why add NO3 and PO4 when you can add fish?
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Old 08-09-2005, 05:14 AM   #1
StarOcean
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why add NO3 and PO4 when you can add fish?


just a question... in a tank with a big load of fish... would dosing NO3 and PO4 be only reduced frequency or just reduced in quantity?

this way, all i have to focus on are dosing calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium and traces. just wondering
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarOcean
just a question... in a tank with a big load of fish... would dosing NO3 and PO4 be only reduced frequency or just reduced in quantity?

this way, all i have to focus on are dosing calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium and traces. just wondering

Some people can get away with that, but its a lot easier to have high nutrients in a planted tank rather than messing around with "set levels". If your NO3 and PO4 give you a general 10:1 ratio (or somewhere in that area), then you may only have to dose micros...but then again how much food do you feed the fish?
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Georgiadawgger
...but then again how much food do you feed the fish?
then again, how much light do you have over the tank? The amount of light over your tank and CO2 use will also greatly influence the amount of fertilizers fish load will introduce to the tank. In high light, CO2 injected tanks there are usually not enough fish to keep up with the demand of the plants so we supplement with KNO3 and KH2PO4. I think it is better to have a little too much than not enough...
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarOcean
just a question... in a tank with a big load of fish... would dosing NO3 and PO4 be only reduced frequency or just reduced in quantity?

this way, all i have to focus on are dosing calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium and traces. just wondering
Well try it and see:-)
What do fish first produce before the NO3 appears?

They do not produce NO3 right away.............they produce NH4.
Even the best filter, a wet/dry and high flow rates etc will not be able to keep up with the production of the overloaded polluted tank.

NH4 induces algae.
NO3 does not.

Adding an inorganic form of NO3, such as KNO3 allivates this problem.

It's that simple.

You can go back and test this, add inorganic NH4 and see and compare this to Fish waste or NO3 inorganic and see the differences time and time again.

PO4, unless too low does not contribute to algae.

If you have a non CO2 tank, then the growth rates are very reduced in terms of NO3/PO4 uptake.

Still, you must have a balanced fish load.
Output(pruning plants/filter cleaning)= inputs =>fish waste

But, fish waste while okay for some plants, is not well rounded for plants.
It tends to lack K+, enough PO4, traces, and GH.

This is why you can grow some hardy plants on fish waste alone in non CO2 tanks for many years, but not other plants, adding the K+, GH, PO4 solves that issue though.

As you increase the rate of growth, the demand for N increases so much that fish waste alone cannot supply the plant's demand for N witout producing levels of NH4 that induce algae.

You cannot cram more and more things into a tiny box to amplify growth that way, the breakdown and uptake takes time, if you drive things faster, you need to add things that do not induce algae.

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Old 08-09-2005, 08:31 PM   #5
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I asked that many times. My tank is currently overstocked and I run a nitrate filter. My nitrate levels stay between 10-20 ppm and my phosphate levels (from the fish food) stay between 1 - 2 ppm.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=19243
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:14 PM   #6
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also, you can only add so many fish until the tank is over crowded, and then the plant health becomes less of a concern as the fish become sick, and start getting aggressive over terrority/space.

Also, do you have really soft water? Cuz otherwise you're likely not dosing calcium or magnesium...just NO3, PO4, trace mix, and maybe potassium and iron as needed.
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:19 PM   #7
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Why not provide a nice stocking level that's good for the plants and top off the ferts with inorganic KNO3 etc?

That provides a healthy place for both fish and plants and does not press things to the limit nearly as much.

Give the fish a good home,
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:09 AM   #8
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Default overstocking is a delicate balance

overstocking works up to a point, but it leaves you with not much room to wriggle when things go wrong; heater malfunctions, filter left off, total power failure, overdose of food, or accidental fish death can all tip the balance into a downward spiral.... for the overstocked tank is an overstressed tank when things go bad. I had an overstocked tank, several different times, and I had to keep up on water changes and really overfilter it to keep it going well.
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Old 08-10-2005, 04:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
I asked that many times. My tank is currently overstocked and I run a nitrate filter. My nitrate levels stay between 10-20 ppm and my phosphate levels (from the fish food) stay between 1 - 2 ppm.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=19243
If you overstock and have the need to run a nitrate filter then I would say that your tank is not balanced. You should have enough plants to consume the nitrates and should not have the need to have a mechanical device to remove things your plants should.

BTW are you the one that runs a regulator with 2 o-rings??? I thought you were going to submit the results from the MFG as to why you need 2 instead of just one.
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Old 08-10-2005, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphish
If you overstock and have the need to run a nitrate filter then I would say that your tank is not balanced. You should have enough plants to consume the nitrates and should not have the need to have a mechanical device to remove things your plants should.
By that argument adding plants means the tank is "unbalanced" as the plants are also "devices that remove nitrates." It's not really a mechanical device, it's anaerobic bacteria that removes the nitrate. It's just a place for anaerobic bacteria to exist in negative ORP conditions. They use the nitrate molecule to get oxygen by breaking it down into oxygen and nitrogen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphish
BTW are you the one that runs a regulator with 2 o-rings??? I thought you were going to submit the results from the MFG as to why you need 2 instead of just one.
They never replied. I didn't bother e-mailing them again as the thread died. If you are still concerned about it I could try e-mailing them again. BTW I still haven't had any problems, leaks, or crushed o-rings.
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:42 PM   #11
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While anaerobic bacteria can be and are used, do they look nice?
Do they enhance the aquascape?
Are they effective compared to plants at their rates of NO3 removal?
Do they remove PO4?
Do they remove traces?
Do they add O2?(not hardly, only BGAs and few sulfur reducers)

I got into plants heavily since they removed much higher rates of NO3 than algae turf scrubbers and bacteria.

I figured this out about 15 years ago.

Bacteria make a good back up, but mainly as NH4=> NO3 converter, like a wet dry filter, bacteria are rather poor NO3=> N2 compare to plant's NO3=> protien assimilation.

Also, anaerobic and aerobic process tend to conflict when you add higher loading rates of Nitrogen.

Aerobic processes work well for NH4=> NO3, but not the anaerobic(well anoxic would be a better term, roughly 200-300mv).

If you have too much reduction(eg loading, then you get sulfur reduction), that can be bad.

Water changes when you have high loading rates due to high fish loads is more practical for many folks, Sha lu has too many Discus feedings, but solves the loading rate and improves the tank's health as well as plant growth by more water changes.

This removes the organic material and NH4/NO3.
Many discus folks do this with good reason rather than use an anaerobic denitrifyer.

And they have high loading rates.

Another couple of our SFBAAPS memebers also use automatic water changers that slowly change the water , about 30% 2x a week.

They have 1 full grown Discus per 10 gal on water and feed heavy as well.

No one has a anaerobic filter I know of and their tanks are very well kept and pretty to boot. Bacteria make an okay back up for NH4, but NO3 does not cause algae.

FWIW,

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Old 08-10-2005, 08:41 PM   #12
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The filter stays under the tank. You don't see it.

As I understand it, some of the specific strains of bacteria that remove phosphate are aerobic, not anaerobic.

I have found that the anaerobic nitrate filter removes nitrate way faster than plants ever could. My own testing confirms this. The filter has an ORP probe inside and a controller which switches flow on and off to keep the ORP at -200.

I do respect your opinions, but the fact that you are trying to say the filter doesn't work effectively when I bought it, tested it, and confirmed that it does, does make me question the validity of what you are saying.

Have you bought the filter, set it up, tried it, and tested it?

http://www.aqua-medic.de/cgi-bin/php...g=en&cat_id=17
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Old 08-11-2005, 03:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
The filter stays under the tank. You don't see it.

As I understand it, some of the specific strains of bacteria that remove phosphate are aerobic, not anaerobic.

I have found that the anaerobic nitrate filter removes nitrate way faster than plants ever could. My own testing confirms this. The filter has an ORP probe inside and a controller which switches flow on and off to keep the ORP at -200.

I do respect your opinions, but the fact that you are trying to say the filter doesn't work effectively when I bought it, tested it, and confirmed that it does, does make me question the validity of what you are saying.

Have you bought the filter, set it up, tried it, and tested it?
http://www.aqua-medic.de/cgi-bin/php...g=en&cat_id=17


WOW!!! That is an impressive piece of equipment!! What is the price for it???

But before I go out and buy one I would really try and find why there is high levels of nitrate and adjust to lower them instead of spending $$$ on what you can do with a little study and adjustment of your setup.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
The filter stays under the tank. You don't see it.

As I understand it, some of the specific strains of bacteria that remove phosphate are aerobic, not anaerobic.

I have found that the anaerobic nitrate filter removes nitrate way faster than plants ever could. My own testing confirms this. The filter has an ORP probe inside and a controller which switches flow on and off to keep the ORP at -200.

I do respect your opinions, but the fact that you are trying to say the filter doesn't work effectively when I bought it, tested it, and confirmed that it does, does make me question the validity of what you are saying.

Have you bought the filter, set it up, tried it, and tested it?

http://www.aqua-medic.de/cgi-bin/php...g=en&cat_id=17
I used a 500$ batch denitrifyer about 15 years ago, when you consider a simple drip coil/DBS etc vs a plant filter, they don't match up well, when you spend the $$$$ for a ORP controlled device, now you are going into quite another realm in terms of set up cost and feeding and maintaining it.

Yes, these do outperform a plant filter in terms of space(thus efficiency), but not in long term operating cost nor beauty nor can you sell old nasty funky bacteria at the LFS.

Now let us see here cost wise, an OPR meter/probe, that's at least 100$, Dosing pump, that's 90$, the unit itself and deni balls(a carbon source for the denitrifyer's).

You are looking at nearly 300$.
Few are going to shell out that $ for something a simple water change or backing off their dosing of KNO3 will provide.

This is a plant tank forum.

You could set up an automatic water changer on your tank for less than 30$ and some time.

It'd do better also.

While PO4 may be removed by bacteria, those same bacteria die at some point and re release the PO4 back into the system, unless you harvest those same bacteria before they die.................

Inputs = outputs. There is no atmospheric component to PO4. That is not the case for Nitrogen........

You can question the validy of my statements all day long any time..........

But the trade offs you have made are not the most practical:

Few folks would spend that $ when they can use water changers, manual or otherwise.

Most use plants which few folks have trouble with excess NO3 building up in their tanks, generally they are adding KNO3, even non CO2 tanks.

Few folks would go to the trouble of setting up a detrifying complex system, most do the coils, but yes, I've done batch denitrifiers as well as coils and DBS's, and pelnums, run large scale anaerobic digesters at a water treatment plant.

I have not used the AM Dentrifyer specifically, I simply would never have any use for such a device since there is no tank that could not use plants for filtration, nor are they practical in terms of cost or complicating my systems.

Simple is better.
Plants look nicer than bacteria and you seldom have cases where excess NO3 builds up, if so reduce the fish load and provide the livestock with a nicer more healthy long term environment.

Also, does your dentrifyer add O2?
Nope.

Plants do.
Real well.

You can reduce the cost of the AM system a few ways, splicing a line off the Canister filter etc can adding a flow needle valve will allow a fairly consistent flow rate through it.

You can use other things besides their deni balls,

I've used O3, batch denitrifyers and many other items for long time and tried about everything that came down the pipe.

But I'm funny that way.............

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Old 08-12-2005, 07:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
I asked that many times. My tank is currently overstocked and I run a nitrate filter. My nitrate levels stay between 10-20 ppm and my phosphate levels (from the fish food) stay between 1 - 2 ppm.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=19243
Wouldn't a better approach be to use a reasonable stocking level and lots of plants?

Looks better, does better, breeds fish better, better if the power goes out, better if you leave or neglect the tank for any length of time.

What types of test kits do you use also?

Why spend the extra $ when you could buy another plant tank and cut the stocking level in 1/2?

Regards,
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