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Hey! Long time lurker new member. I’m new to “high tech” tanks and just set up a 55 dirted with co2 and medium/high light. I’m researching the heck out of fertilizers and what would be best for me, and I’d like to have the freedom and customizability of mixing my own ferts.

A problem I’ve run into is that my tap water has ridiculously high nitrates, illegal levels. We’re in the process of figuring it out now, but according to API liquid test kit we have about 40ppm+

So, I’m a bit confused about my fertilizer needs. I know that mixing your own ferts can enable you to include and exclude things that you do and don’t need. I’m assuming I wouldn’t need any more nitrate in my fertilizer, but I’m not sure how to exclude it from my mix. Would I just not include the potassium nitrate portion of the mix? (I’m looking at green leaf aquarium’s fertilizer package)

I’ve had a bit of an algae bloom (or bacteria?) in the newly set up tank. I’m thinking it has to do with such an imbalance with such high nitrates. Any advice would be massively appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Hey! Long time lurker new member. I’m new to “high tech” tanks and just set up a 55 dirted with co2 and medium/high light. I’m researching the heck out of fertilizers and what would be best for me, and I’d like to have the freedom and customizability of mixing my own ferts.

A problem I’ve run into is that my tap water has ridiculously high nitrates, illegal levels. We’re in the process of figuring it out now, but according to API liquid test kit we have about 40ppm+

So, I’m a bit confused about my fertilizer needs. I know that mixing your own ferts can enable you to include and exclude things that you do and don’t need. I’m assuming I wouldn’t need any more nitrate in my fertilizer, but I’m not sure how to exclude it from my mix. Would I just not include the potassium nitrate portion of the mix? (I’m looking at green leaf aquarium’s fertilizer package)

I’ve had a bit of an algae bloom (or bacteria?) in the newly set up tank. I’m thinking it has to do with such an imbalance with such high nitrates. Any advice would be massively appreciated. Thanks!
Hello! You can cut your tap water in with some RO water! But yes essentially you can skip the nitrates and add the other nutrients your tank needs.

Really though, if your tap water problem isn't fixed soon, your best bet would be to mix in RO water and remineralize it. But be careful if you're going to get it from the store. A lot of stores have the filtered water refill stations. Bring a TDS meter with you. I find that a lot of those stations are not regulated as much as it should be.

Also take a look at Rotala Butterfly Nutrient Calculator. Very good tool for calculating how much nutrients you'd like to add.

Is your water looking milky or like green soup? If its milky, it might possibly be a bacterial bloom.
 

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I have a heavy stock in my tank and I also have been trying to limit my nitrate.

Correct that you would just reduce KNO3 significantly and adding your regular KH2PO4 and make up the remaining K by upping K2SO4

I have found that it has improved my algae situation, plants seem happier, reds are coming out more and I don't see too much stunting.

Another solution to your tap high nitrate if RO is a problem is to pre filter the water you're using by loading it with a bunch of quick growing plants that will suck the nitrate out of the column. I used to have a 20g bucket outside that would grow a bunch of floaters and quick growing plants and found that they stripped all the N from the water.
 

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Hey! Long time lurker new member. I’m new to “high tech” tanks and just set up a 55 dirted with co2 and medium/high light. I’m researching the heck out of fertilizers and what would be best for me, and I’d like to have the freedom and customizability of mixing my own ferts.

A problem I’ve run into is that my tap water has ridiculously high nitrates, illegal levels. We’re in the process of figuring it out now, but according to API liquid test kit we have about 40ppm+

So, I’m a bit confused about my fertilizer needs. I know that mixing your own ferts can enable you to include and exclude things that you do and don’t need. I’m assuming I wouldn’t need any more nitrate in my fertilizer, but I’m not sure how to exclude it from my mix. Would I just not include the potassium nitrate portion of the mix? (I’m looking at green leaf aquarium’s fertilizer package)

I’ve had a bit of an algae bloom (or bacteria?) in the newly set up tank. I’m thinking it has to do with such an imbalance with such high nitrates. Any advice would be massively appreciated. Thanks!
Hello! You can cut your tap water in with some RO water! But yes essentially you can skip the nitrates and add the other nutrients your tank needs.

Really though, if your tap water problem isn't fixed soon, your best bet would be to mix in RO water and remineralize it. But be careful if you're going to get it from the store. A lot of stores have the filtered water refill stations. Bring a TDS meter with you. I find that a lot of those stations are not regulated as much as it should be.

Also take a look at Rotala Butterfly Nutrient Calculator. Very good tool for calculating how much nutrients you'd like to add.

Is your water looking milky or like green soup? If its milky, it might possibly be a bacterial bloom.
Thanks for the tips. The water is milky, but honestly it’s a bit too early to tell IME, as sometimes algae blooms have looked like bacteria blooms initially. But it’s most likely bacteria as it’s so new and newly dirted. The canister I’m using was fully established for a year but perhaps the bacteria are just catching up. Good to know that I can exclude nitrate from fertilizers. I wish RO water was a greater possibility but for a 55g tank it seems really expensive and a lot of space to take up. I would prefer to manage nitrates with plants if at all possible

I have a heavy stock in my tank and I also have been trying to limit my nitrate.

Correct that you would just reduce KNO3 significantly and adding your regular KH2PO4 and make up the remaining K by upping K2SO4

I have found that it has improved my algae situation, plants seem happier, reds are coming out more and I don't see too much stunting.

Another solution to your tap high nitrate if RO is a problem is to pre filter the water you're using by loading it with a bunch of quick growing plants that will suck the nitrate out of the column. I used to have a 20g bucket outside that would grow a bunch of floaters and quick growing plants and found that they stripped all the N from the water.
Thanks a lot. I think that playing around with fertilizers and reducing or eliminating added nitrate it’s possible for me to work the nitrates down via plants. At least that’s what I hope
 
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