Thank you everyone for your feedback and advice.
In a dramatic turn
of events I followed @carlsj2012
advise and shook the nitrate test kit bottles vigorously before testing again... it turns out I have high nitrate
levels around 40.
This is an eye opener! I will continue monitoring but my changes going forward are as follows:
- Less fish food (I have likely been overfeeding. see below)
- 2 squirts of fertilizer after water change (down from 4. This contains nitrate)
- 2 squirts on wednesday (up from 1)
- 50% weekly water changes (up from 35)
- I tested 0-3 nitrate before my water change. I added 4 squirts thrive after water change and 2 days later now have read 40ppm
- Shaking the test bottles
What's the ideal nitrate level to target for a planted tank?
My fish seem to eat a lot. In 2-3 minutes they eat a large pinch of spirulina flakes + small pinch of mixed flakes + small pinch of pellets. Is this too much per feeding if feeding twice daily?
Bump: @Willcooper One area I noticed a plant deficiency was the bacopas lower leaves all died off from the bottom half of the plants. Anyone have any thoughts on that? I was thinking probably lack of lighting but have no idea.
@Carlsj2012 Thanks! It's a 55 gallon tank (48" wide)