Where is the nitrate ?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Where is the nitrate ??

I'm 3 weeks into cycling a 38g tank.
I'm dosing 1ml of ammonia daily which gives me 0.50 ppm. The ammonia reading goes to zero over night. The nitrite seems locked at 2.0 ppm.
The nitrate from my well water is 20 ppm which goes down to 5 ppm over the course of a few days.
The tank is heavily planted, but I thought that by this time the nitrates should have spiked or increased a significant amount.
Any thoughts ???
No fish. Plants are taking hold real nice like.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 06:35 PM
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The reason this is happening is your plants are sucking up the nitrates.
Which is a good thing..
Glad the plants are doing good..

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 09:41 PM
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Not wanting to point out the obvious but you are correct to question. Perhaps not , "where are the nitrate" but why still, nitrite. Assuming the test is true, still having nitrite would indicate the cycle is still not complete.
If you are getting nitrite, group one of the bacteria is on the job, but where is group two? Perhaps just slow to show up?
Maybe a small temperature change would speed them a bit?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:22 PM
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What PRich said. I think he is on the mark.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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All very good answers.
After a week of high Nitrites and ammonia being consumed, I would expect to see activity with the nitrates.
The plants are sucking down the 20ppm nitrates that come from the water source, but I would expect to see the value rise over what plants could control by this time.
That's why the question.
Is this normal, or am I seeing some kind of stall?
I'll bump the heat.
Thanks
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 04:38 AM
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The second group of bacteria, the ones that remove nitrite are very slow growing.
They do not mind it if the NO2 approaches 5 ppm, so your level of 2 ppm is not a problem for them.
Still, you could do a water change just in case the many species of microorganisms and the plants have used up some mineral or salt that they might need.

Raising the temperature can make them grow faster. Make sure the oxygen level is kept high, too.

Think about this:
You are adding ammonia daily.
The plants use some, and the first population of bacteria are turning some of it into nitrites.

But the nitrite level is not rising.

So some of the nitrite IS getting turned into NO3. Or the plants are using it. (Yes, plants can use NO2).

But the NO3 is going down (no matter if it comes from the tap water or from the ammonia>nitrite>nitrate bacteria. It is getting removed by the plants.

Anyway, yes, the nitrifying bacteria are still growing. Give them the optimum conditions to grow as fast as possible, and the cycle ought to be complete pretty soon.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
The second group of bacteria, the ones that remove nitrite are very slow growing.
They do not mind it if the NO2 approaches 5 ppm, so your level of 2 ppm is not a problem for them.
Still, you could do a water change just in case the many species of microorganisms and the plants have used up some mineral or salt that they might need.

Raising the temperature can make them grow faster. Make sure the oxygen level is kept high, too.

Think about this:
You are adding ammonia daily.
The plants use some, and the first population of bacteria are turning some of it into nitrites.

But the nitrite level is not rising.

So some of the nitrite IS getting turned into NO3. Or the plants are using it. (Yes, plants can use NO2).

But the NO3 is going down (no matter if it comes from the tap water or from the ammonia>nitrite>nitrate bacteria. It is getting removed by the plants.

Anyway, yes, the nitrifying bacteria are still growing. Give them the optimum conditions to grow as fast as possible, and the cycle ought to be complete pretty soon.
Great explanation. I am pleased with the plant's progress, having not gone through an adjusting die-off, and sending new growth out.
Past attempts years ago were not as successful. Knowledge is always helpful in doing the right thing.
I'm getting jacked to put some fish in thjere.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 01:47 PM
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If you still have a nitrite reading then your tank is not cycled.
Plants are probably absorbing the nitrate.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 12:19 PM
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Tell whoever wants the fish to research their fish wish list to make sure they are making compatible choices. Meanwhile you are busy raising bacteria.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Touchdown !!!!!
Nitrites dropped to zero.
I had added Prime the day before to nutralize the toxic effects so fish could be added. Seachem say's it's prime will not alter readings, so I guess it's a coincidence that the nitrites zero'd out.
So now there are 2 otto's and 3 Flame Gouramis swimming around.
Thanks for all the hand holding.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 02:00 PM
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Too bad there was no fish research done.

Gouramis are aggressive, territorial fish that ought not be kept in groups. One per tank is best.
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