High Nitrate problem. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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High Nitrate problem.

I think i talked about this in the past, but i am not able to find my old post or did i resolve the problem.

i am having High Nitrate problem on my new tank that I set up.
There is no live stock in the tank other than snails and one assassin snail. I am doing a water change every alternate day.

These are the Nitrate readings i see after like 80-90% water change
i see zero right after water change.
i see 20ppm nitrate in less than 3 hrs.
In 12 hrs it goes to 80ppm.
before next water change (which is every alternate day)nitrates are at 80+ppm.

i have tried 80% water change, then i thought i might be doing a full reset of all water parameters by doing so and starred trying 50% water change every alternate day. Still back to square one.

Tank is 30g and I am dosing using EI method.
have pressurized co2 with around 27-29 bubbles per 10 seconds.(cant get the exact count). so i would say 3 bps.

I checked my tap water and the nitrate is zero.
So this is for sure a problem inside my tank.
Tank is just 4 weeks old. have HC carpet growing on one side and Dwarf hair grass in foreground.
Have no problem with algae other than slight hair algae.

I am able to reach like 70% of my tank gravel to do a decent vacuum, but the 30% is out of reach.
Running a eheim canister and it was from old established tank. Cleaned it on the day i set up the tank and haven't cleaned it yet.
Running 2 60W equivalent CFL and 1 40W equivalent.

drop checker is slightly below greenish.
But it is not blue at the peak hours.


Ammonia is zero all the time. I guess the canister is holding pretty good. ph is around 7 to 7.2

What am i doing wrong?
I like the way plants are progressing, but i am tired of just looking at fishless tank :'(

Change to post for dosing questions:

EI dosing with macro and micro stock solution with GLA ferts.

Macro
500 ml of distilled water
45g of KNO3
12g of KH2PO4

Micro
13g of CSM+B


Dosing 20 ml of stock solution at a time.
Dosing schedule

Saturday night water change
Sunday 20 ml of macro
Monday 20 ml of micro
Monday night water change 80%+
Tuesday 20ml of macro
Wednesday 20 ml of micro
Wednesday water change 80%+
Thursday 20ml of macro
Friday 20 ml of micro
Saturday night just water change.

Last edited by saty; 04-30-2016 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Answering questions below.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 09:44 PM
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Aren't you adding KNO3 via EI,
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 09:55 PM
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If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?

If it aint broke dont fix it.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 12:59 AM
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What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 01:33 AM
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Stop fertilizing for a few days, see what the NO3 does.

Sounds like you could use perhaps 25% of the amount of fertilizer you are using.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Aren't you adding KNO3 via EI,
Yes have KNO3 in in the stock solution.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by payluder View Post
If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?
Yes I do have stem plants.
Have rotala rotundifolia and ludwigia ovalis 'Red'. Have atleast 15% of the tank loaded with mosses on drift wood and lava rock.
Have few blyxa.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
I will update my initial thread to answer all your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Stop fertilizing for a few days, see what the NO3 does.

Sounds like you could use perhaps 25% of the amount of fertilizer you are using.
I am afraid if i stop fertz, would lead to a algae spike
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 02:53 PM
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Use less fertilizer, then, if you don't want to stop for a few days.

Clearly, your plants are not using it all.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 03:55 PM
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Then just dose 1/2 or 1/4 of what you are currently dosing.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 05:12 PM
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Well it's not your current dosing regime alone. However, you are dosing too much macros and not enough micros.

Code:
Macro Solution
Your current dose	Proper Dose
NO3	9.72		7.5
K	7.34		7.5
PO4	2.95		1.3


Micro Solution,
Your current dose	Proper Dose
Fe	0.299		0.5
Try 15ml of macro and about 34ml of micro when you get this figured out. That's closer to actual EI dosing.

That said your'e only adding 30ppm of NO3 in those three days between water changes. That means 50+ is coming from somewhere else.

I didn't see a response if you have substrate fertilizers such as Osmocote tabs. Those can be problematic leading to high NO3 levels in a short time.

The other two things I can think of is substrate and maybe feeding. If you used a dirt mix then it may have been contaminated. To get that much nitrate by overfeeding would be a very remote possibility. That's a lot of food!

If you haven't already I would check your testing procedures. Following this post will ensure your tests are as accurate as possible, Calibrating Test Kits - for non-Chemists
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 05:19 PM
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Honestly though, if your plants are growing and your dosing within norms and doing water changes, there really is very little to worry about other than too much co2 for the fish. The water changes will make sure it doesn't get out of hand. I haven't tested my water in years.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payluder View Post
If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Stop fertilizing for a few days, see what the NO3 does.

Sounds like you could use perhaps 25% of the amount of fertilizer you are using.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
Well it's not your current dosing regime alone. However, you are dosing too much macros and not enough micros.

Code:
Macro Solution
Your current dose	Proper Dose
NO3	9.72		7.5
K	7.34		7.5
PO4	2.95		1.3


Micro Solution,
Your current dose	Proper Dose
Fe	0.299		0.5
Try 15ml of macro and about 34ml of micro when you get this figured out. That's closer to actual EI dosing.

That said your'e only adding 30ppm of NO3 in those three days between water changes. That means 50+ is coming from somewhere else.

I didn't see a response if you have substrate fertilizers such as Osmocote tabs. Those can be problematic leading to high NO3 levels in a short time.

The other two things I can think of is substrate and maybe feeding. If you used a dirt mix then it may have been contaminated. To get that much nitrate by overfeeding would be a very remote possibility. That's a lot of food!

If you haven't already I would check your testing procedures. Following this post will ensure your tests are as accurate as possible, Calibrating Test Kits - for non-Chemists
No i do not have any root tabs.
Substrate is eco complete. I have 3 bags in that tank.
There is no live stock in that tank other than one assassin snail.

But what's wrong with Micro? I got that from thenutrientcompany.com

Last edited by saty; 05-01-2016 at 04:21 AM. Reason: adds
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I cleaned my filter yesterday, There was loads of crap that was in the filter.
Yet, this morning, Nitrates are already 20ppm.
I changed 80% of water and planted some more stem plants yesterday.
Removed a lava rock with moss in it and planted 'parrot feather' plant.
LFS guy said is cheap and fast growing plant.
Lets see where Nitrates are today evening.

I also changed my dosing regime as recommended.
Dosing only 10ml of macro and increased micro to 30ml....

Last edited by saty; 05-03-2016 at 06:27 PM. Reason: typo
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 06:47 PM
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What plants do you have, or how many? Did you add any garden fertilizer to your substrate? - just wondering.

Water, water everywhere...
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapwater View Post
What plants do you have, or how many? Did you add any garden fertilizer to your substrate? - just wondering.
pic that i took right after a water change this Sunday.
No i do not have any root tabs or garden fertilizer.
Only chemical going in to the tank is de-chlorinator, macro and micro.

Bump: I am also thinking, the tank was marked 30g at petco, so do i target 25g while calculating EI dosing?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 10:04 PM
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is that white stuff in photo bubbles? If so I'm guessing (wildly - without proof) that it contains gasses that account for your nitrate reading to increase as the bubbles dissipate. You might have dodgy water. Why I say this is because recently after a water shortage where I live, they hastily sanitized water from another source and my bath ended up looking similar/worse than a bubble bath - kinda milky. Let the tap water stand in a container and test it.

Water, water everywhere...
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