Low Tech Nitrate Level Expectation
I have my project started converting my fish only 50G tank to a low tech tank. I have about half of the plants that I plan in the tank now. I plan to add the other half over the course of the next two weeks. I am monitoring the three basic water params about twice weekly which is much more often than I am used to.
Ammonia and Nitrites have remained zero as expected. Nitrates are about ten an hour after a 40% water change and I do a water change when the Nitrate level raises above 20 and before it reaches 40. (the API test has 20 then 40 points/colors).
My question is- Should I expect that as the plants begin to thrive will I see my Nitrate level stabilize at some acceptable level?
Yeah, if the tank is planted heavily enough, the plants should take up most, if not all, of the nitrates in the water.
It depends on how much light you have, whether the plants have enough of the other nutrients to grow as fast as the light drives them to, and, of course, whether you have fast growers, like stem plants, or slow growers, like anubias. The plants use the nitrates to grow, so if they grow fast they use a lot of nitrates - you may have to dose nitrates to keep up with them.
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