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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all,

I have a 200L tank with all the back half planted and the rest I have covered with Monte Carlo carpet. I am having issues with my nitrate being around 20-25ppm.
I use RO water and do a 50% water change weekly. My ammonia and nitrite are both 0ppm. I feed once every other day and also vaccum the floor with every water change I have around 15 Cardinals, couple of amanos, 5 rummy nose, 5 amanos and some neocardina shimps. I can't figure out why my nitrate is that high. I am attaching my food just in case its the trigger?

Any help?

1031364
 

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20g aquarium with beginner plants and fish.
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Your stocking looks okay, I’m not sure why your nitrates are high. Have you tried floating plants? They will suck up the nitrate really fast, salvinnia minima is a good one to start. Also you could use plants such as phothos, bamboo, or a peace Lilly. Those would all work really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your stocking looks okay, I’m not sure why your nitrates are high. Have you tried floating plants? They will suck up the nitrate really fast, salvinnia minima is a good one to start. Also you could use plants such as phothos, bamboo, or a peace Lilly. Those would all work really well.
I think I have adequate plants? Really boggled on what can put my nitrates like this. This is the result of my nitrate right before my weekly waterchange
 

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Your tank is beautiful, no algae that I can see. My 174 litre tank is stocked about the same as yours and my Nitrates run the same. Fish are healthy and happy, just as I am. No worries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No mystery here.

You are dosing 10.5 ppm NO3 weekly.

Assuming a 50% water change max accumulation is 21 ppm NO3.

You are right where your dosing has taken you. Most planted tanks want NO3 to be in that range.
I was seeing how to get low nitrates to get redder plants and was shocked when I saw 20-25ppm
 

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I was seeing how to get low nitrates to get redder plants and was shocked when I saw 20-25ppm
Be careful with Nitrate limitation. There is only a small subset of plants the respond with more color. The vast majority of plants turn red from high light and good health. Keep in mind the red from Nitrate limitation is a distress response. So it's tricky to keep it there.

In your case the Pinna and Rotala may respond with more color, but it's also possible the Ludwigia's stunt and do poorly.
 

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Just as a side note- if you're going for nitrate limitation your best bet is mixing your own ferts. Attempting to do this with anything premixed sets you up for more $ wasted on trying to find truly isolated compounds... I've been down this rabbit hole a few times, unfortunately.
 

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Nothing that was truly notable at a level that wasn't effecting the other plants growth (stunting and dying). Maybe if you're building your tank around reds and do the research into which plants do ok with limited nitrogen it's worth it, but if not than the reward isn't worth the risk.
 

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You may want to consider using APT Zero instead of APT Complete, Zero contains no nitrates and is used for nitrate limitation to bring out the reds.
 

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Something else to consider - if you can find it, Rotala Orange Juice has a really beautiful orange color with gorgeous red tips under decently high light and rich column dosing. h'ra looks blah under the same conditions. Having tried both, I would definitely go for the OJ.
 
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