My nitrates remain too high
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:00 PM   #1
aqenthusiast
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100g heavily planted tank (4󫎾 feet)
4x54w 6500k T5HO 8 hrs photo period
Pressurised CO2
ADA amazonia

Sunset Hygrowphelia, rotala rotandifolia, rotala najensan, rotala valichi, p. stemalas, leppard lili, dwarf hair grass, monte carlo, alternenthera

hygrophelia, p. stemalas, dwarf hair grass, montecarlo, lili all growing too good and healthy leaves and colors. . Green or red as per colour. .. No holes on leaves etc. . Nice big accordingly. .

Rotala not growing well.. . Alternanthera has leaves with algae..

12 neon tetra, 20 glow line tetra, 10 rummy nose, 8 emperor tetra, 5 danisons barb, 6 molly, 6 sword tails

From API test kits:

Ph - 6.4 - 6.6
Ammonia - 0.25 - 0.50
Nitrite - 0.25 - 0 50
Nitrate - > 80 - 160
Phosphate - 0.25 - 0 5
Kh - 3 - 4
Gh - 3 - 4

I dose below as per EI calculator for my tank parameters:

KNO3
K2SO4
KH2PO4
and CSM+B

(Macro micro alternate and 20% weekly wc)

My problem is green algae bloom and why so much high nitrates ?

Does this mean I stop KNO3 ?


Please let me know what should I do to bring nitrates under control and for algae bloom to vanish ?
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #2
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What is your fauna stock list? Have you tried using a second nitrate test kit to be sure the first is not faulty?
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
What is your fauna stock list? Have you tried using a second nitrate test kit to be sure the first is not faulty?
Thanks aqua for the response. .

Flora and fauna edited and added in the op for benefit of all. .

No I have not tested nitrates with any other test kit.. All my test kits are of API. .
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sweet water planted tank - angels, gouramis, fancy guppy, electric yellow chichlid, tetra
EHEIM 2217 canister
EHEIM Jager
AquaClay subtrate
36w x 4 PL + 150w x 2 5600K Metal Halide (Osram PowerStar HQI-TS excelence) (4-4-1)
Pressurised CO2 + Solenoid - On @ photo
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:25 PM   #4
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I personally use the API master kit (drops) and find it very reliable and affordable. What kit are you using? Would you mind telling us how long your parameters have been this way? Have you recently moved anything large, cleaned anything or done a big switch up? Treated with any medications? (Some wipe your cycle completely) If this is the first you've seen of these numbers maybe you're experiencing a large cycle bump?

For example, I changed my substrate, cleaned my filter, upped salt for a treatment waaay too fast all in one go once (amateur mistakes I know), and was under filtered and killed off about 85% of my BB. It took 14 days from the error to recover and in the first week I was seeing values similar to yours.

I keep ranchu not tropicals though, just thought they'd be good questions for the more experienced to have answers to and maybe help I hope you get it all sorted out!
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
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API nitrate kit is fairly inaccurate I've found.

Looks and sounds like a mini cycle. Ammonia and Nitrite are evil in a tank.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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Are you doing 50% weekly water changes as per EI instructions?
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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Is this a newly set up tank? Are you doing straight tap water for your changes?


If you are only doing 20% weekly, you are not taking out enough water and the nitrate is just building up. You are taking out such a small amount, your EI, fish food, new water ect are building or adding nitrate faster than you and the plants can remove. Up your weekly water change % and see if it makes a difference.

I use api as well with my tap water being the control of the group.
tap:15ppm
55g: 40-60
29g: 40-60
10g: 10-15
8.7g: 20-40

as long as you have a contol the api's work, you just need to know what to look for when testing lol

Last edited by Italionstallion888; 07-14-2014 at 08:25 PM.. Reason: info
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:18 PM   #8
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I've used 3 different API nitrate drop test kits on the same water sample (test preformed exact same way on all 3) and got a range of 10-80ppm readouts x.x
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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Calibrate your test using hoppys method http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ht=calibration
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #10
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You should also test your tap water to see if it contains any nitrates btw!
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:16 PM   #11
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I recently made a calibration solution for PO4 using Hoppy's recipe. As I was measuring things out, I found that the "fill to" line on the test tubes were off. One was off up to 2 mls. When you are filling a 5 ml test tube, that is 40%. I went to the local pharmacy and they gave me 1 ml syringes (minus the needles). Using these syringes and my calibration solution, I found that my PO4 was within the acceptable range. I also have a 5 ml dosing syringe that corroborated my results.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:36 AM   #12
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Two problems stick out here:

If you are dosing KNO3 per EI instructions, then you need to do 50% water changes, per EI instructions.

Traces of ammonia and nitrite suggest the tank is still cycling, or the test kits are not correct. These two ought to be zero, period.

What I would do:

Do daily 20% water changes until the ammonia and nitrite are zero. Vacuum the floor of the tank the best you can without disturbing the plants to pick up fish waste, fallen food and other high nitrogen waste materials.
This will also be lowering the NO3.
Do not dose any KNO3 until all three nitrogens are under control.

Plants still need potassium, so use K2SO4 at the same rate as you have been using KNO3. The formula is not exactly the same, but close enough.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for all the inputs. .

This is old cycled tank in which I used to have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites but always kind of above 40-60 nitrates.. I don't think I have seen my nitrates in 20ppm colour zone.. But I see it increased now. .

Below is what I remember I have done recently:

* around 4 weeks ago I had gently uprooted some unwanted long hair grass. . There was little cloudy water near uproot area due to uprooting. .

* this Sunday I had done my regular canister filter cleaning with proper care of bio media maintained in existing canister water during filter cleanup. .

* new macro ferts as the earlier ones were finished and this one is of high purity lab grade (KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4)

* new micro ferts CSM+B as previous one is finished

* added a drift wood this Sunday (cured under water for 7 days before adding in tank)

* our environment temperature has also dropped this week significantly from around 30-35 C to 22-25 C due to monsoon season here in India

* I used to do 20% wc weekly (not 50%) due to fear of chlorine in new water getting added damaging my fauna and nytrifying bacteria..

I sure and for sure see much less pearling this week. .

Could this all be happening due to new ferts ? Drop in temperature ? Or it is drift wood is it ?

Could there be difference in this type of kno3 vs that type of kno3 ? (This is one important thing I want to understand)

Could my new batch of CSM+B be kind of "rotten" or "expired" (bad) ? Color and texture wise it is same..

20% wc everyday is now in progress. .

I am much confused and worried of this algae bloom and these nitrates hence asking all sort questions which might not make sense otherwise. .

Any suggestions ?
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4x3x2 (feet) (w x h x d) (600 L, ~200 G)
sweet water planted tank - angels, gouramis, fancy guppy, electric yellow chichlid, tetra
EHEIM 2217 canister
EHEIM Jager
AquaClay subtrate
36w x 4 PL + 150w x 2 5600K Metal Halide (Osram PowerStar HQI-TS excelence) (4-4-1)
Pressurised CO2 + Solenoid - On @ photo

Last edited by aqenthusiast; 07-16-2014 at 04:37 PM..
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:39 PM   #14
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I was going to ask the same question as itallianstallion. This tank is cycling. If your water has chlorine in it, then you need to add a dechlorinator like seachem prime. The chlorine is killing off your BB every time you put it in the tank. If you are not treating the new water, than the issue could also be chloramine which stays in the tank, and does not go away after 24 hours like chlorine does. I am not sure about the driftwood, but it sounds suspect to me. I would use Prime on every water change, and dose mircrobacter as well.
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Old Yesterday, 05:35 PM   #15
aqenthusiast
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I agree I was not always prompt to add dechlorine at each wc.. But that was more due to unavailablity of the same at times. .

Now I have bought seachem safe and will ensure to add. . Also I bought seachem purigen and I have few questions on that how to use but that is separate thread. .

I will calculate my nitrates tomorrow and hopefully let's see the decrease. .

Bought seachem flourish as well and I am going to stop CSM+B for now. .
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4x3x2 (feet) (w x h x d) (600 L, ~200 G)
sweet water planted tank - angels, gouramis, fancy guppy, electric yellow chichlid, tetra
EHEIM 2217 canister
EHEIM Jager
AquaClay subtrate
36w x 4 PL + 150w x 2 5600K Metal Halide (Osram PowerStar HQI-TS excelence) (4-4-1)
Pressurised CO2 + Solenoid - On @ photo
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