Crazy Nitrate Levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Crazy Nitrate Levels

I am just starting week three of the EI method and my Nitrate levels are out of site. The facts and figures:

20 gallons
130 watts of light (2 x 65 watts Coralife at 6,700)
Injected CO2
Heavily planted.
26 fish (corydoras paleatus x 4, Cardinal Tetra x 9, Monglow tetras x 5, Dekeyseria brachyura x 2, SAE x 2, Otocinclas x 2, ? loach x 1 and Clown loach x 1)

50% water change on Sunday (2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp Epson salt)
1/4 tsp KNO3 and 1/16 tsp Kh2Po4Sun Tues and Thurs
5 ml CMS + B Mon, Wed and Friday

Current levels as of Monday 7/11:

PH 6.7, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 160 (itÍs really off the scale as this is the highest my test kit goes), GH 60 ppm and KH 130 ppm.

All of the plants seem to be flourishing with the exception of one that is developing holes in the leaves. No algae to speak of. What am I doing wrong??

Thanks for your attention.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 04:18 AM
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are you able to turn one of the lights off on the light fixture? 130 watts is too much, with 6.5wpg. 1/2 of that is 3.25, which is pretty much perfect.

also, 26 fish in a 20g will produce a lot of waste and thus a lot of NO3 on their own. It is important to take this into account when dosing as much as EI recommends. Do some water changes (a couple 75% ones) to get the NO3 back down, and then cut down the dosage by 1/2, test for the next few days after dosing to ensure you are getting enough (my bets is that you will be).

it looks like your GH is pretty low to @ ~3.5dGH. It is good you are adding some Mg with the Epsom Salt, but you may want to invest in some Seachem Equilibirum instead, which will add both Ca and Mg.

Back to the NO3 reading. Do you have high NO3 in your tap water? Test that first. If it doesnt show a reading, then get a gallon piture of tap water, add 1/32 teaspoon of KNO3 and the testkit should read just over 20ppm. If it reads high or low then your testkit is bad. a good check figure.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 12:44 PM
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Spar gave good advice. Make sure to test your tap water, and test your test kit.

I would not use Equilibrium to raise gH however. It's mainly potassium. I would instead get some calcium chloride.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. I tested the tap water. Zero NO3. I retested the tankand it is at 80 ppm. Fauna all seem fine and anxious to be fed including the shrimp. I forgot to mention them in my original description. I will do a water change this evening after work, the activity that funds the hobbies and feeds the family, and test a gallon of water. Thanks again.

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