Zero Nitrates?
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:58 PM   #1
jhays79
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Zero Nitrates?


My 40g tank has been running for about six months now. It's dirted, t5ho lights 80 watts roughly 24 inches off the substrate. I dose Seachem Iron, Flourish, and Potassium 2x a week. I also do a 50 percent waterchanges weekly. I have swords, java fern, crypts, Anubias, and dwarf sag. The plants are growing, not super fast but not slow either. One thing I have noticed is they swords in particular just don't look very lush, even the new leaves it grows are dull. They actually are very veiny looking leaves. I tested for nitrates today, which I usually never do, and it came up zero ppm. The tank is lightly stocked with 8 xiphophorus mayae swordtails. I'm thinking I need to dose Nitrogen, would that be correct? Are my plants starving?

Last edited by jhays79; 12-31-2012 at 12:17 AM.. Reason: Added more info
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
Darkblade48
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Yes, your plants are probably starving for nutrients given the amount of light you have and the fact that you are not dosing nitrogen.

Rather than using commercially available products, I would recommend you use dry fertilizers, since they are much more economical in the long run.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
Yes, your plants are probably starving for nutrients given the amount of light you have and the fact that you are not dosing nitrogen.

Rather than using commercially available products, I would recommend you use dry fertilizers, since they are much more economical in the long run.
I will need to look into the dry ferts for sure, but for the time being I'm going to run to my LFS tomorrow and grab some Seachem Nitrogen! Hehe
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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Might try some phosphate too. Good stuff phosphate, plants love it and it discourages GSA in my bright CO2 enriched tank.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:18 AM   #5
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You could also reduce the amount of water you change weekly, this would keep you from removing the nitrates that are actually present naturally.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:35 AM   #6
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http://http://greenleafaquariums.com...rtilizers.html
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice, I grabbed some phosphate and nitrogen today at my LFS. Going to see what happens...
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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what should the nitrates be?
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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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?
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:46 PM   #10
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Maybe you just need more fish. And wouldn't the dirt that surrounds your sword plants roots be an excellent N & P source?
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:55 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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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.

Last edited by jhays79; 12-31-2012 at 08:47 PM.. Reason: Update
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:52 PM   #13
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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)
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:34 AM   #14
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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 http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83545, 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.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:09 AM   #15
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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.
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1 2 gallon 8" cube
1 10 gallon endlers tank
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Here they are http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...p?albumid=9625

6 gallon journal
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...208&highlight=


you can see more photos here the 4 8" cubes are on flicker... will get to their journal at some point (they are fun as they change often)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laq/


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