KNO3/ nitrate question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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KNO3/ nitrate question

Before I do any guessing, how about a small help. I've forgotten most of the chemistry I ever knew so I'm often lost there.

I'm keeping one tank with mostly fish interest but working some plants in as well. I'm using what I might call a modified EI system and adjusting to fit what I find in my tank. I can go with the nitrate being higher than if it were just fish. No breeding questions but I would like to keep the nitrate down lower.

I'm wanting to back off on the nitrate. Is it the amount of KNO3 that I want to reduce?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 05:52 PM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 05:53 PM
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Yes, I add very little KNO3 to my non CO2 tank, maybe 1/20th what I might a CO2 enriched stem plant tank, maybe less even.

I use a pennywort emergent grown as a N indicator, the leaves start to go a little pale if the ferts are low and I add more and the leaves recover well in 2-3 days.

So on a 20 gal, I might only add 1-2x a month, maybe 1/8th tsp, maybe less.

Fish Food provides the lion's share of N.

Tom Barr
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. Good info. I might try going without the KNO3 for a bit on this tank. It is a 125 and not crowded but plenty of bulk with lots of food so I may not need any. I'll proceed and see where it goes. Thanks.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 03:28 AM
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I do the same, but test the NO3 occasionally as well as watching the plants.
In my tanks the situation is quite stable, and I know which tanks to dose NO3, and which get small water changes because of rising NO3.

Yes, adjust the KNO3 to suit.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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It definitely looks like I do need to cut back. It is a 125 with some large fish, all African cichlids who are semi-famous for liking clean water so I am going easy with trying plants with them. Both for the thought that they may tear the plants up and also due to the water quality. But then I feel like I know the fish and the plants are a work in progress that I would like to may work.

I got some input from the Protomelas last night at bedtime. Normally the fish go to his end of the tank and leave the bully at the far end but last night, there were several just milling around and the big guy was at the top trying to get some air. I did a big water change and all is well again but they've given me fair warning! I've added some things to get better air to the tank and I'm not running CO2 there so I think things will even out now. Still something to watch, though.

Thanks for the input.
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