Nitrates at 0, Fauna load too low - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrates at 0, Fauna load too low

Should I be worrying if my nitrates in my tank are 0? I don't think I have enough fish to keep up nitrate production (unsure if much of the ammonia even makes it to nitrate form if the plants just directly are using ammonia). Last week, the nitrates were at 5ppm, but I had a feeling that they were decreasing over time, and my tank is extremely lightly stocked (11 harlequin rasboras in a 55G relatively heavily planted tank). Should I dose KNO3? Flourish Nitrogen? I ordered some KNO3, but can someone direct me to a reference that can help me calculate how much to add to achieve a certain concentration, and what concentrations I should aim for?

Other possibly relevant info:

-Tank size: 55G
-light is medium (1x T5HO raised 2.25" above tank top, going through acrylic splash guard and glass top)
-No CO2 injection, currently dosing Excel daily. Planning to start two 2L bottles of DIY CO2 in the next 1-2 weeks and run an airstone at night (or not because my filter already has good surface agitation)
-Just started adding recommended dosage of Flourish comprehensive weekly, but will likely stop if I begin dry dosing regimen with dry ferts (NPK and CSM+B)
Plants include: lilaeopsis mauritiana, LOTS of crypt wendtii, argentine swords, jungle vals, ludwigia repens, green cabomba, anubias nana, anacharis, and a small tuft of micro sag i think.

Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 09:42 AM
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Should you be worrying? No. Not as long as you're happy with the health of your plants and there growth. Perhaps your system has simply achieved a proper balance for the time-being? If your plants are nitrogen deficient then they should exhibit certain characteristics, and you can search this site to find out what those signs are. But if there are no signs of that and you're happy then just relax and enjoy already in my opinion!

Edit: (Go with what MarkMc said below though if you are having any algal issues. Are you?)

Last edited by Mxx; 05-10-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 11:17 AM
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Having nitrate at 0 can't be good. I also have a 55 gallon but with 2 T5HO bulbs BUT they are a foot above the top of the tank with glass covers on the tank. I run CO2 pressurized and dose dry ferts 2-3 times a week. I suspect your tank has not been running with this lighting configuration for very long otherwise you'd likely start seeing algae problems.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 04:01 PM
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See the sticky in this forum, about dosing methods, for a good way to fertilize a tank. I hope you ordered KH2PO4 along with the KNO3. Phosphates are very important too.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered the full set of the macros and CSM+B. I am having algae issues, but it's just diatoms all over the place. I can't tell if it's new tank syndrome or if diatoms will be a problem later. The tank has been cycled for 3 weeks now.
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