Why would nitrate remain near 0 ? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiger15 View Post
I have abandoned API and switched to Salifert Nitrate Kit which uses powder in lieu of Liquid 2. With no need for shaking, Salifert results are consistently more accurate than API.
Hi,

I have a question:

How do you know that the Salifert results are accurate? Do you have a calibration reference? I'm asking because I have often considered the Salifert Nitrate Kit but I couldn't get confirmation that it was OK to use with freshwater.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 08:01 PM
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This makes it sound i shouldn't be too concern that the nitrate level is staying ultra low and it won't harm the plants or fish.
Very low nitrogen levels (zero) can be a nutrient deficiency. This will limit consumption other nutrients in the water causing some nutrients to build up to high levels. Possibly toxic levels. Plant growth will also be slower than normal or stop. This can also give algae an advantage resulting in algae smothering your plants.

I once had a high phosphate problem in my tank (phosphate levels were off the charts). multiple large water changes did help but phosphate levels climbed very fast. I eventually realized the high phosphate was caused by a nitrogen deficiency. Once I added nitrogen phosphate levels started to drop. The phosphate drops also caused a repid change in PH and KH. Rapid PH and KH changes can be bad for fish but i was lucky and no fish died.

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I do regular water changes on those three tanks - and i use fertilizer about once a month (and root tabs once every 3 months). Plant wise one of the 29 is doing fantastic; the other one is a mix bag - the center piece plants were aponogeton ulvaceus and i think they went into hibernation. They dropped all their leaves but the bulbs are not soft
.

Your plants may not be in hibernation. They might be suffering from a nutrient deficiency and as a result dropped the leaves. IF that is the case the bulb may eventually die. Most people dose fertilizer at least once a week right after a water change. Very few people can have successful tanks with only one dose of fertilizer a month. I think most of your tanks are short on micro nutrients and that is slowing your plants growth and allowing your nitrates to be so high. Your 20 gallon however is probably short on nitrogen and micros. i think this tank needs to have thrive dosed according to the bottle recommendations.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 08:02 PM
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Do you have a calibration reference?
Just make a reference solution?


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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 08:33 PM
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I may have to try the Salifert kit. I'm not impressed with the precision of hte API test, though it's probably good enough for a freshwater planted tank.

Test kit manufacturers tend to be mum on how their kits work, but it's likely the API test kit works using the Griess reaction (The Science of the Planted Aquarium). The test has to include some kind of reducing agent to convert all the nitrate to nitrite, which is what is actually then measured. This is a slow reaction and the mixing seems important to its success. The MSDs confirms that the second solution is sulfanilamide in ethylene glycol, which is one reagent in the Griess reaction. The other is hydrochloric acid and "proprietary ingredients", not helpful at all, but one must be naphthylethylenediamine or something like it for the Griess reaction and another has to be a reducing agent to convert the nitrate to nitrite.

I'm not familiar with Salifert, and I can't find an MSDS for it, but my wild guess is that it does the Griess reaction as well, but with a better choice of reducing agent. I really will have to get a kit and play with it.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 08:53 PM
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For what it's worth, I have both nitrate test kits listed above and they read very close to each other when applied correctly. The salifert test is MUCH easier to both execute and read, however.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jake21 View Post
20 Long is a standard american size tank - it is 20 gallon (nearly 76 liter). 20 Long is pretty small for angels; i'm not sure i would even try one angel in a 20 liter - sorry for not being clear the first time.



The dimension is 30 long; 12 high 12 wide (inches)
OK that makes sense, thanks for the clarification my bad! I know what a 20 long is but kept reading it as 20 litre lol
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 12:24 AM
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Yes, by adjusting circulation so that all around tank there is light breezy current flowing across sand layer it will push micro currents of oxygenated water into substrate and anaerobic activity will cease or at least wane considerably.

If that spraybar is blowing from right and getting slowed down by all those plants in front of it whole left end of tank is not getting enough circulation. Id move that spraybar to back wall dead center blowing across top and hitting front wall which will create a mild current down front glass that will flush down across sand layer the whole width of tank. Move that mass of floaters down to right end out of way of spraybar.

How many gph is pump/canister?
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 01:39 AM
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Dumb question (maybe):

Since you are getting high NO3 readings on your other tanks and zero on the subject tank, the first premise seems to be that, at least, the subject tank is very low on nitrates (maybe the cleaning is better and/or plant mass and livestock levels are different in the subject tank) and I greatly prefer the Salifert kit to the API (calibration is easy). So, why not simply add NO3/nitrogen until you get, and maintain, the desired NO3 reading?
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon View Post
Hi,

I have a question:

How do you know that the Salifert results are accurate? Do you have a calibration reference? I'm asking because I have often considered the Salifert Nitrate Kit but I couldn't get confirmation that it was OK to use with freshwater.

Anon
The customer Q/A says that Salifert can be used for freshwater. I think most Saltwater test kits can be used for freshwater, but not vise versa due to many more interfering salts in saltwater.

Without comparison to standard solution, I can't verify the accuracy of any test kit. You can create your standard solution for checking by dosing KNO3 in distilled water.

I have made comparison between Salifert and API results. They are comparable at the beginning with fresh API Liquid 2, but no comparison with aging Liquid 2.

The reason Salifert results are more consistent than API is that Salifert powder does not require shaking to homogenize. API Liquid 2 concentration is very sensitive to shaking and drift away from initial concentration over time of use.

https://www.amazon.com/Salifert-Nitr...537378&sr=8-14
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 04:01 PM
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I use the Salifert kit and find it to be more accurate based on my dosing than the API one.


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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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I woudln't call 10 or 15 ppm high - just higher than 0. Actually the 20 long went up to about 6 today (I tested before a water change). The TDS is a bit higher than the other tank - they average around 135 and this tank is 149 (tap is 120). I'll probably do a water change once every two weeks.

I'm ok with slow plant growth as long as the plants are happy - I just don't want to do anything too radical that upset the fishes. I'm using it to grow out some angels - the ottos are actually in their for quantine but their quarantine period passed and i decided it wasn't worth chasing them down (also one of them like to eat flakes a from the surface which i find quite amusing since i've never had an otto do that before (it swims between the angels upside down and sucks down the flakes).
-
My goal here is to ensure the platinum do well until i can move them out of the tank - everything else is secondary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Dumb question (maybe):

Since you are getting high NO3 readings on your other tanks and zero on the subject tank, the first premise seems to be that, at least, the subject tank is very low on nitrates (maybe the cleaning is better and/or plant mass and livestock levels are different in the subject tank) and I greatly prefer the Salifert kit to the API (calibration is easy). So, why not simply add NO3/nitrogen until you get, and maintain, the desired NO3 reading?
Thanks - i'll adjust things a bit mostly move the floaters - i was worried about putting the bar on the back as the angels are not overjoyed with it - it is a nano 30 and the flow rate is 160 gph and i have it turned down about 30%. I should probably make the holes in the spray bar larger to reduce flow or face it towards the glass so it bounces off.
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I do seem to get a lot of pearling whenever i add fertilizer - i should watch closer and see if it is happening at other times. I tend to watch most just after a cleaning to make sure everyone is happy and that is when i have cleaned the leaves and added fertilizer.

I'll move the floating plants - would putting an air stone in the gravel make things worse - also do i risk negative reaction by disturbing things? Other than the one spotch of cyano in the front things are going fairly well in that tank - well i wish the dwarf lily would stick with smaller leaves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Yes, by adjusting circulation so that all around tank there is light breezy current flowing across sand layer it will push micro currents of oxygenated water into substrate and anaerobic activity will cease or at least wane considerably.

If that spraybar is blowing from right and getting slowed down by all those plants in front of it whole left end of tank is not getting enough circulation. I’d move that spraybar to back wall dead center blowing across top and hitting front wall which will create a mild current down front glass that will flush down across sand layer the whole width of tank. Move that mass of floaters down to right end out of way of spraybar.

How many gph is pump/canister?


I went ahead and ordered one of these and will compare it to my api kit. My api kit only has 1/2 dozen tests or so left... so it was time to order something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
I use the Salifert kit and find it to be more accurate based on my dosing than the API one.

Last edited by jake21; 12-29-2019 at 07:26 AM. Reason: fix
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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This is possible. I had hoped the root tabs would meet their micro nutrients and the fishes the macro. The bulbs are currently quite hard - the reason for lack of fertilizer is the last few times i added some the tank spit out a lot of algae on the floating plants and when i stopped the algae went away. This tank has a huge amount of black algae but it is all on the substrate (not the plants). When i do water changes I've been peeling it off but it grows back. Actually when i added fertilize last week i did get a little of green stuff growing on the substrate - so maybe that is why it is black - lack of nutrient ?

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Originally Posted by Surf View Post

.

Your plants may not be in hibernation. They might be suffering from a nutrient deficiency and as a result dropped the leaves. IF that is the case the bulb may eventually die. Most people dose fertilizer at least once a week right after a water change. Very few people can have successful tanks with only one dose of fertilizer a month. I think most of your tanks are short on micro nutrients and that is slowing your plants growth and allowing your nitrates to be so high. Your 20 gallon however is probably short on nitrogen and micros. i think this tank needs to have thrive dosed according to the bottle recommendations.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 10:58 PM
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I do seem to get a lot of pearling whenever i add fertilizer - i should watch closer and see if it is happening at other times. I tend to watch most just after a cleaning to make sure everyone is happy and that is when i have cleaned the leaves and added fertilizer.
Pearling is a good indication all nutrients are present and that the plants are growing as fast as the light and CO2 allow. I would try adding fertilizer more frequently. I suspect more pearling would cut slow down the BBA
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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How does fertilizer impact BBA if the BBA is growing on the substrate and not the plants ?

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Pearling is a good indication all nutrients are present and that the plants are growing as fast as the light and CO2 allow. I would try adding fertilizer more frequently. I suspect more pearling would cut slow down the BBA
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 10:08 PM
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How does fertilizer impact BBA if the BBA is growing on the substrate and not the plants ?
Good question, but no one has figured it out yet. What we do know is thet algae can grow at very low nutrient levels. Plants generally need higher levels. I have personally seen algae grow in water with a TDS of 1ppm. Not rapidly but it was growing. IN that same water a floating plant did not grow. IF your fertilizer, water, and substate is missing just one nutrient plants will not grow or grow very slowly. Algae however algae can still get enough of the one deficient nutrient and with all the others in the fertilizer the algae will grow rapidly and overcome the tank.

It has also been observed by many people that when all nutrients are at levels plants need to grow algae does poorly and plants will take over the tank.

I don't know why the algae is only growing on the substrate while your plants are OK. It might be that your plants are just barely getting enough nutrients for intermittent growth and they are somehow able to protect themselves from the BBA. Organics tend to bild up in the substrate and the BBA may be feeding on that .

Sadly I have not found any one fertilizer with contains all nutrients plants need. Most don't have calcium and chloride salts (safe source of chlorine plants need). Some don't have copper to make then shrimp safe. Most fertilizers on the market depend on your water having these. Tapwater typically does have calcium, chloride salts and copper pipes leave some copper in the water. Sometimes a lot of copper. My tap water has 0.050ppm of copper. I use RO water and Dose copper to a target of 0.010ppm. Thrive isa better than average fertilizer but it still doesn't have calcium and it doesn't have chloride. Typically tap water has this, but sometimes tap water or just doesn't have enough.
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