No nitrates in a planted tank question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
art_t's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 101
No nitrates in a planted tank question

Sorry for a silly sounding question. I've tried to google this answer but I can't seem to find an answer to this question.

This is my first time having a planted tank (I had a non planted tank for 3 years prior to this). My new tank has been up and running for 5 weeks and it's planted w/ various swords, crypts & stem plants, all of which are growing very well. I'm dosing macro & micro nutrients (alternating 3 day macro, 3 day micro, flourish excel, saturday is no fert day). I have 6 angelfish in the tank which is 75g. I do a 30% pwc on Sunday. From the very beginning of setting up the tank I have never had nitrates. Every time I test for nitrates I get 0 ppm. So, is this normal with a planted tank, does having 0 nitrates effect a planted tank, and if yes in what ways? Does it mean that the tank is lacking something, or is 0 nitrates a good thing? Thank you for helping me understand this.
art_t is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 09:50 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,241
This was very confusing for me at the start of my most recent tank. I had never had a plant focused tank before, and I kept measuring and measuring for nitrates. I don't measure ammonia or nitrites when I'm cycling, because it's a waste of time, IMO.

Long story short: This is normal. You are nitrate deficient. Whether that is a problem is another story, and is up to you on how much time, work and money you want to put into the tank.

My advice: Learn how to grow the plants you have. I skipped this step, and the learning curve I'm on is steeper than I expected.

65 gallon journal:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
kid creole is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 10:23 PM
Avi
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Avi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 405
If your plants are growing well and you have no algae issues, art, then more than likely either your nitrate test kit is faulty and giving you a reading that isn't showing the true nitrate level in your water, or you have the tank so perfectly balanced all the time that the exact amount of nitrates that your plant population, within the CO2 and lighting environment that they're in, is consuming, with thorough efficiency, all of the nitrates that you're putting into the tank and need no more than you're giving them. The second of these possibilities as highly unlikely so I wonder about your test kit's accuracy.
Avi is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
art_t's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 101
Thank you for your responses! I have used this particular nitrate test kit on my old tank which from time to time tested positive for nitrates (this was in the non planted tank). This is why I figured the test kit wasn't faulty. It's a dropper test kit by API. I also tried the stick test strips today and the nitrates on the stick test were barely detectable as well.

So, if I'm nitrate deficient will it show in the plants and in what way? Will nitrate deficiency have a bad effect on my fish? Today I noticed some green algae dots on the inside of the glass. It was hard to see, but they are beginning to show up.
art_t is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:07 AM
Avi
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Avi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 405
Nitrate deficienfy is certainly no threat to fish at all. Plant do need it to photosynthesize, though. Take a look at these sites...they will give you relevant information regarding nitrogen (nitrate) deficiency:

http://www.finostrom.com.gr/images/a...lizers/map.htm

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm
Avi is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:13 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Minsc's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 1,106
What are your lights, what are you doing for CO2, and what are you dosing?
It could be that you are providing enough NO3, and your plants are taking it all in. Plants can absorb more nutrients than they actually need.
It is also possible your plants aren't getting enough, and will start developing deficiencies soon.

Also, what is your substrate?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Minsc is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
art_t's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 101
Avi, thank you for the links!!! I will certainly do some reading.

Tank parameters are:
75g, 108 watts (I have 3 separate fluorescent light fixtures. 2 fixtures have T8 bulbs @ 5,000k, 1 fixture has T12 bulb at 6,500k).
Eco Complete substrate
Plants include amazon swords, red melon swords, red flame swords, bronze wendtii, florida sunset wendtii, hygro, tiger lotus bulbs, ludwigia repens, vallisneria, driftwood.
Ferts include: Macro on Sunday, Tue, Thurs, (I mixed dry ferts into distilled H2O as per PPS Pro instructions). Micro fert is regular flourish on Mon, Wed, Friday. Sunday through Friday I also dose Flourish Excel. Saturday is no fert day. I just started this schedule last week though.
No CO2 (although I have everything needed to do pressurized CO2 if and when I'm ready).

Thank you for helping me to understand this. So much needs to be considered w/ a planted tank. And I'm glad low nitrates won't effect my fish. If I HAD to choose between fish or plants, I would choose my fish. Their well being is my first concern.
art_t is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:55 AM
I ♥ BBA!
 
sewingalot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (112/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 12,768
It really sounds like you should calibrate the test kit to see if it is working. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-chemists.html

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sewingalot is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 01:39 AM
Avi
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Avi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 405
Art...it's just a matter of time before you figure it all out. Right now, your tank is doing well so I don't think there's anything to be alarmed about. Your light isn't very intense at approximately 1.4-watts per gallon so if your plants are doing well, then there isn't too much to hope for more than that. But, if your tank really doesn't have any available nitrates along with only 1.4-wpg you'll more than likely run into algae problems since the plants will start to slow down their growth and adventitious algaes can take a foothold. So, overall, I'd suggest that you get another nitrate test kit or at least bring a sample of your tank's water to a reliable local fish store and ask them to test your water for you.
Avi is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:00 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Minsc's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 1,106
PPS pro adds very low levels of nitrates, as does feeding the fish. It sounds like a good plan. As long as the plants appear healthy, I don't see any reason to change anything.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Minsc is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
art_t's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 101
OK. Thank you for all your help. I'm not planning on changing anything but now I know I need to keep an eye out for algae. So, that's what I'll do. Thanks again!
art_t is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome