PPS-Pro and low nitrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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PPS-Pro and low nitrates

I've been dosing PPS-Pro in a 30 gallon for the last couple weeks, and testing my nitrates every other day. Each time I test my nitrates, it always shows zero. I read that I should have at least 10 ppm of nitrates for plants, but it's always showing zero.

I've been dosing 3 ML or the micro and macros in my 30 gallons (upped to 4 ML 2 days ago)

Any reason why I am still seeing zero nitrates? Should I be upping it even further?

Currently I have the following plants in there:

Baby Tears
Java ferns
Anubis
Xmas Moss
blyxa japonica

Live stock:

4 Otos
Colony of Red Fire shrimp
5 Neon Tetras

Any help would be great.

Thanks!


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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
I've been dosing PPS-Pro in a 30 gallon for the last couple weeks, and testing my nitrates every other day. Each time I test my nitrates, it always shows zero. I read that I should have at least 10 ppm of nitrates for plants, but it's always showing zero.

I've been dosing 3 ML or the micro and macros in my 30 gallons (upped to 4 ML 2 days ago)

Any reason why I am still seeing zero nitrates? Should I be upping it even further?

Currently I have the following plants in there:

Baby Tears
Java ferns
Anubis
Xmas Moss
blyxa japonica

Live stock:

4 Otos
Colony of Red Fire shrimp
5 Neon Tetras

Any help would be great.

Thanks!

How long has the tank been setup?

And

If you are using the API test kit, then read the instructions...need to shake, shake, shake the 2nd bottle for a MINIMUM of 30 seconds. If your arm isn't tired after...then you're not shaking hard enough or fast enough!


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Last edited by Naja002; 08-03-2014 at 01:02 AM. Reason: astheni
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 01:48 AM
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Your bio load is very small, so their not producing much to create nitrate in nitrogen cycle. Plants will suck up nitrates quickly if growing properly. You will probably have to add nitrates to the tank.
Pick up a bag of KNO3, and dose until you reach around 5-10PPM, then test daily to see how much it drops. Then dose back until you maintain the desired amount.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by foster View Post
Your bio load is very small, so their not producing much to create nitrate in nitrogen cycle. Plants will suck up nitrates quickly if growing properly. You will probably have to add nitrates to the tank.
Pick up a bag of KNO3, and dose until you reach around 5-10PPM, then test daily to see how much it drops. Then dose back until you maintain the desired amount.
I am already dosing KN03 purchased from Green Leaf

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...r-package.html

In the 500 ML dosing bottles that were given, I added KNO3 Ė 33 grams as recommended by Green Leaf.

Each day, I dose about 3 ML from the Macro and Micro bottles, and still shows zero nitrates. Should I start dosing more?


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 02:47 AM
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+1 with foster
But what Naja002 asked, how long has it been set up...because the list of plants points in a not so good of a direction. Either eventually it is likely to have algae issues
or at least the low light plants will suffer/w algae on the leaves quite a bit if they have the light high enough for the two high light plants or if it's not high enough those two will seem to not want to grow for you. Mostly just thinking out loud cause it may be balanced right for all of them.
But I just looked at your link and if that is the tank in question, it does cover the Fern in shade and I suspect the anubia also.
See what I get for thinking out loud.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...

Last edited by Raymond S.; 08-03-2014 at 03:01 AM. Reason: But I just looked...
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
+1 with foster
But what Naja002 asked, how long has it been set up...because the list of plants points in a not so good of a direction. Either eventually it is likely to have algae issues
or at least the low light plants will suffer/w algae on the leaves quite a bit if they have the light high enough for the two high light plants or if it's not high enough those two will seem to not want to grow for you. Mostly just thinking out loud cause it may be balanced right for all of them.
But I just looked at your link and if that is the tank in question, it does cover the Fern in shade and I suspect the anubia also.
See what I get for thinking out loud.
Actually, my point was more along:

"I've been dosing PPS-Pro in a 30 gallon for the last couple weeks,..."

Is the tank even cycled yet? Maybe it's only been going for 2 weeks. Maybe it's been going for 20 yrs, but they have only been "dosing PPS-Pro for 2 weeks". I missed that mind-reading course.

Maybe the:

Baby Tears
Xmas Moss
blyxa japonica

are sucking up the lean PPS-Pro nitrates.

I know it was a very difficult question for the OP to answer, so, maybe, I'll get my crystal ball back out of the shop soon and be able to use it and some clairvoyance to locate the answer.

Moving on now...


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
Actually, my point was more along:

"I've been dosing PPS-Pro in a 30 gallon for the last couple weeks,..."

Is the tank even cycled yet? Maybe it's only been going for 2 weeks. Maybe it's been going for 20 yrs, but they have only been "dosing PPS-Pro for 2 weeks". I missed that mind-reading course.

Maybe the:

Baby Tears
Xmas Moss
blyxa japonica

are sucking up the lean PPS-Pro nitrates.

I know it was a very difficult question for the OP to answer, so, maybe, I'll get my crystal ball back out of the shop soon and be able to use it and some clairvoyance to locate the answer.

Moving on now...
Perhaps the tank is the one in the link. It says on it that tha date is 7/13/14 and in the text it says I have had it set up for two weeks.
That wold put it at one month now so perhaps that is connected to the low nitrates assuming it is THE tank.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
I am already dosing KN03 purchased from Green Leaf

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...r-package.html

In the 500 ML dosing bottles that were given, I added KNO3 Ė 33 grams as recommended by Green Leaf.

Each day, I dose about 3 ML from the Macro and Micro bottles, and still shows zero nitrates. Should I start dosing more?
I believe that was what he was saying. If you already do then just add more to it.
But is that tank fully cycled ? This may effect the nitrate level.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:10 AM
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Ray and Naja... I think you two scared him off lol. Paging DragonX, second page DragonX. How long has your tank been running?

The fastest way to success is patience.

Best,

Joe
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Haha no no, I was away from the computer all day.

The tank has been up for about 1.5 months and I only started dosing about 3 weeks ago when I ordered from Green leaf.

Currently the tank is fully cycled, and has a few fish in it, but about 75 fire red shrimps.

I run the tank with a Kessil 150 WE amazon sun for about 9 hours a day, with a pressurized Co2 pumping in about 25-30 ppm.

If you want to see the tank, theres a link to it in my signature

I assume the nitrates are just being sucked up by the plants, but I just wanted to make sure before increasing my dosage from 4 ML to maybe 6 ML per day.

Thoughts?

Bump: I forgot to add, each week I do a 10 gallon water change using RO DI water.


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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
Haha no no, I was away from the computer all day.

The tank has been up for about 1.5 months and I only started dosing about 3 weeks ago when I ordered from Green leaf.

Currently the tank is fully cycled, and has a few fish in it, but about 75 fire red shrimps.

I run the tank with a Kessil 150 WE amazon sun for about 9 hours a day, with a pressurized Co2 pumping in about 25-30 ppm.

If you want to see the tank, theres a link to it in my signature

I assume the nitrates are just being sucked up by the plants, but I just wanted to make sure before increasing my dosage from 4 ML to maybe 6 ML per day.

Thoughts?

Bump: I forgot to add, each week I do a 10 gallon water change using RO DI water.
I meant what I posted before about the API test kit: 1) Some people do not realize that there are 2 bottles that must be used, 2) Many do not read the instructions or simply do not do the violent 30 second minimum shaking of the 2nd bottle<--that alone would explain the continuous zero nitrates. I do not know if you are using that kit, but it is very popular...

However, you are running a highlight, high tech setup, so, yes, IMO, a 150% increase would be a good place to start. Also, keep in mind that PPS-Pro minimizes the PO4, so that may lead to problems for you.


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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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I am using the APi. I will re test later tonight when I have a little free time.

Regarding the P04, what problems can it lead to? Are you referring to the fact that i'll have too much? Or too little of P04?


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
150% increase
Naja, With all due guru respect, I just want to make sure... 4mls to 6mls is a 50% increase which is what you probably meant. A 150% increase would be 4mls to 10mls. Hate to question a guru, but want to make sure this kid doesn't make a mistake. His tank is beautifully done.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
I am using the APi. I will re test later tonight when I have a little free time.

Regarding the P04, what problems can it lead to? Are you referring to the fact that i'll have too much? Or too little of P04?
Good read...


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PHOSPHORUS IN THE AQUARIUM Ė GOOD OR BAD?

The one chemical in the aquarium that is sure to cause frowns and wrinkled faces is Phosphorus.
Phosphorus can be good AND evil, depending on the circumstances.
When present in excess quantities, Phosphorus tends to cause unwanted Ė and unsightly Ė algae growth. It seems that whenever algae begins to overwhelm a tank, it is always a matter of nutrition Ė for the algae! Algae is similar in its requirements to our desired aquarium plants. It consumes the same nutrients: Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphates, etc. But when all nutrients are present in excess quantities (i.e., there is more in the water column or in the substrate than necessary for the plantsí immediate requirements), then this is frequently followed by an unwanted increased growth of algae.
Algae can occur in many different varieties. There is green spot algae, which deposits itself on plants and on the glass. There is hair algae, which seems to be particularly difficult to control and eradicate. These two algaes seem to be the most prevalent ones, and the ones that most frequently draw complaints from aquarists.
Where do nutrients come from? Why, we add them, of course. Aquarium plant fertilizers contain most or all of the nutrients required by plants. However, most aquarium plant fertilizers deliberately omit Phosphorus (Phosphates) because they tend to encourage unwanted algae growth.
If we test our aquarium water, we still often find the unwanted presence of Phosphorus. But since we didn't add it with the fertilizer, where did it come from? Most aquarists then test their municipal water supply, and occasionally in some parts of the country, Phosphorus is present in higher than desired concentrations. (Anything beyond barely detectable is usually considered higher than desired.) But most cities precipitate out Phosphates from their water because they also donít want algae growing in their water distribution lines throughout the city.
So, if itís not coming from the fertilizer, and itís not coming from municipal water, what other source of Phosphorus can there be in the aquarium?
Fish food.
Fish food is formulated and balanced to meet the nutritional needs of fish. Fish require many nutrients to maintain their health. They require proteins to repair and build muscle tissue. They require fats for energy, and to make the fish food taste good to them. And they require Calcium and Phosphorus to build and grow their skeletons.
Most good quality commercial fish foods contain an average of approximately 0.5% - 1.0% Phosphorus. A few contain more, some others less; you can look on the fish food label to see exactly how much Phosphorus is included in your particular brand. (A glance at my favorite brand of fish food shows that it contains 0.6% Phosphorus.)
OK, so the fish are taking in Phosphorus. And they are using some, and they are discarding the excess via their waste. And an interesting phenomenon occurs in our fish: they tend to concentrate the Phosphorus in their waste.
I am unaware of any specific chemical analysis of Guppy poop, but commercial fisheries that raise agricultural and game fish have done these analysis. And it stands to reason that their findings can be applied roughly to the content of the waste of tropical fish.
Trout are raised in large quantities in commercial hatcheries, and they have been extensively tested and analyzed, since many of these Trout are destined to become food for humans. And analysis of Trout poop shows that Trout produce a poop containing an average of 2.6% Phosphorus!
Thatís a lot of Phosphorus, no doubt about it. Fortunately, if we maintain light quantities of fish in our planted aquaria, the total volume of Phosphorus will usually not be too excessive. But it IS a consideration. Additionally, if we feed excessive amounts of food to our fish, the excess will settle into the substrate and into the filter media, where it will decompose and contribute its ingredients to the water column. Worded another way, if you overfeed your fish, youíre going to contribute to excess waste buildup (including Phosphorus), and youíll likely be faced with an algae problem some day.
OK, so we know that Phosphorus in aquariums comes from fish food, fish waste, and occasionally is introduced from our municipal water. This is not usually a huge source with well-maintained city water sources, but it CAN become a problem if you get your water from wells, particularly those near agricultural operations. Farmers spread a lot of NPK fertilizer on their fields, and the P in NPK is Phosphorus. Since farm wells are not processed as are municipal water sources, you will find a few wells that introduce a lot of Phosphorus to aquariums.
Is this a problem for your planted aquarium? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. (Donít you love definitive answers?) All aquarium plants consume a lot of nutrients, and if you have sufficient numbers of healthy, hungry plants, they may be all you need to consume all the Phosphorus in your aquarium water. The more plants you maintain, the more likely this will be true. Heavily planted aquariums tend not to have significant problems with algae because the plants out-compete the algae for all nutrients, including Phosphorus.
It is unlikely that you will ever be able to eliminate ALL algae from your planted aquarium, but it IS possible to control it. Maintain as many plants as you can in your aquarium, and keep them growing briskly by feeding them quality nutrients such as Yamato Green (you KNEW there was going to be a commercial message in there somewhere, didnít you?). Donít overfeed your fish (always a wise thing to avoid), and perform regular weekly water changes (to prevent buildup of waste byproducts and to remove fish waste before it has a chance to decompose and contribute its Phosphorus to the water column). Since excess fish food frequently becomes trapped in filter media, be sure to clean the filter media regularly to prevent the waste materials from releasing their contaminants back into the water. If you use Granular Activate Carbon (GAC) in your filter (not recommended if you also add plant fertilizers), choose a high quality brand that does not leech Phosphorus back into the aquarium water. Best bet: donít run GAC at all. It just pulls your desired nutrients from the water column and can starve your plants for food.
If Phosphorus continues to show up in excessive amounts (more than 0.25% or 0.5%), try running a Phosphorus pillow in the filter box. A Phosphorus (or Phosphate) pillow will pull excess Phosphorus from the water column. Be sure to follow the product instructions, and change the pillow as instructed so that it doesnít exhaust and allow Phosphorus to build up in the water once more.
To summarize: choose a high quality aquarium plant fertilizer (of course we recommend Yamato Green) that does not contain Phosphorus as one of its ingredients. If you find two fish foods that appeal to your fish, choose the brand that has the lower Phosphorus level, and then donít overfeed. Keep as many growing plants in your aquarium as you can. Perform regular water changes. Use a Phosphate pillow only as a last resort. If algae still continues to be a problem, check your Phosphorus levels with a good quality test kit, and also check your municipal water source to see if perhaps you might be introducing Phosphorus via the water. If you do all these things, algae should be a very minor problem for your aquarium. The algae cleanup crew (SAEís, Amano Shrimp, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, American Flag Fish, etc.) should be able to handle whatever manages to survive.

The fastest way to success is patience.

Best,

Joe
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:56 AM
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Naja, With all due guru respect, I just want to make sure... 4mls to 6mls is a 50% increase which is what you probably meant. A 150% increase would be 4mls to 10mls. Hate to question a guru, but want to make sure this kid doesn't make a mistake. His tank is beautifully done.

Right, but he'll be dosing 150% total of what he was before. I was agreeing with the change from 4ml to 6ml. So, it is good that you clarified things just so there are no misunderstandings...

BTW, I'm no "guru". I still chase ghosts, and if there is a way to screw it up...I'll figure out how...

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
I am using the APi. I will re test later tonight when I have a little free time.

Regarding the P04, what problems can it lead to? Are you referring to the fact that i'll have too much? Or too little of P04?
Too little. PPS-Pro runs lean on P04. Maybe you'll be able to make it up with fish and shrimp food.


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the information everyone! I'll grab a beer, and start reading all that information you gave me Aquadawg

Regarding the P04, from my understanding, having it around .05-1 PPM should be enough. I will test for phosphate tomorrow when my LFS opens.

EI method is all about providing an abundance of everything so plants will always have everything they need. Each week, doing a 50% WC to reset the water column.

I technically should be able to mimic that with PPS-Pro (6 ML -8 ML daily, not as much as EI, but more than recommended) if I do the big water changes as well I assume. I am already doing 10 gallons once a week, that is about 30-35%. As long as I dont go overboard, 6-8 ML should be enough, and should be enough Nitrate / Phos hopefully.


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