What does 0 Nitrates Imply? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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What does 0 Nitrates Imply?

I have a spec V. I've modified it to hold about 750ml of fluval biomax and 100ml purigen. The substrate is only about 1cm thick of pool filter sand and it is constantly turned over by a hoard of MTS (The sand is probably more snail than sand by now).

The tank has 1 betta, 4 ottos (3+ years old now!) and 7 ~1-1.5" microsynodontis.

The tank is planted with floating wisteria fern and anubias.

After a while of only dosing PK and mircos I found out I had been running on 0 nitrates.

I think this means that the plants are outstripping the supply of nitrates.

What I'm wondering is if it's safe to correlate this with appropriate bioload in the tank? If I were overstocked would I observe an excess of nitrates? This of course doesn't mean I plan on adding any more fish.

I'm just worrying about the health of the fish. The catfish themselves are VERY sedentary and cryptic and I actually see them with eggs all the time and I'm working on trying to get them to spawn.

Fluval Spec V
7x Microsynodontis sp (1)

10g Terrarium
1x Cranwelli Horned Frog
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 08:32 PM
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If the tank has purigen that should be working to absorb any excess nitrates or ammonia yes? It would make sense to me that between plants and purigen a tank would be zero nitrate or very close to it. I would also think if the fish are laying eggs they are happy! I'm thinking out loud a bit here, so someone correct me if I'm wrong

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 11:46 PM
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That gets into what I would call the definition of overstocked. Many consider overstocked to be when the fish are crowded. Others call it overstocked when they have to fight to keep nitrate down.
If you are using a 2 gallon tank, you may be overstocked. If a 55, you may be totally understocked. I would say that it is likely you are missing out on full growth for the plants if there is zero measurable nitrate. Whether that is bad or good depends on what you may want from the tank. Personally, I would add some nitrate.
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