Low nitrates, do I need to dose? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Low nitrates, do I need to dose?

Hello! I was wondering if I had low nitrates, would I need to dose? My betta has some cuts on it head and I have to do water changes daily until they heal up. But then, he tail bites and I also do changes every 2 days so he doesnt get fin rot. I have 0 of everything except a pH of 8.2 out of tap, and very low stocking in my tank, which causes very low nitrates.

I have pygmy chainswords, jungle vals, a marimo moss ball (Not moss, I know), and dwarf sag in my tank. The dwarf sag is struggling, but will probably be shipped to a friend of mine.

My question is, do I really need to dose liquid ferts? I do use root tabs, and the plants eat them up. Also have some of the little Osmocote+ balls on the surface on the sand from a digging cichlid (rehomed)
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 11:21 PM
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From what I've read you really want some Nitrates ... I've usually seen 10-20ppm recommended. Since yours is zero your plants could be using it all up and you may need to dose some so your plants have enough.

Rather than me trying explain ferts, I'll link to Diana's post which explains way better than I ever could .. read this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...1&postcount=11
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 12:07 AM
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A lot of the answer to your question depends on your lighting. If you have strong lighting then plants will grow faster and use more nutrients.

If you have fairly low light it could be that the Osmocote tabs will provide all the nitrates/phosphates/iron your plants need. If you have high intensity lights then you'll likely need to dose fertilizers, at least while you are doing so many water changes.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 12:55 AM
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After a livestock reduction in my tank my plants stopped growing. My nitrates were barely detectable on a strip test (<1 ppm) before I gave away some of the bigger fish now the nitrates are undetectable. I am slowly adding potassium nitrate to bring it to about 20 ppm and already after 48 hours some new buds have appeared on the plants.

Due to other processes (independent of plants) nitrates and iron tend to have shorter half lives so I am starting with these nutrients in a more frequent dosing schedule.

Already using CO2, and strong light.

Last edited by rezco; 02-27-2014 at 12:56 AM. Reason: sp
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:19 AM
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Do you have photos of your plants rezco? I'm always interested in seeing nitrogen deficiencies.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
Do you have photos of your plants rezco? I'm always interested in seeing nitrogen deficiencies.
I will try to take some pics - but my plants show varying symptoms indicating multiple deficiencies - not a pure N deficiency.

Meanwhile this site has a very nice graphic:
http://www.aquariumslife.com/aquasca...ts-deficiency/
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