Need help with 0 Nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with 0 Nitrate

So I have a very heavily planted and just 3 weeks ago started co2. Got that dialed in it seems maybe a bit too good Reason I say is for the life of me I cannot seem to get my nitrate's past 0ppm. I use Seachem flourish line so all their ferts including Nitrogen. So I have been over dosing nitrogen. So today I tested for nitrates before co2 and lights on and of course read 0ppm. So I added three times the amount of Nitrogen and 30 minutes later did the same test and same thing 0ppm. Now I have a couple questions. Is it the fact that my plants are that heavy of feeders ( I have a lot of heavy root feeders as well as a lot of water column feeders). Or is it the fact that Seachem Nitrogen will not raise the API nitrate test results?

I am switching to NilocG EI based ferts but that has not gotten here yet and was planning on using the rest of the Flourish line until it runs out before switching. So what can I do to get my plants the Nitrates they need? On a separate note I also check my phosphate levels and dosing seachem phospourous seems to do the trick in getting my level where I want it. So I figured dosing nitrogen would do the same?

I heavily overfeed, feel I am overstocked with fish. I use regular gravel as my substrate with a bunch of seachem root tabs and diy osmocote+ root tabs. I just cannot for the life of me seem to test positive for any nitrates.

I have read here that someone had an issue with their api test kit. Mine is brand new and I shake the crap out of it. I even test with the tetra test strips which show the same results.

I was thinking of going to a local hydrophonics store and seeing if they had some kno3. Again by dosing just the kno3 would that show on the nitrate test?

What I am getting at is I need a way to know there is nitrates that my plants can feed on. Will help me sleep at night too lol.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:17 PM
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I doubted the accuracy of my API nitrate test kit so I used @Hoppy's instructions here to calibrate my kit. Really easy to do and worked a charm. You'll need the KNO3 to do it though.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:21 PM
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Advise careful thought before adding more. Something wrong with the testing, would seem the first thought but then you've shot that theory already. Heavy fish and the resulting feeding is always enough to get me lots of nitrate. I do have trouble with getting the correct readings with API but it is a situation where I get totally high readings when my nitrate goes over 25-30. I now cut my tests, diluting with distilled so that I can get a logical color to read. Your problem would seem to be the total opposite.
Reason for caution would be that while a lack of nitrate will slow the plants, a totally overload may begin to kill fish if it gets too high?
Testing to be sure the cycle is complete and not lost in some way? No ammonia, nitrite spiking that would indicate the waste is just not being processed down to nitrate yet?
Random thoughts that may not help but the best I've got at the moment.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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So it took over an hour for the dosing of Nitrogen to show up on the api nitrate test. It did actually show up though so I am relieved but also concerned lol. Both of my tests now show 5ppm of nitrate. This took me dosing three times the normal amount of nitrogen. Will wait another hour or two and test again to see if it stays same or goes back down. Know it should be about 10-15ppm of nitrate. I will take it slow and make sure to not over do it. Want to keep a good constant 10-15ppm of nitrate. Sure this was the reason I have spots of algae is because my nitrates were low. But at least now I know and can fix

NilocG please send me some extra KNO3 because it looks like I am going to need it LOL
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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And as of an hour and half later its back down to 0ppm

I mean seriously are my plants just devouring the nitrates that fast or is something else at work here? Seems that plants really are the kings of filtration. crazy. Again I have verified the readings on my tetra test strip and api nitrate test kit. both read the same.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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So you guys and klibs was right. Seems that my tetra strips must be bad or something? So I seriously shook the heck out of both bottles of nitrate solution and I mean seriously shook and banging the tops on the top of my counter very hard suprised I did not break them. I then shook some more and seriously was about 2 minutes straight and banging the crap of them on the counter. That is the trick lol.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
So you guys and klibs was right. Seems that my tetra strips must be bad or something? So I seriously shook the heck out of both bottles of nitrate solution and I mean seriously shook and banging the tops on the top of my counter very hard suprised I did not break them. I then shook some more and seriously was about 2 minutes straight and banging the crap of them on the counter. That is the trick lol.
Lol glad you found your problem. May I suggest a 50% water change ASAP?

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Lol glad you found your problem. May I suggest a 50% water change ASAP?

Dan
Doing as we speak lol ugh. Freaking API
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:43 PM
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I also suggest calibrating your API tests (of course I haven't done this myself yet).
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I also suggest calibrating your API tests (of course I haven't done this myself yet).


Plan to but do not have plain kno3. Doubt Seachem nitrogen would work. Is there kno3 I could get at a local hardware store like Home Depot or the like??


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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:49 PM
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Nevermind, I see you found your problem!

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:52 PM
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Plan to but do not have plain kno3. Doubt Seachem nitrogen would work. Is there kno3 I could get at a local hardware store like Home Depot or the like??


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Yes, you can pick it up at your local Home Depot.

Spectracide 1 lb. Stump Remover-HG-66420-4 - The Home Depot
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you can pick it up at your local Home Depot.



Spectracide 1 lb. Stump Remover-HG-66420-4 - The Home Depot


Awesome thank you for verifying. I was actually reading another thread on here about that stuff and you just confirmed. You guys rock.


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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you can pick it up at your local Home Depot.

Spectracide 1 lb. Stump Remover-HG-66420-4 - The Home Depot
So for the calibration would I measure the standard exact 1/4 teaspoon of this stuff to 4 cups of distilled water for first step following the rest of the instructions? Basically is this stuff the pure kno3?

I cannot find the exact ingredients of this stuff. Want to ensure I can do the calibration using this stuff.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Will this work? All they have here


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