Zero Nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Zero Nitrates

I have searched and read many posts on the subject of zero nitrates , but I thought I would ask again as most were old threads . I have a 15 long and a 30 long , medium/heavy planted with Frogbit floaters and both read zero nitrates with 2 different tests....API and Fluval . It would seem I need to add some nitrogen , but is there a cheaper alternative to Seachem Nitrogen which seems expensive for the long haul . Plants seem fine , just slow growth . Tanks are low tech with Excel , Flourish , Flourish Root Tabs , and Beamsworks LEDs . I have never had a low nitrate problem so I am asking here.....lol Oh , the Frogbit grows fast as can be . I have to remove some every week at WC time .
The 15 is stocked with 4 adult Platys , 10 Platy fry , 3 Cory cats , 3 Ottos
The 30 is stocked with 12-14 adult Platys and 5 Cory cats .
Thanks for any ideas .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 02:31 AM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks OVT .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 10:11 PM
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Frogbit and many floating plants eat a lot of nitrates. I have two tanks one is fully covered by Pistia(water lettuce), my main tank I remove most of it so I only have about 10 pieces as I don't want it to disturb the fert equilibrium for other plants.

It is not clear to me if they remove phosphates and other nutrients at same/similar rates, I doubt it, if that is the case, you should just add dry KNO3 to replace the nitrates and leave the other nutrients to your liquid fertilizer. If you really want control you could get EI dry ferts and make up a customized dosing based on your tests but most don't want to go that far.

I would dose about 5-10ppm dry KNO3 (you can buy this from nilocg) everytime I tested 0 nitrates (make sure you actually have 0 and that you are shaking your API kit properly and its functioning correctly though.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks cl3537 for the detailed reply . I bought a small bottle of Seachem nitrogen at my local shop to try and see if that is my problem . If I get positive results I will get some of nilocg's ferts .
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My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 12:00 AM
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Once you get into using dry ferts, you may wonder why it took so long. I find them to be so much easier to store and use as well as much, much cheaper. As mentioned Colin does a great job of making it easy and you are not paying premium for water. Lots of folks use differing methods as they want to get very precise on what they are dosing but I go with the idea that anything we use to determine how much our special little tank will need is going to be an estimate at best as we each have different numbers and types of plants, growing under different lights and lots of those small details. So since it is, at best, an estimate, I don't worry too much at getting that estimate exactly right but just keep the bags of various dry ferts in a box on the shelf and use cooking spoons to get something close to what the website estimates is going to be right.
I use this calculator to estimate what I might need, dip a spoon and then stir and pour.
Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator
Then if it seems right and things begin to look like something is missing, I go to this and look for signs that match what I have.
https://www.google.com/search?q=aqua...EIZzAH#imgrc=_
Since any old farmer will tell you that it is never going to be exactly right, I just go with what feels good and adjust as it seems needed.
Watch out as you get more involved. This whole thing can get to be addictive!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rich . Great info as always . I will have to think this all over . When I had tanks before my illness I never did anything but used root tabs and Flourish . My 75 was very heavily stocked and planted and it always had Nitrates of 20+ . These two tanks have zero . I did add some Flourish nitrogen and got the nitrates to 5ppm . I didn't really want to get into dosing different things but may have to....lol

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:12 AM
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Dosing different things can have some good points as we can add just nitrate if that feels right or any of the other stuff like more N, P, or K. What got me into dry is the price but then I found some tanks that had lots of fish and other stuff, got way too much nitrate when I needed to add potassium, phosphate or something. So I started off with the liquids but they mostly all had a variety of stuff and some of it I already had too much! Phosphate was one that I fought to keep reasonable, so I went to dry and stopped adding any phosphate.
This is one that might fit if I only wanted to add nitrate:
Potassium Nitrate| KNO3 | 1lb - NilocG Aquatics
It's $3 plus shipping of about $5 so I often wait and order a combo of things to save shipping but either way, it is lots cheaper than a bottle of liquid because it lasts so long. How many 1/16 teaspoons are in a pound? Don't know but it lasts a long, long time! A bottle of liquid nitrate for around $10 or go for a whole dry setup NPK and micros for around $20-22 and it lasts for more than a year?
This is my Mad-science section of high tech gear!
I've had the phosphate so long, Colin has changed bag type!
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