Confused about PPS dosing and NO3 levels - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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I've got a 10 gallon under a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE light that's on 24 hour mode. I consider this to be ~ medium light.

I'm dosing PPS-Pro macros at 1 ml/day and according to my calculations (thanks old chemistry book) and this site (https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...r/home/pps-pro) that should give me 1 ppm/day, or 7 ppm/week.

But I'm constantly getting NO3 readings that creep up towards 30 - 40 ppm by the time Friday rolls around (cleaning and water change day).

I've got the tanks stocked with amano and red cherry shrimp, 1 mystery snail, 1 nerite, 7 cardinal tetras, and 6 CPDs with is ~110% stocked according to aqadvisor.

My main questions are:

1. Why does the website above say 1 ml/day equals 1 ppm (and thus 7 ppm weekly), but the GLA website (Our PPS-Pro Fertilizer Pack ? Just Mix & Dose ? Planted Tank Blog) says 1 ml/day equals 14 ppm weekly?

2. are the livestock in the tank really providing that much nitrate weekly?

Tank is pretty heavily planted with amazon sword, hygrophila species, crypt species, moss, java fern, and dwarf sag.

so, the GLA website is not correct. I just manually calculated the ppm of NO2, K, and PO4 (stoichiometry for the win!) and got very similar results as those reported on the first website (within rounding errors), accounting for adding 1 ml/10 gallon/day.

I'm still confused why my nitrates are so high after 1 week of dosing, they shouldn't be anywhere near 30 ppm. It just does't seem like the livestock would jack the nitrates up that high.

I'm guessing that the most reasonable answer is that I mixed up the macro solution wrong.

I think that the macro solution should be ~ 40,000 ppm, so diluting in another 1000 ml should give a nitrate result of ~ 40 ppm.

If I've made an extraordinarily stupid chemistry mistake, would some one please correct me.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-30-2017 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 10:04 AM
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I believe you are getting confused; the two sites say the same information.

The first site says that each millilitre of liquid increases the concentration of nitrates by 1 ppm. The second site says that each dosage will limit it to a maximum of 7 ppm of nitrates per week.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 10:38 AM
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
I believe you are getting confused; the two sites say the same information.

The first site says that each millilitre of liquid increases the concentration of nitrates by 1 ppm. The second site says that each dosage will limit it to a maximum of 7 ppm of nitrates per week.
The first site say that 1 ml/day of macro solution will increase the nitrate concentration by 1 ppm daily, but the second site says that 1 ml/day will limit the nitrate concentration to 14 ppm weekly?

There's a 2-fold discrepancy somewhere.

I also tested my solution to see if the nitrate concentration was approximately where it should be. The stock solution should be ~40K ppm NO3, so I diluted 1 ml in 1 L to get to ~ 40 ppm and tested it with my API test kit. It's definitely at least 40 ppm, but it's hard to differentiate the color for 40 ppm and 80 ppm.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:16 PM
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I would want to know what is substrate ? and how long the tank has been running.
Some substrates can leach small amount's of ammonia for a few week's as organic material decomposes and end result would be nitrates.
How often are the fishes/shrimps being fed? How much?
How much water is being changed out weekly?
Would not fret about 40 ppm With regards to nitrates in small ten gal tank with stocking mentioned.
Would be interested in nitrate readings from the tap and or reading's after reduced feeding's or larger water changes.

Coming from fish only tanks for decades,,I have become keenly aware of how easy it is to record nitrates in excess of 20 ppm even with regular large water changes and careful feedings of well stocked tanks.
In heavily planted affairs,,I would not want less than 20ppm Nitrates at any given time, and long ago quit trying to regulate nutrient's to only that which could be consumed by week's end.
Plant's kept getting denser with each passing day which meant more was needed.

Last edited by roadmaster; 08-30-2017 at 02:29 PM. Reason: addition
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
I would want to know what is substrate ? and how long the tank has been running.
Some substrates can leach small amount's of ammonia for a few week's as organic material decomposes and end result would be nitrates.
How often are the fishes/shrimps being fed? How much?
How much water is being changed out weekly?
Would not fret about 40 ppm With regards to nitrates in small ten gal tank with stocking mentioned.
Would be interested in nitrate readings from the tap and or reading's after reduced feeding's or larger water changes.
substrate is inert gravel (https://www.caribsea.com/caribsea_super-naturals.html) and the tank has been up and running since mid-March.

I feed the fish ~5 times a week and the shrimp ~ 3 times a week. Usually do a 30-40% water change on friday. Don't know about nitrates from tap, but I switched over to a RO system with remineralization 2 weeks ago, so there shouldn't be any nitrates going in the tank from the water itself.

I try to vac up mulm and detritus from the substrate when i do the water change, but only from one section of the tank per water change. I thought that leaving some mulm in the substrate would be good for the root-feeding plants I have.

I'm guessing that reducing feeding to every other day may be the easiest way to hopefully bring down the nitrate levels. I'll do that for the remainder of the week and then test after the water change this friday.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:42 PM
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Yes,I think reduced feeding's to every other day would yield desired result's.
The sword plant being a nutrient hog from either roots or water column or both,will be quick to let you know if nutrient's are lacking.
Most of them get a bit too large for ten gal, and I might swap it out for Giant Crpyt Blassi or Crypt pontderfolia (sp).
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yes,I think reduced feeding's to every other day would yield desired result's.
The sword plant being a nutrient hog from either roots or water column or both,will be quick to let you know if nutrient's are lacking.
Most of them get a bit too large for ten gal, and I might swap it out for Giant Crpyt Blassi or Crypt pontderfolia (sp).
yeah, the sword's gotten to be a bit big, but hasn't totally outgrown the tank yet. And I don't have a bigger tank (yet, ha!) to put it in. But thanks for the suggestions on the crypts, I'll check them out.

I've found that I like crypts and other rooted plants, stem plants are pretty but I'm tending towards liking plants that don't need a lot of trimming.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:51 PM
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Did you happen to add any root tabs in the substrate at all?


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Did you happen to add any root tabs in the substrate at all?
Yeah, I've got root tabs feeding the sword, and my crypts. Didn't think that there would be a ton of transfer of nitrate to the water column from those though.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:22 PM
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Yeah, I've got root tabs feeding the sword, and my crypts. Didn't think that there would be a ton of transfer of nitrate to the water column from those though.
DIY Osmocote+ Root tabs? How much/many did you add? They do add nitrates as I know first hand. Remember they have ammonia which turn to nitrites and then nitrates. Depending on how many you added would account for some of the nitrates you are seeing. I know because I over did it in my 60 gallon tank and nitrates were considerably higher until after about 3 months when they wore off and nitrates went down as well.

Test for nitrates/phosphates and if levels are good skip macros dosing all together(Potassium Sulfate levels should be fine if you add gh booster).

For swords and other root feeders they need very little. If doing DIY Osmocote tabs really just do 4 small balls of O+ per sword. Filling an entire capsule especially in a 10 gallon tank is just too much per sword. A little goes a long way with the stuff.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:25 PM
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Yeah, I've got root tabs feeding the sword, and my crypts. Didn't think that there would be a ton of transfer of nitrate to the water column from those though.
What brand of root tabs? Some dissolve faster than others and some contain ammonia nitrate. The ammonia plus the nitrate may break down into a lot of nitrate. Note some test kits might not detect ammonia nitrate. You might want to try removing some or all of the root taps.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:29 PM
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Remember the main ingredient in O+ is nitrogen from ammonia and nitrate. ((15%). The O+ do dissolve pretty fast again from my experience.



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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
DIY Osmocote+ Root tabs? How much/many did you add? They do add nitrates as I know first hand. Remember they have ammonia which turn to nitrites and then nitrates. Depending on how many you added would account for some of the nitrates you are seeing. I know because I over did it in my 60 gallon tank and nitrates were considerably higher until after about 3 months when they wore off and nitrates went down as well.

Test for nitrates/phosphates and if levels are good skip macros dosing all together(Potassium Sulfate levels should be fine if you add gh booster).

For swords and other root feeders they need very little. If doing DIY Osmocote tabs really just do 4 small balls of O+ per sword. Filling an entire capsule especially in a 10 gallon tank is just too much per sword. A little goes a long way with the stuff.
Not DIY, Seachem Flourish tabs. Going to skip macro dosing in the 10 gallon for a couple of days and go down to every other day feeding and then retest to see where the nitrates are on Friday.
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