Help with fert dosing (nitrates) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Help with fert dosing (nitrates)

I am gathering knowledge and equipment to do a 40cm high tech tank. I notice most EI fert methods use nitrate to keep it at or near 20ppm. Is it possible to allow the fish to provide the bulk of the the nitrate? I am considering doing EI dosing but only adding nitrates the first day or two of the week until I approach 20ppm and letting the fish provide nitrates for the rest of the week. I just don't want to get into a system where I am dosing nitrate every day and by the end of the week my nitrates end up being too high for fauna health. Can anyone point to the best method for this? I plan on doing a quite heavy planting right off the bat to help combat algae and as such want to start dosing and getting everything right from day 1 to avoid algae issues.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 11:15 PM
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I started off doing EI dosing and after a while I noticed my Nitrates up in the 80 ppm range even after doing the big weekly water changes. My fish definitely did not appreciate that. So I stopped dosing KNO3, since I obviously had enough for the plants. Instead I added K2SO4 to get me the Potassium I needed without the N. I now have a much better balance. I still check nitrates regularly to make sure they are in the right range, and will add some if I need to, but I haven't had to yet. My fish are providing enough. I also check Phosphates regularly and have adjusted my dose of that to get it where I want it to be. EI is a very broad, general method that is obviously not going to fit every tank exactly, especially in the beginning. It is however a great starting point. So start there, check your nitrates and phosphates regularly, and adjust accordingly.
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