer and Fuch's don't metion fish in the preview I looked over. For a good review of the works regarding vitamin C req's of fish up to the year 2000 see: "Ascorbic acid in aquatic organisms: status and perspectives". Google books provides a pretty good preview, including chapter 5, which includes many examples of why fish need vitamin c in their diet. While many fish tissues will contain stores of vitamin C, this does not mean they are biosynthesizing the sufficient quantities. This book provides evidence from scientific journals of works directly dealing with fish. While looking at humans, rats and guinea pigs is very applicable to human medicine, we cannot speculate what fish are doing from these findings. If you look up the ingredients/nutrition information on any commercial fish diet, it will contain vitamin c. So unless you are formulating your own diet, the hobbiest should not have to worry about their fish's vitamin C intake. However benefits may be reaped by increasing your fish's intake(have yet to see any info on detrimental effects from high doeses) in the way of increased pigmentation, disease resistance and healthy growth.
  10. Fingerling

    Fingerling New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, been really helpful! :biggrin:
  11. electric eel

    electric eel Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    i have serious doubts that you actually cured hith with lime juice.it is pretty well documented that hith is caused by a deficiency of calcium,phosphorus or vitamin d whether from a nutritional defiency or reduced resorptive ability of the intestinal mucous membrane due to heavy infestations of intestinal flagelates.even fish with massive infestations purportedly respond to treatment with sufficient quantities of the above mentioned vitamins and minerals.how did you diagnose it.even with a microscope the majority of us hobbiests don't have the knowledge(myself included) to make a definitive diagnosis of most fish diseases.some of the healthiest fish (and the number of fry produced blows away the numbers produced by fish fed prepared food) i have ever raised were fed a diet consisting exclusively of earthworms with no vitamin enhanced prepared foods at all and there are undoubtedly many other chemicals that would be more effective at lowering and maintaining a stable ph then citric acid which has a relatively high ph as far as acids go.
  12. Fingerling

    Fingerling New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi Electric Eel,

    Like i mentioned in the first post, all i did was dose limejuice and did a minor WC. And basically i diagnose my fish that contracted HITH when there was this lateral erosion on its head. Be it a wrong diagnosis, it looks pretty much like HITH to me and of course i had to take action, according to what i believe was the problem or wait till it becomes " definitive " as you mentioned?

    I believe different fishes have different requirements, and you are not wrong to feed your fish without any vitamin enhanced foods, but i choose to do so as i know my fish respond well to such food. I do know there are so many chemicals out there that are much more effective as a PH buffer, but my question in the first post was in regards to using NATURAL acids - Vitamin C ( absorbic acid )

    Anyway you did bring up a good point electric eel, the vitamin C might not have been the cure, but my guess is it may have helped heal the affected area.
  13. electric eel

    electric eel Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    hi fingerling,don't get me wrong i am a firm believer in dietary supplements.it can be dificult to provide a diverse enough diet of live food to supply all the nutritional needs of fish and as far as i can gather earthworms are the only live food that you can feed exclusively that will supply all the necassary nutrients.i soak my bbs in water(in a small bowl) with about 15 to 20 drops of boyd's vitachem for 5 minutes before i feed them and i know from experience that there is a noticeable increase in fry growth when i do this.htih is a quirky kind of malady.i have read anecdotal accounts of people having one fish in a tank afflicted with hith and others in the same tank never exhibiting symptoms.it is very possible that your fish may have some degree of infestation of intestinal flagelates and as long as they are'nt overcrowded(stressed out) and water quality is good their immune systems seem to be able to deal with the parasites.it seems that stress and poor water quality definetely aggravate hith.i would never advocate treating fish with any med's unless you know for sure what you are treating but if it flairs back up you may want to treat them for intestinal parasites.
  14. Fingerling

    Fingerling New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi Electric Eel,

    Yea, im kinda worried that the HITH may reoccur again :frown: what i did dosing limejuice and the minor WC was just upon instinct as i didnt have the right meds in hand to medicate the fish then, and i so happen to have read up on vitamin C and their benefits the day before.
    Guess ill make a trip down to a LFS to get some fish medication for HITH and treating of intestinal parasites. Thanks for the advice E.E :cool: