Do I Need Nitrogen? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Do I Need Nitrogen?

I have a 7.9 Gallon Fluval Ebi with approximately 20 Cherry and Tiger shrimp in it and heavily planted. It is planted enough to fill much of the tank but not enough to eliminate nitrates. I want good plant growth so I can replant stems and fill the rest of the tank but I do not want to be trimming everyday. I dose with Flourish, Flourish Excel, and on occasion Flourish Iron, Phosphorus, and potassium. I never dose with Flourish Nitrogen as I do not want high nitrates to affect my breeding shrimp. My java fern has looked a little rugged lately and the plants haven't been growing as thick. I know nitrogen will assist but do I get enough already by feeding my shrimp? Is Flourish Nitrogen even necessary due to my feeding the shrimp and how much does it affect nitrate levels?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 07:48 PM
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What's your WC schedule? all that dosing can actually be detrimental without wc's

Also did you start dosing because you werent getting any growth?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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I don't keep to a hard schedule. I just monitor my nitrates and change water as needed. If my nitrates are at 10ppm for example, is there any point in dosing nitrogen. I don't think there is but I was just curious if the benefit would be good to the plants w/o harming the shrimp.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 11:43 PM
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If you have calibrated your nitrate test kit, then 10 ppm is enough, assuming you don't have high light. But, if you haven't calibrated your nitrate test kit, "10ppm" could be nearly zero or nearly 50 ppm.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 06:35 AM
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Nitrogen from fish (or shrimp) food is a fine source for the plants. I also moderate the amount of KNO3 based on the amount of NO3 in the tank. Most tanks need only a little bit to keep them in a reasonable range. Means the plants are pretty much using up the fish food source and need just that little bit more.
Fish food also contains phosphorus, and I dose KH2PO4 in a similar manner: If the NO3 level dictates little or no dosing, then the KH2PO4 dose is similarly adjusted.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 07:24 AM
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Do you know how much phosphorus there is in normal flake food? If i get enough nitrogen from the flakes can i assume that I also get enough phosphorus?
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flourish, nitrates, nitrogen, shrimp

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