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Planted tank and nitrates
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.07.27(Sun)15:47    Post subject: Planted tank and nitrates Reply with quote

For a rather heavily planted tank, is it better to have a moderate level of nitrates in the water (for the plants) or as low as possible a level (for the fish)? I've seen both recommended so I figured I'd ask this board. Thanks in advance.
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.07.27(Sun)15:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ideally for a planted tank with mainly green leave plants, maintaining the nitrates in the 5-15ppm range is good. In tanks with moderate to high light and CO2 injection this can only be achieved by adding nitrate to the tank, otherwise nitrogen will become the limiting factor and algae problems are likely to develop.

In a low light planted tank without CO2 injection you could allow the nitrates to build to 20-25ppm but I'd try to limit them to this upper range.

If you have red plants and want the red to be as intense as possible you'll want to keep nitrates in the 1-5ppm range and provide plenty of chelated iron. This is a tricky thing to do and requires a very good nitrate test kit to monitor the nitrate levels that accurately.
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.07.27(Sun)17:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I've got 32 watts on 12 gallons with CO2 injection (and I think I'm starting to see some algae growth). Is there a test kit for nitrogen I could get or should I start to add nitrate, etc? Thanks again for your input.
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Garrett

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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.07.31(Thu)7:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, another quick question. I tested my water for nitrates yesterday and what I measured was about 0 ppm (before I added a few more plants I was regularly measuring abour 5 ppm). I know, I know, this isn't technically possible for a cycled tank so I'm guessing that my tester just couldn't measure the small amount that was there. I'm taking this as a good thing, however, because all of my plants are growing quite well. However, I was wondering if I should actually add more nitrate (or nitrogen as Steve suggested above)? Any ideas or comments? Thanks in advance.
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Garrett

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Mike
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Derbyshire. England. UK

PostPosted: 2003.07.31(Thu)11:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garett as Steve said, you should keep your nitrates up between 5 and 15.


Since you have 0 you are gonna run into problems and pretty fast.

It has been my experience that BGA (Cyanobacteria) will rapidly grow with low Nitrate levels. Thsi is a blue tinged algae at first that settles on substrate and leaves, then spreads like weeds in sheets.

If you smell the algae, does it smell ? BGA smells Vile, hobbile smell.

If so, you need to remove it quickly.

You also need to add some Nitrate, preferably in the form of Potassium Nitrate KN03 to the recommended levels.

1 Tablespoon of KN03 mixed with 230ml of distilled water will add 1ppm of N per 1ml of solution.

therefore

1ml = 1ppm
5ml = 5ppm (mg/l) etc
10ml = 10 ppm
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.07.31(Thu)15:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where can I get Potassium Nitrate? Is it available at the grocery story or lfs? Thanks for the info. I was somewhat concerned about the very low nitrate levels because I've never seen that before in my tank. The algae seems to be dying off (or at least not growing anymore) while all of the other plants are doing great. I haven't noticed any kind of smell with regards to my tank. Also, the algae that I'm talking about is hair algae. I haven't seen any BG algae at all.
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Garrett

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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.07.31(Thu)17:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've decided to double the times I feed my fish (originally only once in the morning, now twice a day) and see how that affects the nitrate level before I go buy chemicals. Thanks again.
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Mike
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Derbyshire. England. UK

PostPosted: 2003.08.01(Fri)11:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feeding will not be very efficient to increase Nitrates.

www.litemanu.com Stateside online store to get chems.

Also I gather that Stump remover in the USA is KN03, although not in my country.

Sorry can't help any further since I'm across the other side of the pond.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.08.03(Sun)20:29    Post subject: Nitrate from the feed store Reply with quote

You will easily find potassium nitrate at the local feed store. You ought to be able to buy a pound for about $1.
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PharCyde
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2003.08.04(Mon)3:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you guys are on this subject id like to ask whyere anyone from Australia gets their KNO3 and KCl to increase their nitrates and potasium.
I'm not sure where I should look.
Sorry to butt in Smile
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