Is there a down side to low Nitrates (<10ppm) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a down side to low Nitrates (<10ppm)

Nitrates in my tank currently oscillate between ~25ppm and ~15ppm before and after a 50% water change respectfully. My tap has 5ppm Nitrates which accounts for the nitrates not being cut in half. This also shows a weekly surplus contribution of 10ppm. I currently dose 13.181 ppm weekly (avg. from 3.766 per dose every other day) I've just mixed up a 4 week supply of fertz solution that will reduce the surplus to ~2ppm. I'm reducing the Nitrate dose to 1.5ppm per dose for a weekly total of 5.25ppm on average. Over a period of 4 weeks this should reduce the oscillation to ~ 8-10ppm if my calculations are correct with an ultimate oscillation of ~7-9ppm if the dosing is maintained over a longer period if all other things remain the same which i'm aware they won't.

EI targets Nitrate dosing @7.5 ppm with an acceptable range of 10-30ppm per week as I understand it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll update this topic with my progress but I'd like some input from anyone that may see a down side to moving or maintaining Nitrates below 10ppm.

Any comments are welcome.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:01 PM
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I'll update this topic with my progress but I'd like some input from anyone that may see a down side to moving or maintaining Nitrates below 10ppm.

Any comments are welcome.
With the myriad of relationships between different ferts that we dose, there is no cut and dry answer (Mulders chart).

You also have differences in how hard a tank is being driven with light/CO2.

And there are also differences in goals and types of plants one wants to grow.

In my tank, many of my fast growing stems would melt away. In some tanks with the right mix of everything it might be perfect.

So I guess there is only way to find out. Keep a close eye on the plants, and they will tell you how they like it.

Good luck and look forward to seeing updates on this.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:03 PM
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So I guess there is only way to find out.
**Cough Cough** Farm tank / Experiment tank *Cough Cough*
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:19 PM
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**Cough Cough** Farm tank / Experiment tank *Cough Cough*
LOL!

My tank IS a an experiment tank right now! Radical changes....follow up soon.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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With the myriad of relationships between different ferts that we dose, there is no cut and dry answer (Mulders chart).

Good point. I recently reduced the K dose (Seachem EQ's contribution was too high) and increased Ca and Mg for my Nerites and Mollies. The reduction of NO3 should have a positive effect on K to somewhat offset the negative impact from the Ca & Mg.

You also have differences in how hard a tank is being driven with light/CO2.

Neither are driven hard. Medium light - ~20-30ppm CO2.

And there are also differences in goals and types of plants one wants to grow.

Swords, Anubias, Vals, and Java Fern

In my tank, many of my fast growing stems would melt away. In some tanks with the right mix of everything it might be perfect.

So I guess there is only way to find out. Keep a close eye on the plants, and they will tell you how they like it.

Good luck and look forward to seeing updates on this.


My main goal is to find that sweet spot where the tank stays on an even keel and my recliner time is maximized.

Thanks for the response.

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**Cough Cough** Farm tank / Experiment tank *Cough Cough*
**Cough Cough** Only Tank / Not going to be another tank **Cough Cough**

The Boss has spoken. (actually she's right, nowhere to put another one)
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:34 PM
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LOL!

My tank IS a an experiment tank right now! Radical changes....follow up soon.
Pfft, pics or it didn't happen. I don't believe you Why on Earth would anyone want to willingly mess with a "perfectly" healthy, growing tank to see some weird effects of lowering ferts!

Jk, the term "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is no where to be found within my head. I'm genuinely interested to see the effects in your plants!

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I'd like some input from anyone that may see a down side to moving or maintaining Nitrates below 10ppm. Any comments are welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cichlid-140 View Post
Medium light - ~20-30ppm CO2.
Swords, Anubias, Vals, and Java Fern
I think you'll be fine to drop NO3 given these parameters, it actually might help and should help on overall tank health (livestock mostly). I'm thinking I want to do a medium driven tank with leaner dosing as my next adventure on the bucket list. One day...


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**Cough Cough** Only Tank / Not going to be another tank **Cough Cough**

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Uhm... Just because there is a goalie in net, doesn't mean you can't score
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:39 PM
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My main goal is to find that sweet spot where the tank stays on an even keel and my recliner time is maximized.
If recliner time is the goal, then you might want even lower light.

Swords, Anubias, Vals, and Java Fern can grow with very, very little light, and very little ferts. Growth will be slow, but healthy. Might be just what you are looking for.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 02:44 PM
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Also to note, swords / vals / crypts love root tabs. So even if your overall NO3 is dropping, toss some tabs under them and they will thrive.

Anubias and Java's @ 10ppm and medium light is plenty. I think you are in really good shape to drop NO3 without issues. Lots of options available.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Uhm... Just because there is a goalie in net, doesn't mean you can't score
This goalie uses a 12" cast iron frying pan to defend the net. MY mom gave it to her at our wedding for that specific purpose.

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If recliner time is the goal, then you might want even lower light.

Swords, Anubias, Vals, and Java Fern can grow with very, very little light, and very little ferts. Growth will be slow, but healthy. Might be just what you are looking for.
Yeah I know. I mentioned in another topic how some of the plants would be happy in a toilet.

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Also to note, swords / vals / crypts love root tabs. So even if your overall NO3 is dropping, toss some tabs under them and they will thrive.

Anubias and Java's @ 10ppm and medium light is plenty. I think you are in really good shape to drop NO3 without issues. Lots of options available.
O+ root tabs already under each Sword and along the back where the Vals are.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 03:29 PM
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If recliner time is the goal, then you might want even lower light.

Swords, Anubias, Vals, and Java Fern can grow with very, very little light, and very little ferts. Growth will be slow, but healthy. Might be just what you are looking for.
This is my tank

Under 10ppm nitrates and the plants listed.

I use root tabs and my EI dosing, from what everyone says, is almost nil.
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This is my tank

Under 10ppm nitrates and the plants listed.

I use root tabs and my EI dosing, from what everyone says, is almost nil.
OK, from what everyone is saying this should work out great.

Something HAS to go horribly wrong.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 04:39 PM
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Uhm... Just because there is a goalie in net, doesn't mean you can't score

Kinda depends on who you are trying to score with ...
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 08:55 PM
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Why on Earth would anyone want to willingly mess with a "perfectly" healthy, growing tank to see some weird effects …
Because it becomes boring?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 09:43 PM
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Jk, the term "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is no where to be found within my head. I'm genuinely interested to see the effects in your plants!
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Because it becomes boring?
See original quote

With no goal to overcome things do get boring, I was only messing with @Greggz



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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 10:41 PM
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Because it becomes boring?
Edward you should like this one.

Lower everything.

Still not sure exactly how it's going to work out.
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