EI Dosing and Nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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EI Dosing and Nitrate

I have a question about nitrate. I posted it in the link in my signature "Natty's Green and Red Paradise"

Here's the question as well:

Quote:
I'm dosing EI and my nitrate readings are like 40ppm in my planted tank, like all the time.
Does this mean there's not enough plants to suck up the nutrients? Can I lower my nitrate dosing a little? Will that promote any bad stuff to appear?

Like instead of doing the usual 1/4th tsb kno3, I'll just do maybe 1/8th which is half?

Like whats the no3 ppm I have to usually keep it at, like a range?

I also want to lower my nitrates because my rotala macrandra requires low nitrates (about 20ppm and lower) to have really red leaves
Can anyone help me please? I would appreciate it. Thank you.

By the way, I'm dosing EI 20 gallon rated for my 40 gallon because I have low mass and moss doesn't seem to consume much nitrates at all. I have a lot of accessive nitrates.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 02:55 AM
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What kind of lighting?
Pressurized co2?

Brian

Equipment: 55g, 3x 9watt tt uv, 2-xp3's, pressurized co2, inline co2 reactor, 216 watt catalina t5 fixture, milwaukee ph controller, 300 watt hydor inline heater, aqua soil
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PRESTON4479 View Post
What kind of lighting?
AH Supply 96 watt shoplights

2.5~ wpg (its not 2.5 but I just round it to the nearest )

Its not the lights. Also, if you did click on the link I told you where I originally posted the question, it should tell you all of my other specs.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 03:08 AM
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Maybe decrease no3 and po4. Increase so4. Your plants will tell you if something is wrong.

Do you use a timer with your lights? Consistency is everything.

Brian

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 03:59 AM
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Are you adding 1/4 tsp (teaspoon) or 1/4 Tbs (tablespoon). You labeled it as tsb. If you are adding 1/4 Tbs, you'd be adding ~17ppm each time, which could account for your high nitrates. You should be adding something closer to 1/4 tsp, which would only be ~5ppm each time.

Most folks try to run nitrates in the 5-20ppm range

Mike


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpodolan View Post
Are you adding 1/4 tsp (teaspoon) or 1/4 Tbs (tablespoon). You labeled it as tsb. If you are adding 1/4 Tbs, you'd be adding ~17ppm each time, which could account for your high nitrates. You should be adding something closer to 1/4 tsp, which would only be ~5ppm each time.

Most folks try to run nitrates in the 5-20ppm range
Its tsp, I got the measuring spoons so that's not an issue.

sorry mixed up on tsp with tsb and all that stuff.

I mean tsp.

So, if I have too much nitrates, can I instead of dosing 1/4th tsp, I can do 1/8th? Whats the minimum amount of nitrate I should keep it at?

Thanks folks.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:13 AM
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If you really have 40ppm, just stop dosing it for a while. There's no need to add more at this point. Like I said, anything in the 5-20ppm range will be fine. You can test periodically, which will help you get a feel for how fast your plants use the nutrients, which will help you better understand the rate at which you should add them via ferts

You should really calibrate your test kits if you haven't already. Hobby grade tests are notoriously inaccurate.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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I got nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia test kits from API, is that not good enough?

I did test it out with fresh tap water and it showed 0 nitrates, which is accurate isn't it?

What happens if my nitrates are too low?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natty View Post
I got nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia test kits from API, is that not good enough?

I did test it out with fresh tap water and it showed 0 nitrates, which is accurate isn't it?

What happens if my nitrates are too low?
Any test kit could be inaccurate. It's not a good idea to just trust them blindly. You can just make the calibration solution to be sure that yours is working accurately. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...solutions.html

Low nitrates could cause a number of problems, including algae. Any deficiency can cause problems. The key is to ensure that the plants always have what they need to grow (N, P, K, traces, co2, light, flow, etc.) to prevent these problems. Algae thrives when the plants aren't growing well (ie. there is some factor limiting their growth). Just don't let your nitrates (or other ferts/co2) bottom out, and you should be fine. http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

Is there a specific reason why you are so worried about the nitrates?

Mike


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm new with planted tanks and after reading around here a lot, I got a bit concern about the talk of nitrates being toxic and how I should keep it low to about 20ppm or less. So I checked mines and it is 40ppm and that really surprised me.

It's not just the inhabitants that are being affected by high nitrates, its the plants too.

Or is this whole idea wrong?

I appreciate the clarification and the explanation, thank you very much.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 05:02 AM
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Well, nitrates can be harmful in very high concentrations (but, obviously, different species have different sensitivities). If you are concerned, you can just do a large water change (50% or so) and not add more back in. The fresh water will reduce the amount in the tank. Then you can monitor the changes over time, which will allow you to modify the EI regimen for your tank, like I mentioned before.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I understand. Thank you.

Oh yeah one last quick question. Do you use purigen? I was wondering if they get rid of nitrates well.

I have high nitrates in my shrimp tank which has killed quite a few and even with wc, I've still been having problems. Thanks!

I guess I stuck with EI dosing so much even with high nitrates because I was afraid that if I didn't follow it exactly, something horrible might happen like my tank getting ruined from algae.

EDIT

Oh yeah, are you the one that sold me the christmas moss or the flame moss I forgot?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 05:20 AM
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YW.

I do use Purigen. It is great stuff. It does a nice job clarifying the water. Seachem claims that it removes nitrates, but I have never seen this effect in my tanks.

If WC's aren't reducing the nitrates, then that suggests that there are nitrates in your tap, or the test kit is inaccurate. I hate to harp on it, but testing the kit will help you a lot in this case.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natty View Post

Oh yeah, are you the one that sold me the christmas moss or the flame moss I forgot?
I think it was the flame. It seems to be doing well in there

Mike


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think it was the flame. It seems to be doing well in there
It is but I think the sae's are nibbling it a bit and its getting thin because of it O.o

I just bought them awhile back too. Wonder where I should put them now lol.
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