Questions about Nitrogen and Nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about Nitrogen and Nitrates

I'm new and these questions may seem stupid but you know how it is when you are new.

1. If I dose SeaChem Nitrogen does that make my measurable Nitrates go up?
2. Where should I keep my measurable Nitrate level for a planted tank?
3. Do I even need SeaChem Nitrogen if I keep my Nitrates at X level?

Thank you very much for any help or information!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 05:54 AM
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If your bioload (fish poop and decaying matter) is higher than your nutrient uptake (amount nutrients plants consume) then you probably won't need to add nitrogen. Nitrogen has different forms nh3 (ammonia) nh4 (ammonium) no2 (nitrite) and no3 (nitrate) Seachem nitrogen would be No3 (nitrate) and I won't go further into this and confuse you.

Look here to explain the nitrogen cycle it is very important to understand so ask questions after reading if you need: https://www.thespruce.com/aquarium-n...-cycle-1378370

I would say keeping you nitrates at approx. 20ppm is pretty standard for a planted tank. There are other nutrients beside nitrates that plants need to thrive and some important information for you to list for others to help you are:

1. Lighting
2. Tank size
3. Water parameters
4. filtration
5. Plants types
6. Substrate
7. Type of fish

That info will help others aid you in getting to where you want to be and I'm sure I missed a lot.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
If your bioload (fish poop and decaying matter) is higher than your nutrient uptake (amount nutrients plants consume) then you probably won't need to add nitrogen. Nitrogen has different forms nh3 (ammonia) nh4 (ammonium) no2 (nitrite) and no3 (nitrate) Seachem nitrogen would be No3 (nitrate) and I won't go further into this and confuse you.

Look here to explain the nitrogen cycle it is very important to understand so ask questions after reading if you need: https://www.thespruce.com/aquarium-n...-cycle-1378370

I would say keeping you nitrates at approx. 20ppm is pretty standard for a planted tank. There are other nutrients beside nitrates that plants need to thrive and some important information for you to list for others to help you are:

1. Lighting
2. Tank size
3. Water parameters
4. filtration
5. Plants types
6. Substrate
7. Type of fish

That info will help others aid you in getting to where you want to be and I'm sure I missed a lot.
Ok so just to make sure I'm straight on this you said that Seachem Nitrogen is No3 which is Nitrates. That means my measurable Nitrates would go up if I add Seachem Nitrogen... right?

Keeping Nitrates at 20ppm for a planted tank, got that one.

Still not sure if I keep my Nitrates at 20 ppm would eliminate the need for adding SeaChem Nitrogen. Once I get that one I've got all my questions answered. Thank you very much for the information!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 02:39 PM
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Yes seachem nitrogen is NO3 (nitrates) and K2O (potassium). Yes if your nitrates are 20 ppm ish you will not need to dose nitrogen. Its not a complete fertilizer though but I won't get into that. Yes your measurable nitrates would go up.

Dan
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
Yes seachem nitrogen is NO3 (nitrates) and K2O (potassium). Yes if your nitrates are 20 ppm ish you will not need to dose nitrogen. Its not a complete fertilizer though but I won't get into that. Yes your measurable nitrates would go up.

Dan
Thank you sir. I also dose Sechem Flourish, Excel, Phosphorus, Potassium and Iron so hopefully I'm on my way to healthy plants.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
Yes seachem nitrogen is NO3 (nitrates) and K2O (potassium). Yes if your nitrates are 20 ppm ish you will not need to dose nitrogen. Its not a complete fertilizer though but I won't get into that. Yes your measurable nitrates would go up.

Dan
Seachem nitrogen actually uses urea as well which would come in the form of nh3/nh4 depending on your ph.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:38 PM
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I find no one "ideal" level for nitrate but just keeping it as low as possible is best for fish but not running it out is better for plants. With a heavy fish load, you may find yourself fighting to change water often enough to get the excess out, while a heavy plant load with little fish load may need some added. Takes a bit of trial and often error to get down how a tank is running and keep in mind that tanks with fish and plants will grow and change so it is not a solid answer for all time. Keeping to 20 is nice but I often run much higher with my cichlid tanks. As high as 60-80 does not seem to worry my breeders but different fish have different tolerance. Most do look at nitrate as pollution and would do better with lower numbers.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by nilocg View Post
Seachem nitrogen actually uses urea as well which would come in the form of nh3/nh4 depending on your ph.
What is the breaking point ph to determine if it is in the form of nh3 or nh4?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
What is the breaking point ph to determine if it is in the form of nh3 or nh4?
Anything over 7 and some of the nh4 turns to nh3. The higher the ph and the warmer the water the more nh3 will be present.
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