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Thread: Zero Nitrates? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-14-2013 01:41 AM
malloy85 I've been running a dirt tank with a 3mm inert gravel cap for 3 years and I can tell you that you getting readable nitrates in your tank is very unlikely. Sounds weird? allow me to explain. My initial switch to dirt was due to algae problems. I had them all and in most cases nitrates were an ingredient or contributing factor and after a lot of stress and near giving up I set up a high tech dirt tank. For three years every nutrafin and api test kit I bought recorded 0 nitrates. And for 3 years no algae.

I have no scientific data to back up the following but I'm gonna say with a small amount of confidence that dirt has some type of binding effect when it comes to nitrate in particular. My stocking went up while using dirt and I once went two months without a water change and my nitrates remained at zero.

Make no mistake there were/are nitrates in the tank but my theory is they were bound to the soil because my plants grew relentlessly with no measurable nitrate in the water column.

Just my two cents...
01-11-2013 08:43 PM
jhays79 After getting on a dosing regime I think I've hot my tank pretty balanced. I've been dosing N P K, potassium, iron, and micro ferts. I cut the light back a bit, and added some DIY co2. The plants are growing great, two new Anubias leaves and a. All around more lush look to the plants, especially the swords. Here's a pic I snapped.
01-02-2013 11:37 AM
jhays79 I just bought those fancier bottles of Seachem nitrogen and potassium. They're called aquavitro by Seachem. They were the same price as the reg Seachem but the bottles were a few ounces larger.
01-02-2013 02:32 AM
rodcuda I have a 1 gallon goldfish bowl with 1 goldfish and with some floating hornwort and najas grass the Nitrates stay near zero between water changes, even though I feed every day. A Betta bowl is the same way, I was quite surprised the Nitrates stay so low.
01-02-2013 01:46 AM
laqu all of the above...

if i add all the water in all 5 tanks i get 13 gallons - substrate, plants, and decor so it's not a big deal to go liquid... though i MUST FIND ROOT TABS... my crypts on one side of the tank (the side with more shrimp sand) NEED THEM...
01-02-2013 01:27 AM
Diana Plants remove nitrogen in all 3 of the forms we test for in aquariums.
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.

When the amount of nitrogen entering the tank is low, the plants sure can remove it all.

Fish food is an OK source in a low tech, high fish load tank, but with low stocking (8 xips in a 40 gallon, or most shrimp tanks) all the food that you are willing to add is not enough.

Which Flourish product are you using?
Seachem uses the name 'Flourish' for N, P, K, Trace, Comprehensive, Iron and Excel.
01-01-2013 04:09 AM
laqu i just have shrimp

i get a small amount in my betta tanks but they are 2 gallon and i did a HUGE water change as one has some sort of infection.
01-01-2013 03:34 AM
brogan Do you have fish in the tank? I would be very surprised if your nitrates were zero if you did. I suspect your test kit is wrong.... try calibrating it, or test another tank to see if you get similar readings. I am doing ei daily, and have been slowly reducing the amount of nh3 (about 1/4 reccomended amount) because of high nitrates I would have by the end of the week (= or >40ppm). Most of it comes from fish waste/food.
12-31-2012 08:52 PM
laqu okay mine is 6 gal no co2 (till today - it's a work in progress)

every 2 days (rotating)
flourish .5 ml
trace 2 drops
iron 5 drops (i have lots of red plants)
nitrogen/potassium when i have te courage to add it (afraid to throw nitrogen cycle off)
excel every so often it leave an icky film :O
prime 2-3 drops when i add/change water

all from 1 ml pipet (so small drops)

lots of plants

everything is 0 except ph 7.4 and dkh 5 (same as my tap water.. hmm)
12-31-2012 08:45 PM
jhays79 I was using two bottles of DIY co2 but I decided to stop that when I noticed the plants were looking strung out for lack of better words. I'm going to try and come up with a good fert dosing regime and tone the lights down a hair and see how it goes. I was going to also try some excel but I don't want melt me jungle Val and dwarf sag.
12-31-2012 07:55 PM
Diana Fish are not the source of fertilizers. Fish food can be, but it is pretty expencive and when it rots in the tank is not pretty.

Soil may or may not be a source of any of the elements the plants need. It can be, but the plants use up those elements if they are not constantly being added.
A good soil will hold the nutrients available for the plants, research cationic exchange capacity.
But, like nice dinner plates, the soil needs to be refilled.
12-31-2012 06:46 PM
james1542 Maybe you just need more fish. And wouldn't the dirt that surrounds your sword plants roots be an excellent N & P source?
12-31-2012 06:30 PM
Diana Nitrates can be anywhere from about 5 ppm to 20 ppm or even higher for the plants. When it drops too low that suggests the plants are starving for N.

Which Flourish product are you using?

Any source of carbon?
12-31-2012 04:43 PM
laqu what should the nitrates be?
12-31-2012 04:41 PM
jhays79 Thanks for all the advice, I grabbed some phosphate and nitrogen today at my LFS. Going to see what happens...
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