Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Central New York, USA
In general, nitrates should be lower in a planted tank as plants will (and prefer to) use ammonia as their nitrogen source. So some ammonia is not converted to nitrites, then nitrates by BB. It's a bit odd that you would suddenly discover 0 nitrates so I wonder about the test.
Like fish, Plants need food. I suspect that since you weren't doing any ferts, the plants used up available nutrients in the water and began to fail.
....so, I don't know if you need an additional filter, but modest ferts for plants would be good.
Although plants help make the water more pure, it's likely debatable as to whether adding plants equates to adding more stock, although all things being equal, I suppose the claim could be made.
What type of HOB do you have? I would not add another if it has a filter pad/cartridge. I don't care for filters with filter cartridge pads. I think the Aquaclear and the new Seachem Tidal are a much better HOD types allowing us to control the media content (and for what it's worth, I prefer bio-sponge as both mechanical and bio-media).
Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.
What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.
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