Nitrates on overstocked planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrates on overstocked planted tank

Hey guys, first post! And I have a few questions

I bought a cheapy co2 drop checker from ebay, its super green. Does that mean Im getting enough co2? I know everyone says it's not a good idea for a bigger tank but Im impatient like that (month away from getting injected!) No obvious BBA, a little bit in the tip of my Crypts, aromatica, dwarf sag and driftwood. Im also getting a little of that spotted green algae, but with a little elbow grease it comes right off. The problem is my aromatica isnt doing so hot right now compared to b4 without co2. Am I doing anything wrong? Nitrates are super high 80-160ppm as of last sunday lol but as of last Tuesday it was around 40-80ish. It spiked up when i started DIY last week. Any tips? Should I be worried with the nitrates? I read somewhere I should skip KNO3 since I am overstocked.

75g
Eco complete
Dual t5 Hos
Marineland hidden led
Dry fert macros 2x/wk
Flourish iron 1x/wk
Glut 3x/wk
Flourish 1x/wk
Super duper overstocked
3 canister filter
4 DIY bottle reactor 3-4 bps, chopstick diffuser, fed to a powerhead

STOCK LIST
1 - pearl gourami
4 - rams
2 - Red Irian Rainbowfish
8 - Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
20 - Neon Tetras
15 - Harlequin Rasboras
12 - glolite tetra
8 - Cory cats
4 - Otocinclus
1 - Mystery snail

Here's a vid of the tank 3 weeks ago when I haven't started DIY Co2, it has changed a little stockwise. I appreciate any input!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TI8-Xudiao
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 05:57 AM
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Nitrates can be a problem, although there's no universally agreed upon number what is too high other than "well over 20 ppm"...

That said, before you worry, nitrate tests are notorious for reading *way* higher than actual... (my API nitrate test reads about 6 time higher than actual.. ie: 3ppm reads around 20ppm)

So have you tested your test? If not, take it with a bit of a grain of salt:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83545

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 01:56 PM
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Water changes are about the only way and the best way to lower nitrates. I have tank that goes over 40 ppm and been doing 50% w/c per week to keep it in check. Canister filters are known to create lots of nitrates and your running three on your tank.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 02:11 PM
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Rapid plant growth also removes nitrate, but it would take a lot of plant growth to deal with a heavily overstocked tank.

That said, why would canister filters create nitrates any more than any other filter? What would they be creating them from? Ammonia fish waste? All tanks do that, so is there more to it?

Why would adding more filters increase their production of nitrate? How is a second or third canister adding more nitrogen to the system?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2015, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Canister filters are known to create lots of nitrates...
Well, do you want the ammonia to stay as ammonia? Does not matter what kind of filter there is on the tank. If you add nitrogen as protein it will go through the nitrogen cycle and end up as nitrate. Good thing, too. The intermediate steps (ammonia and nitrite) are toxic.

If the NO3 is a true reading, and it is coming from fish food (at least the 40-80 ppm is probably from fish food) then fish food also supplies:
N, P but not K
Somewhat lacking in Ca
Low Fe, but OK for the other trace minerals.

So, count the fish food as fertilizer, and reduce the other fertilizers where fish food is a good supply.
If you get such high nitrates from fish food, then you can assume the phosphate and traces (except for iron) are good, too.
If the GH of the water is at least 3 degrees, then assume the Ca and Mg are OK, too.

Bottom line:
More and larger water changes.
Callibrate the NO3 tests.
Adjust ferts to account for the fact that you are already adding ferts in the form of fish food. Probably just dose K and Fe.
When you get the CO2 squared away the plants may start using the fish food more effectively, so monitor the levels with whatever tests you have.
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