Nitrate parameters - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrate parameters

Alright ive got a question regarding my nitrate readings.

Thank specs:

75 gallon (65 gallons of water0
CO2 (15-30 ppm)
2 2215


23 Neon tetras
10 Von Rio Tetras
5 Black Phantom Tetras
10 Panda Cories
4 Oto
2 Pleco
~30 RCS

Ive been playing around with my dosing schemes and was dosing this

3/4 kno3
1/4 kh2po4
1/4 trace

I noticed i was getting gsa so i modified it a bit.

1/2 kno3
1/4 kh2po4
1/4 trace

All dosing is done with dry ferts from greg watson:

Now i have been skipping dosing my KNO3 because i noticed my nitrates always seemed to be 15+. Even without dosing KNO3 in the past 2 days my nitrates are still that high. Granted i just cleaned out one of my filters, but is my fish load keeping my nitrates that high? I feed them every other day. So whats going on?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 06:14 AM
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Nitrate levels of 15 ppm are nothing to worry about if the shrimp seem fine.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 08:45 AM
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That assumes that the test kit is accurate and giving a true reading.
It's unlikely that the plants are taking up that much and that the fish are producing that much, small fish load with CO2 etc.

The CO2........tyhat can easily slow plant growth down and induce all sorts of algae issues, 15-30ppm is a wide range and hopely it's 30ppm most the day.

If you want to look and test a lot, focus on that, you'll get a lot more out that than testing for NO3.

The best NO3 levels for plant growth are 20-80 ppm for aquatic plants.
This goes back to Krombholz and Gerloff, 1966. I figure out this same range about 8 years ago and just recently ran across it. Paul was worried about the higher NO3 as folks have cows about adding NO3 and think it's some toxic death stew for fish(there's no evidence that it is, but NH4 is quite another matter, yet we still have fish........) and no one listened to him in hobby for some reason.

So 20-30ppm is ideal, water changes keep it from building up. From about 20ppm down you really drop the growth rate. 5 ppm for examples produces about 4.5 times less dry weight than 20ppm with non limiting conditions for the other parameters. Quite a bit.

If you change 1/2 the water, you should have 7.5 ppm according to that kit.
So do one and see.

I bet it's not much different.

Tom Barr

Tom Barr
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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That is very true regarding the test kits as I never really liked comparing it to a color (using API kits). As for CO2, i was checking pH levels throughtout the day-morning midday and lights out. The largest change in pH was .5 to 1 which i also dont entirely trust since i cant measure below 6.0

Ill keep reading around and seeing how my plants look and how the algae looks and cross check with "measured" parameters.

Thanks for the input Tom
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