low nitrate even after 2 years - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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low nitrate even after 2 years

I have never been able to get a Nitrate reading above the 10 to 20ppm range. That too 20ppm was just once after I dosed a lot of Nitrogen or pottasium I guess. Almost 2 years now. Mine is a heavily planted tank with some fast growing ones like Wisteria, Ludwigia and Bacopa etc. Its a 20g Hi Tec tank. understocked at 1 inch per 2 Gallon water.


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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantetra View Post
I have never been able to get a Nitrate reading above the 10 to 20ppm range. That too 20ppm was just once after I dosed a lot of Nitrogen or pottasium I guess. Almost 2 years now. Mine is a heavily planted tank with some fast growing ones like Wisteria, Ludwigia and Bacopa etc. Its a 20g Hi Tec tank. understocked at 1 inch per 2 Gallon water.
Is there a question here I missed?
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, Sorry. The question is, Is it normal or is there a way to increase my Nitrate? Also i was trying to figure out why my nitrate remains low.


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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:13 PM
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I heard that sometimes those nitrate measurement kits go bad. If you're using the API one, I'll assume you know to furiously shake the second bottle for a half a minute before adding and pretty significantly shake the test tube for a minute after adding.


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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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yup I drop the bottle a few times before shaking it till my hand hurts.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:19 PM
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Your system is likely consuming nitrates at a level comparable to its production/supply. Unless there's deficiencies showing I would just leave it alone.

PS I bang the nitrate test kit bottle number two against the sink a few times before hitting it against my palm during the shaking session. Looks like we all have our methods to vigorously shake infamous bottle.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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That was the next thing. How will I know if my plants are getting enough of it?


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:32 PM
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There's a reason EI dosing calls for adding nitrate to the tank every other day.

Plants will quickly consume the nitrate produced in the tank otherwise.

One of my tanks has been going for 25 years. Nitrate is 0 unless I add it. Which I do, using potassium nitrate.

But if you're happy with the tank otherwise, let it be. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I use liquid fert. So any idea which one should I add to increase the level of Nitrate? I assume Nitrogen is what plants get from Nitrate so Flourish Nitrogen?


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:37 PM
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With nitrogen deficiency the new leaves can get really pale and the old leaves turn yellowish. You may get increase in algae if the plants aren't growing so well.

If you google plant deficiency images there's tons of pictures to show you.

Since you didn't mention anything weird with the plants in the first post I'm guessing there's really no issues.

KNO3 ie potassium nitrate is the simplest additive. Seachem Fluorish nitrogen has it, just diluted, in addition to other stuff (they mention urea, another common nitrogen fertilizer for plants).

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:37 PM
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I'm having the same problem. Heavily planted dutch style tank stocked at about 75%. I always get readings of 0ppm nitrates and this imbalance shows in my tank. I've thought about adding more fish, even slightly overstocking and maybe even feed a little bit more to try to increase nitrates. But most people told me the most effective and safe way is to just dose it.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:44 PM
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Just use dry ferts... KNO3 will raise nitrates
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:45 PM
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Flourish Nitrogen would work. It's expensive, though. I use potassium nitrate from a chemical supply place. Just dump the powder right in the tank.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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My plants aren showing any signs except thread algae on fast growers that are close to the lights. But I assume thats bcos of high light. Other than that the growth is really good and the new leaves are really light green. Close to yellowish green. I dose Flourish Nitrogen once in a while when Nitrate is close to 0 or water change. So basically twice a week. Will adding more fish help maintain a constant level? In my case it is varying heavily.

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Originally Posted by miataisalwaystheanswer View Post
I'm having the same problem. Heavily planted dutch style tank stocked at about 75%. I always get readings of 0ppm nitrates and this imbalance shows in my tank. I've thought about adding more fish, even slightly overstocking and maybe even feed a little bit more to try to increase nitrates. But most people told me the most effective and safe way is to just dose it.
Do you dose daily? How do you maintain the level?


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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:58 PM
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Your Tank

Hello plant...

I don't see a problem. A lot of tank keepers would like a nitrate level at 20 ppm or under. I found small tanks to be a challenge. The water chemistry can change quickly, because there's not enough water in them to dilute a mistake in tank management. I have a 20 G long I've had running for a long time and change about 60 percent of the water in it every week, sometimes more often. I actually, replace the water often enough that I was able to stop testing it. I found if I kept flushing new water through the tank weekly, there was no time for nitrogen to build up before I removed it. I never let the fish know I quit testing their tank water, though.

Don't fret over the water's chemical makeup, just change half or more every few days to keep the chemistry stable and the fish and plants will be fine.

Easy peazee.

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