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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a good idea on how much nitrates should be in my tank if I have Cardinals and Crystal Red Shrimp? I just bought a test kit and just as I thought my tank is nitrate depleted (which in one way is great). I know my glosso will benefit from nitrates but I'm concerned with how much my shrimp and fish could handle.. if it was just danios I wouldn't care, but I really want things to go well for my cardinals and shrimp.
 

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You could have 40 ppm of nitrate in your tank, and it wouldn't harm the fish or shrimp. Actually, you could probably go even higher, but 40 ppm is about how high it would be at worst if you dose following the EI method.

If you want to use that nitrate test kit to decide how much nitrate to add, you have to calibrate it first. No test device can be assumed to be accurate unless you calibrate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I tested the water with the test kit and I had a gut feeling it was off so I tested my tap water which the test kit reported it had 15ppm... Making the assumption that there shouldn't be any nitrates in the water I subtracted 15 from my tank's water reading placing me at 25ppm.

Do you think I did alright?
 

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Does anyone have a good idea on how much nitrates should be in my tank if I have Cardinals and Crystal Red Shrimp? I just bought a test kit and just as I thought my tank is nitrate depleted (which in one way is great). I know my glosso will benefit from nitrates but I'm concerned with how much my shrimp and fish could handle.. if it was just danios I wouldn't care, but I really want things to go well for my cardinals and shrimp.
I dosed 45 ppm per week, 15ppm 3x a week on my 180 for 2 years, packed full of 120 fat healthy cardinals.

I'll let you decide.

CRS: started with 12, ended up with 40-45 12 months later dosing full EI on a 40 gal.

Both species die for many OTHER reasons than NO3 which, by in large, it relatively non toxic.

I'd wager 10,000% more deaths occur with poor CO2 management for both species as far as plant specific additions go.

However, changes in KH, Temps, pre existing diseases, Cardinals are notorious for complete wipe outs even with dosing or plants involved(as are CRS's). Unless you test and isolate specifically for NO3 vai KNO3 dosing, you cannot say ANYTHING.

Given the fact they do extremely well over time, and bred, while dosing the KNO3.........both species do not appear to have any issues with the NO3 in and of themselves.

Perhaps something made them less susceptible. This is not likely as I dose high traces and kept warmer than optimal tempos for the CRS's and the Cards always have warmer water, 82-84F (less and they do not do as well for me).

I think NO3 is a myth until you start going over 30-40ppm etc.
Even there, this is speculation for myself. But as far as plant needs and dosing, 10+/- ppm of NO3 should not be that tough to do whether you use a test kit or water changes.

So better management of NO3 will help, better testing or better water changes and dosing frequency etc, then focus elsewhere for any issues(temp).

I would NOT keep these two species together(Are you?).
CRS's do better at lower temps, Cards, at higher temps, a 10 F spread is common.(CRS: 60-74F, Cards say 82-88F)

I kept the CRS's at 79 F for a year, they got into the 80's and 90's during the summer, but did not breed and mortality was more likely.
I think 78-79 is the upper range for them.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate your responses Tom and Hoppy, and yes I am keeping them together and also realize CRS do better in lower temps and cards vise versa. I'm going to maintain a temp of 75 degrees and risk the cards.

My C02 is DIY but I meticulously change it out every week (2-2liters I change every other one every week) , and I know that for the last two months it hasn't gotten too high (no gasping even in the morning) and yet is still growing plants efficiently. My PH is also consistently 6.4; unfortunately I haven't had the money to buy hardness tests to give an accurate reading of CO2 in ppm.

I won't be able to invest in a good CO2 system till early next year so that's just what I have to work with.

I do a 50% water change every week though and my water quality seems pristine. Its been 3 days with no loss of Cardinals that I bought and they appear to be healthy and happy.. whatever that means... :icon_smil
 

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I'd not bother with keeping the cards, go with Cherry shrimp instead.
They are tougher, nice color, breed like flies.

You really are not going to have the good health and they are much more prone to poor eating and ick at lower temps.

Mine will not eat at 78F or less. They beg and eat like pigs at 82-88F. Not shy about horking food down no matter what is offered.
Hopefully the cards will make it at 75F.

Good CO2 is going to be the biggest issue, not KNO3 dosing etc, that much is clear. Better to consider a non CO2 approach if CO2 cannot be done and managed well.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well, unfortunately the shrimp are waiting for me at home... just arrived so I think I have a resolution.. 1. I'll raise the temp to 82 for the Cardinals 2. Order some cherries 3. Enjoy the the CRS while they last VIOLA! :hihi:

Ok, forget that. CRS just gave me an excuse to start a new 10 gallon. The woman will just have to get over it!
 
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