Dosing Nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Dosing Nitrates

Hi all,

Sorry if this is a silly question and has already been asked, but if your fish produce enough waste that nitrates consistently sit at 20-40ppm, do you need to dose extra KNO3 or only dose KH2PO4 and micros?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 12:30 PM
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Dale there is no cut and dry answer to that question.

I dose Nitrates into my heavily stocked Rainbow tank. My tank seems to do better with Nitrates in the 40ppm range. Keep in mind this is a high light, high tech tank that is driven hard.

I have seen some who dose no nitrates, but typically the tanks are not as full of fast growing stems and are lower light than I provide.

In the end, this is part of the fine tuning process that is going to vary from tank to tank. You need to find out what works best in YOUR tank. Speaking of which, really hard for anyone to make any recommendations to you, as you haven't provided any information about your tank. You might have a low light tank with no CO2, or a high light high tech tank. Those would have very different fert needs.

PS If you don't dose Nitrates, I would also dose K2SO4 in addition to P.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 03:19 PM
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Fish waste produces N and P but not K.
Because of this nutrient imbalance plants are K deficient and are not able to uptake more N and P. When K in such situations is added in form of K2SO4, both N and P are taken up by plants in much higher rate and the previously high N can soon be too low. The same applies to all essential plant nutrients.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Dale there is no cut and dry answer to that question.

I dose Nitrates into my heavily stocked Rainbow tank. My tank seems to do better with Nitrates in the 40ppm range. Keep in mind this is a high light, high tech tank that is driven hard.

I have seen some who dose no nitrates, but typically the tanks are not as full of fast growing stems and are lower light than I provide.

In the end, this is part of the fine tuning process that is going to vary from tank to tank. You need to find out what works best in YOUR tank. Speaking of which, really hard for anyone to make any recommendations to you, as you haven't provided any information about your tank. You might have a low light tank with no CO2, or a high light high tech tank. Those would have very different fert needs.

PS If you don't dose Nitrates, I would also dose K2SO4 in addition to P.
My apologies, my tank is a 3ft long (90cm×37cmx42cm). Low tech tank with no CO2. I've just purchased a Fluval Fresh & Planted 2.0 LED so have the power to go higher tech if I wanted to. At the moment, I am keeping things fairly low tech with Anubia, Amazon Sword, Banana Plant, Hygrophila corymbosa and Java Fern so no need to go too high tech just yet. The vast majority of plants available around here are low tech - some aren't even true aquatic like the Hygrophila corymbosa.

I have bought some dry ferts - KNO3+K2SO4 4:1 ratio, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 on its own. All are in 250g packets, so should last a good amount of time if only dosing 3x weekly. I'd probably have to do the KH2PO4 weekly given the miniscule amount as I'll probably only start dosing at half the EI to start with

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleM View Post
My apologies, my tank is a 3ft long (90cm×37cmx42cm). Low tech tank with no CO2. I've just purchased a Fluval Fresh & Planted 2.0 LED so have the power to go higher tech if I wanted to. At the moment, I am keeping things fairly low tech with Anubia, Amazon Sword, Banana Plant, Hygrophila corymbosa and Java Fern so no need to go too high tech just yet. The vast majority of plants available around here are low tech - some aren't even true aquatic like the Hygrophila corymbosa.

I have bought some dry ferts - KNO3+K2SO4 4:1 ratio, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 on its own. All are in 250g packets, so should last a good amount of time if only dosing 3x weekly. I'd probably have to do the KH2PO4 weekly given the miniscule amount as I'll probably only start dosing at half the EI to start with

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I tried doing something similar for a while, as in dosing nutrients with high light but no CO2. It didn't work. The plants were stunted and algae was a problem. The plants can't do much with the nutrients without CO2. I finally just got a pressurized CO2 system, and I'm glad I did. If you don't want to do that, I'd suggest sticking to lower light with minimal ferts (probably not even half EI, though I'd still add some K2SO4 and micros).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 01:49 PM
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Agree with all of the advice given, above. You may want to check out @Greggz's post (https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...ix-thread.html) just to see how success with nutrients can come from many different angles. There are discussions regarding NO3 sources in the latter posts, but general N discussions throughout.

One thing that I would recommend is to add something such as Seachem's Excel (there are others, as well) to your regular dosing. It will help add carbon where CO2 is lacking. When I kept a low-tech tank, I could repeatedly see good benefit between adding this and withdrawing it (I like to test a lot - it keeps things interesting).
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