Nitrate Dosing Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrate Dosing Question

Hi there!
I've been reading up a lot on fertilizers the past week or so, and it's been hard to wrap my head around, but I think I've got most of it figured out. My question is related to KNO3 dosing.

If my tank is pretty well stocked, will the fish provide enough Nitrate levels for the plants daily, and do I risk overdosing and creating a harmful environment for my fish if I add more in form of a dry fertilizer? I'm already dosing P and K, as well as micros, and I'm also afraid of creating an imbalance if I don't add N on. This is a 20g long with Excel and low-medium light, so I'm only dosing lightly for the above anyway. My tap water has a KH of about 4 and a GH of around 3.

Hopefully this isn't too dumb of a question, I've gotten most of my answers searching the forum but this one is a little harder to word correctly.
I'm going to be adding German Rams soon and I've heard they're sensitive to water chemistry, so I thought I'd ask here first.
I'm doing weekly water changes between 25-40%
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 06:59 PM
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I don't use KNO3 because I'm stocked to the limit and the nitrate readings are usually 5-10ppm. Using KNO3 will not help plant growth any at these levels.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 08:21 PM
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IME dosing KNO3 does not harm fish. Even if you already have enough N for your plants through your fish stock it will not harm anything to add more KNO3. High nitrates due to dosing KNO3 is not the same as high nitrates due to dissolving organic matter/fish waste in the water column.

Honestly I have been toning down my KNO3 dosing lately because it has been told that less N causes plants to tend to become more red. There are definitely examples of users who use very little if any N dosing in high tech tanks. Right now I dose full EI and do my weekly water changes and my N levels definitely get above 30-40ppm at times. As long as my plants and fish don't show signs of illness it's all good.

My suggestion for you is to dose N and then tone it down over time like I am doing. you don't want your plants to totally starve from macro deficiency and your fish will be fine.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 10:40 PM
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Water Chemisty

Hello nose...

I can tell you for a fact that nothing keeps the water chemistry more stable than large, weekly water changes. 40 percent isn't enough, because you're still leaving most of the old, dirty, sterile water in the tank, 60 percent. If you reversed the numbers and changed out 60 percent of the water you'd only be leaving 40 percent of the old water. Any dissolved pollutants, would be diluted to a safe level in all the new water.

Fish keeping isn't rocket science. The hobby comes down to the water. If you're a good "tender of the water" and don't someday join the "water change slackers' club", you'll be successful.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! Gives me more to think about!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 10:55 PM
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I have a semi insane stock level in my tank so when I talked to nilocg about ordering ferts from him premixed, we took out the nitrogen all together and increased the potassium. Will see how this goes when I get them and start my dosing cycle.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 11:44 PM
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+1 I've always had at least 10ppm nitrates so I never dose kno3. I only dose k2so4, kh2po4, csm+b, and iron. Never had an issue with my plants doing it that way in like 5 years.

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