only 5ppm of nitrates at the end of the week? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question only 5ppm of nitrates at the end of the week?

hello all. i am new to planted tanks so here goes. my setup is an ongoing process as i learn. I have a 55 gallon with 2- 54w HO T5 flourescents, an emperor 400 biowheel filter, flourite substrate, two mating dalmation mollies, about 14 cardinal/neon tetras, a BN pleco, 5 amano shrimp, a hachet fish, three killifish and about 8 molly babies. I am dosing 5ml flourish and 10ml of excel everyday and 7.5 ml of potassium every other day. I am also doing 50 percent water changes every week.

My problem is i keep looking for what i am missing as far as nutrients and have overlooked the fact that at the end of the week my nitrates are only at 5ppm. Now i am not sure on the type of plants i have. i have vals that are down to nubs and my corkscrew vals are putting out some new leaves slightly but the leaves are drooping. i have about 8 plants and some floating stuff that has red roots that hang down.

Question is what do i do about the nitrates? Start adding nitrogen and closely monitor the levels? Dont change the water everyweek? Thanks in advance for any help.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 11:57 PM
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You aren't dosing any meaningful amount of nitrates. I'd incorporate that into my dosing schedule. Flourish is an ok source of micros, but the recommended dosing is too low for a high light tank, and there's not any meaningful amount of nitrogen, potassium, or phosphoorous.

I don't think nitrates are your issue though. In my experience, low nitrates makes for yellow leaves, but they are otherwise normal. I'd say that tank needs more nutrients all around, and would benefit greatly from CO2. You're basically running a low tech tank with high lighting right now.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 it is then. Thank u
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:52 AM
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Don't take just a part of the advice. You need to be dosing adequate nitrogen (nitrates), potassium, phosphorous (phosphates) and all of the trace elements, along with having adequate CO2 in the water. Read the sticky in this forum about dosing schemes.

Above all, don't use a test kit, that hasn't been calibrated, to tell you how much of anything to dose. Just dose enough to be sure you always have more than the plants need. The weekly water changes prevent any excessive buildups of fertilizers.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Above all, don't use a test kit, that hasn't been calibrated, to tell you how much of anything to dose. Just dose enough to be sure you always have more than the plants need. The weekly water changes prevent any excessive buildups of fertilizers.
What is involved in calibrating a test kit. I just got a phosphate test kit, are they usually inaccurate?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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U really think I have high light? I read 2wpg is moderate. Once I get the co2 here soon I plan on starting to dose traces, phosphorus, and iron on top of increasing the flourish and potassium. I should discontinue excel correct? Once I get things going I plan on adding another 2wpg of light. Good plan? Im looking to go for a heavily planted tank.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Also gonna start nitrogen and fertilization tabs to the substrate
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:10 PM
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What is involved in calibrating a test kit. I just got a phosphate test kit, are they usually inaccurate?
Calibrating a test kit means using some samples of water with known amounts of what you are testing for in them to verify what the test kit colors mean. Even expensive test kits or test devices need to be calibrated if you plan to rely on them for anything important.

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U really think I have high light? I read 2wpg is moderate. Once I get the co2 here soon I plan on starting to dose traces, phosphorus, and iron on top of increasing the flourish and potassium. I should discontinue excel correct? Once I get things going I plan on adding another 2wpg of light. Good plan? Im looking to go for a heavily planted tank.
Watts per gallon is just a number, but a meaningless one. You have two T5HO lights over a 20 inch (approximate) tall tank. That is high light directly under the light. If you had 2-55 watt T12 lights, not that there is such a thing, it would be low light. If you had 110 watts of Cree XM-L LEDs, you could virtually cook the plants with it. It is the type of lighting you have that counts, not the amount of power the lights consume.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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I have one light at 6000K and am changing the rosette bulb to a 10000k
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:35 AM
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I have one light at 6000K and am changing the rosette bulb to a 10000k
That will effect how the tank looks, and you may find it looks better, but it isn't likely to have a measurable effect on the plants.

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