How important is nitrate for plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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How important is nitrate for plants?

I have a 29g tank about half full of plants. the nitrate level has been 0 for weeks. i have tried several different test and even let my friends and lps test the water. always comes up 0. the plants look fine and grow good but do i need to add nitrate?

im using diy c02 and lightly dosing seachems, iron, flourish,excel, and trace. i dose 2x a week not all at once and not as much as needed really, maybe equal to a 20g in dosing amounts. everythng is fine just want to know if the nitrate is needed? or wpuld the plants do better if i do dose it?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 03:49 AM
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i would say it's very important put some fish in there


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 06:18 AM
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The problem I see here is that you're giving the plants light, CO2, and tons of micro nutrients apparently, but no macros. The iron, excel, and trace are all micros. Your main macros would be nitrate, potassium, and phosphorus (NPK), and it seems that you're not dosing any of them. Basically leading to a nutrient imbalance for the plants. You may not see any effects now, but you'll probably see effects eventually especially if you don't have fish and arent feeding anything in the tank. Fish food and animal waste will contribute to necessary nutrients, but possibly not enough.

You don't mention the intensity of your lighting. If you have low to low/medium lighting you'll probably be fine, and might actually consider reducing your fert dosing (I'm not sure the Trace is necessary really). However, if you're at or over 2wpg on your 29gallon tank, I think macro dosing is necessary and you'll see an improvement in plant growth once you start up.

Of course nothing is written in stone, and dependent on your substrate (walstead method, for example) and how demanding your plants are, you could luck out and never have a fert issue.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
are you experienced?
 
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i knew i should have added to the 1st post but i didnt duh on my part!!

the tank has 75% eco complete for substrate and the rest estes blk rocks.

40 ember tetras and 5 shrimp, ghost and minamis

the wpg is a mystery to me lol,

im using 6 spiral flor. all 15 watts ( 60 watts ) so really its 90 watts actual wattage.
i was using 4- 15 watters and 2- 24watt (100 replacements) but the 6- 15 watts seems to work better for 6hrs, algae started when using the 23 watts ( 100 watt) for 6hrs

the plants are

25 stems hyro sunset 12-16"
12 stems lim. aromatica 12-16"
15 stems rotala macandra 12"
6 stems ludwigia repens 10"
about a 10" x 10" subwassertang
golf ball of taiwan and flame moss
6" by 3" riccia, not growing that fast, slow grower!!!
4 downoi 2"

i dose iron, excel and florish 1x a week
trace, iron 1x a week
2 diy c02's
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 10:19 PM
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2 wpg, CO2, tons of plants, and you're dosing everything except macros... normally one would expect that to lead to all kinds of algae and plant malnutrition. But, if everything is working out fine for you, then dont touch it. But, if you do start seeing signs of deficiencies, I'd lay down 20 bucks and buy dry NPK and start dosing macros.

Good motto: If it aint broke, dont fix it. (Edit: I'd never apply this to the care of an animal. Also, I started dosing EI before I saw any signs of deficiency, however, I don't think that the dosing regimes we tend to dictate on this site are necessarily the end-all be-all and the only way for plants to succeed.)

Last edited by FrostyNYC; 06-02-2008 at 01:23 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:50 AM
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i dont think the term if it ain't broke dont fix it applys to fish tanks no offense, but just because there are not any problems now does not mean there there are not going to be any. With no NPK there will eventually be some sort of deficiencies and lots of algae. Just my .02

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replys i need to get some, would the dry fert be better than he liquid? ive never bought any before
i dont want defficency for sure! i tryin to get a pressurized co2 system now to help me some!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by customdrumfinishes View Post
thanks for the replys i need to get some, would the dry fert be better than he liquid? ive never bought any before
i dont want defficency for sure! i tryin to get a pressurized co2 system now to help me some!
Dry is cheaper and will last longer. Plus if you prefer dosing a liquid rather than powder, you can create a solution with it by adding the powder to water.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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do i have to worry about the shrimp in the tank when dosing nitrates?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:43 PM
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shrimp should be fine with liquid or dry ferts
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