weirdly high nitrate and phosphate in only one tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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weirdly high nitrate and phosphate in only one tank

Question for the experts: I've got three tanks (4 gallon, 9 gallon, 54 gallon) that I fertilize with the same stock fertilizer solutions and do water changes with using the same remineralized water.

In the 4 gallon tank, my nitrates and phosphate (~40 ppm, 5 ppm) are much higher than the other two tanks (~5-10 ppm, 0.5 ppm). Not sure what could be going on, this discrepancy only popped up a couple of weeks ago, until then parameter values were much closer to the other two tanks.

Any ideas what may be driving this discrepancy? Thanks!

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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Not an expert, but the first things I would check:

1) Anything dead hiding anywhere in the tank?

Notice is the smallest tank only?
2) What is your filter maintenance?
3) Do you clean the substrate?

We tend to overstock smaller tanks. Not only does that generate more nitrates for the water volume, it creates more detritus.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Not an expert, but the first things I would check:

1) Anything dead hiding anywhere in the tank?

Notice is the smallest tank only?
2) What is your filter maintenance?
3) Do you clean the substrate?

We tend to overstock smaller tanks. Not only does that generate more nitrates for the water volume, it creates more detritus.
1. It's a shrimp only tank and the population seems about the same, haven't noticed any drastic die offs.

2. Filter maintenance is "when I notice the flow has decreased, I clean it" which translates to cleaning the eheim 2211 ever 2-3 months.

3. I do vac the gravel every once in awhile, but not religiously

As far as I can tell, there have been no changes in my routine regarding tank maintenance or fertilization/feeding but maybe I'm overlooking something.

I stopped fertilizing the tank and did a big water change this weekend, haven't tested parameters yet, but will tomorrow. Hopefully it will show that the nitrates have fallen quite a bit
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:44 PM
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Since it's a shrimp-only tank, I would consider the possibility that it's caused by overfeeding. Shrimp don't eat much, and excess food would increase the nitrates and phosphates. There is a much smaller margin of error in nano setups, and even the slightest imbalance can have a dramatic impact.
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