Is it a problem that I have no nitrates? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Is it a problem that I have no nitrates?

I have 0 nitrates. Is that a problem for my plants? They seem fine but they are a little discolored.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 12:53 AM
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In short yes. Nitrates are like plant fertilizer. It's their source of nitrogen. Without it, they will not grow and leaves the door open for cyanobacteria to come in(BGA). Start dosing nitrogen somehow. You want to shoot for 5 to 10ppm nitrate minimum.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 12:59 AM
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you want your nitrates between 5 and 10 ppm.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Do you have any idea why they are at 0? And also how could I get them up?
Thanks for the replies
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 08:59 AM
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First, re-check: testing for nitrate can be tricky, follow the instructions. You do need to shake the tube for 1 min to get reasonable results.

I do keep one of my tank at 0 - the plants used it all up would be one reason.
Another reason would be un-cycled tank, do check for ammonia and nitrite.

If everything is good, overfeed the tank abit for 2-3 days and test again. You might also look into fertilization - tons of posts on the subject here.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 01:03 PM
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Are you sure your tank is cycled? You would not have Nitrates yet if your tank has not cycled.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 01:25 PM
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No Nitrates

Hello Sach...

Nitrates in the 20 to 40 ppm range are pretty normal and are good for your plants. You can add a few small fish to the tank, just research them and see what will get along with the fish you have. You can also add some "trace elements" or micro nutrients to the water to supplement the fertilizer your fish produce.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Of course it's cycled... It has been for a good 5 months. I have 13 fish. 8 danios 5 five banded barbs and 2 zebra snails. I know about adding the nutrients but I've got really complicated advice about macro and micros. I need a really simple guide on how to make all in one macro and micro ferts myself. Do you have any idea why I have 0 nitrates? The tank is cycled and well established. I have 13 fish so there is enough ammonia being fed to the bacteria...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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So on further reading it looks like I need some KNo3. I really just need someone to explain clearly exactly what my plants will need, and the best way to give it to them. I get that they need potassium, nitrogen, and carbon. But no one has really explained the most sensible way of giving them this, or what else they may need...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 03:27 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html is a good scheme for dosing what the plants need.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 06:28 AM
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I too had 0 nitrates which caused a bad bga outbreak and my java fern leaves turned black. I started dosing ferts as recommended by hoppy and problem solved along with my plants growth and color improving. Low nitrates = bga in my tanks and i highly suggest dosing as recommended .
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