Can't Get Nitrates Up - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Can't Get Nitrates Up

Hi all,

I've been following the ADA fert regimen since starting my tanks 2 months ago and everything has been growing well up until now. Recently I've noticed yellowing of my HC starting from the tips and eventually taking over the whole leaf. Also, I've noticed yellowing in my Anubias Nana Petite as well. I'm thinking this is a nitrate deficiency due to the fact that my nitrates are always at 0.

I started dosing ADA Nitrogen a few days ago and despite dosing double the minimum amount, I'm still getting 0 ammonia and 0 nitrates. Has anyone used this additive before and can recommend a starting dose?

Thanks in advance!


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 09:51 PM
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KNO3 using an online calculator and dose to desired amount.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
KNO3 using an online calculator and dose to desired amount.
Bought some KNO3 from GLA just now so I'll give that a try. Should I stop dosing ADA Brighty K while I dose KNO3?


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 11:57 PM
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Bought some KNO3 from GLA just now so I'll give that a try. Should I stop dosing ADA Brighty K while I dose KNO3?
I have never used any ADA products but I would say yes, for now. You might be getting enough k with KNO3. If

not, add the additional K.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 02:41 AM
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Just for reference, if you were dosing EI levels of KNO3 you would be dosing just under 30ppm K a week. I guess you can decide for yourself if you need more or not.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:28 AM
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KNO3 using an online calculator and dose to desired amount.
You can use this calculator:
https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php

The calculator lets you select a target ppm level or it will tell you how much is needed for EI dosing Note For tanks not being dosed according to the EI methode I would add enough to get to 1ppm and then increase the dose if needed so that the tank doesn't drop below 1ppm before the next water change. A phosphate test kit is very helpful when dosing this way. In EI dosing you follow a dosing recipe where you dose macros and micros on alternating day of the week. Information on EI dosing is available here:

https://www.barrreport.com/articles/...-test-kits.38/
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:55 PM
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Just for reference, if you were dosing EI levels of KNO3 you would be dosing just under 30ppm K a week. I guess you can decide for yourself if you need more or not.
When adding EI levels of kno3(7.5ppm no3) 3x per week, this would add around 15ppm.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nilocg View Post
When adding EI levels of kno3(7.5ppm no3) 3x per week, this would add around 15ppm.


I checked out the calculator linked above and it mentioned dosing 3.2ppm daily. Would his be sufficient?



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 07:52 PM
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When adding EI levels of kno3(7.5ppm no3) 3x per week, this would add around 15ppm.
Sorry I made a huge math error good catch and my bad. Your right, 1/8 tsp KNO3 in say a 15 gallon tank 3x a week would result in 27.54ppm nitrates, and about 15 ppm potassium. I accidentally read the nitrates instead of the potassium. (Calculated using rotala butterfly this time)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 01:41 PM
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I don't want to accuse you of doing something stupid, but this is a mistake I made when I first started out. The nitrate test kit I used had two bottles with different solutions in them; I used to think I had zero nitrates because I was only testing the water with one of the bottles instead of both (I thought bottle #2 was extra...).
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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I don't want to accuse you of doing something stupid, but this is a mistake I made when I first started out. The nitrate test kit I used had two bottles with different solutions in them; I used to think I had zero nitrates because I was only testing the water with one of the bottles instead of both (I thought bottle #2 was extra...).
Thanks for the thought, I am using both bottles and really am shaking bottle #2 for 30 seconds and the solution for a full minute. Following all directions to a T yet still getting 0 nitrates.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:53 AM
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Thanks for the thought, I am using both bottles and really am shaking bottle #2 for 30 seconds and the solution for a full minute. Following all directions to a T yet still getting 0 nitrates.
lol damn, just me then I guess.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the thought, I am using both bottles and really am shaking bottle #2 for 30 seconds and the solution for a full minute. Following all directions to a T yet still getting 0 nitrates.
I was also doing the same thing shaking really hard BOTH bottles and getting absolute 0 Nitrate readings. I was scratching my head while posting on these forums and someone mentioned to me Bang the living crap out of the two bottle caps together. Bang them really hard till your neighbor yells at you for the noise and you get tendinitis from banging and shaking so hard while throwing out a shoulder. I am not kidding here this is what it took to get my first api nitrate test kit to read. And it works so it went from reading 0 to going bright red(80ppm) just to show you the difference. It's bottle number 2 that is the problem bottle btw. Do this, snap a pic and post the difference here please

FYI you most likely need to bang the two bottles hard together like this the first time only, after that just the regular good bottle shaking seems to do the trick.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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FYI you most likely need to bang the two bottles hard together like this the first time only, after that just the regular good bottle shaking seems to do the trick.
I've read your comment twice and still can't decide if part of it is serious or not


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 03:05 PM
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I've read your comment twice and still can't decide if part of it is serious or not
Of course part serious. No need to call an ambulance though lol. Seriously the second bottle is the issue and banging the two bottles at the caps together pretty good for about a minute usually loosens the second bottle to get it to working. Even not dosing nitrates at all you will not ever read 0 nitrates. Only way you have 0 nitrates is if your tank is not cycled and you do not have the bacteria to convert nitrites to nitrates or you have absolutely nothing in the tank, no plants, no fish, etc. I assume neither of those are the case in your situation. Therefore its your inaccurate test kit.

Have a read here at a thread I started way back. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...0-nitrate.html


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