High Nitrate on Plant only tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Angry High Nitrate on Plant only tank

I am having a 10g planted tank. I do not have any fish/shrimp on it. This is basically a test tank for me to grow HC.
I changed 80% of the water this past Wednesday night and i see 0 ammonia 0 nitrite but the nitrate level is 80ppm in just 48 hours(Friday night). I change water on Wednesday and saturday nights as i am having little issue with hair algae.
I have the tank with pressurized co2 and half the tank is filled with HC and remaining half is filled with a moss tree.
I also have a plastic soap cup with suction cup filled with extra moss.

I am just curious how would a nitrogen cycle bumps up nitrates from zero on Wednesday night to 80ppm on Friday night. Just 48 hours and i am using DI method dosing and i have dosed 1 time micro and 1 time macro after the wednesday water change.

Any thoughts on how? I have a wonderful betta on another small 2g tank, but i would like to see the betta on this 10g. I am definitely not putting it now without finding out why nitrates raises to such high level on the 10g.

I will try to measure the parameters again sometime tomorrow when the lights are up.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 07:27 AM
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That's the way to go when you feel something is wrong, yes keep your betta safe.

Nitrate test kits are not very accurate even at their best which is if you have tested it against calibrated concentrations of nitrates. A reading of 80ppm is still alarming when you had a zero reading and could not have exceed an added 20ppm. Remember to do the test carefully after shaking the reagents well in their bottles.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 12:53 PM
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Hello sat...

Commercial fertilizers can mess up the water chemistry, especially in small tanks because there's very little water to dilute them. If you want to make the tank safe for your fish, then stop using the commercial ferts and change just half the water every three to four days. This will steady the water chemistry and the tank will be safe for your fish. Feed the fish a balanced diet and the wastes it produces will feed the plants naturally.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 03:24 PM
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Are you using the estimative index? EI?

Are you dissolving the ferts in water then dosing the tank with the water?

a) Perhaps you measured the ferts wrong. (used tablespoons where the recipe calls for teaspoons?)
b) Perhaps you dosed the tank wrong.
c) Perhaps the test is wrong. I have a very hard time seeing the different colors once it passes 40ppm. Still, even 40ppm is a LOT.

Ways to check the test kit:
~Put just 1ml of aquarium water in the test tube, and add 4ml of distilled or reverse osmosis water. Then multiply the result by 5.
~Fill a 5 gallon bucket with tap water (as long as you know it has no NO3) (perhaps 4.5 gallons- since a 10 gallon tank does not hold 10 gallons) and dose 1/4 of the amount that you put in the tank. Stir well, then test. It should come out to 40ppm.

What I would do:
1) 2 x 50% water changes, then test NO3 again.
2) Not dose any more until the NO3 is well under 20ppm, and actually, I do not dose until it is down to about 5ppm.

What substrate are you using? Could it be producing ammonia? (Which is then converted to NO3)
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Diana,
I am using EI method and i have prepared a 500ml stock and the recommendation is 20ml for 10g, but i dose 15ml every day.
I bought them from GLA.

I have eco complete on the 10g.

https://www.thenutrientcompany.com/a...ei_calculator/
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 03:57 AM
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Unless your tank is fully planted there is no way it will absorb the nitrate that EI recommends. Pics of the tank would help.

I use a quarter of what EI recommends in most my tanks they are heavily planted but i overstock all my tanks, therefore my fish are adding nitrate.

What light are you using and what is your Par?

Bump: Unless your tank is fully planted there is no way it will absorb the nitrate that EI recommends. Pics of the tank would help.

I use a quarter of what EI recommends in most my tanks they are heavily planted but i overstock all my tanks, therefore my fish are adding nitrate.

What light are you using and what is your Par?

Bump: Unless your tank is fully planted there is no way it will absorb the nitrate that EI recommends. Pics of the tank would help.

I use a quarter of what EI recommends in most my tanks they are heavily planted but i overstock all my tanks, therefore my fish are adding nitrate.

What light are you using and what is your Par?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 07:09 PM
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I was lost for a second on the DI. I was thinking the O.P is referring to EI as well. There are several dosing regime around here for EI amounts to dose. You can start there ad adjust as needed. If your using EI and your putting in nitrate, as mentioned above, the plants will not consume all the nitrate. Therefore, it will build up. I had this problem in my 125g growout. I just added cherry but before I did, I test the nitrates and it was 80ppm. I had to do a 50% water change and the nitrates barely moved. It took 2 days for it to get to 10-20 ppm. So just cut back on the EI nitrate dosing or stop dosing it until your tank catches up.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 02:46 PM
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For anyone who thinks fertilizing tanks - of any size - is bad and that commercial fertilizers should be avoided, use the search function here on the forum.

There are thousands of us doing just that. Using "commercial" and other dry ferts. Many of us for decades upon decades.


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