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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think i talked about this in the past, but i am not able to find my old post or did i resolve the problem.

i am having High Nitrate problem on my new tank that I set up.
There is no live stock in the tank other than snails and one assassin snail. I am doing a water change every alternate day.

These are the Nitrate readings i see after like 80-90% water change
i see zero right after water change.
i see 20ppm nitrate in less than 3 hrs.
In 12 hrs it goes to 80ppm.
before next water change (which is every alternate day)nitrates are at 80+ppm.

i have tried 80% water change, then i thought i might be doing a full reset of all water parameters by doing so and starred trying 50% water change every alternate day. Still back to square one.

Tank is 30g and I am dosing using EI method.
have pressurized co2 with around 27-29 bubbles per 10 seconds.(cant get the exact count). so i would say 3 bps.

I checked my tap water and the nitrate is zero.
So this is for sure a problem inside my tank.
Tank is just 4 weeks old. have HC carpet growing on one side and Dwarf hair grass in foreground.
Have no problem with algae other than slight hair algae.

I am able to reach like 70% of my tank gravel to do a decent vacuum, but the 30% is out of reach.
Running a eheim canister and it was from old established tank. Cleaned it on the day i set up the tank and haven't cleaned it yet.
Running 2 60W equivalent CFL and 1 40W equivalent.

drop checker is slightly below greenish.
But it is not blue at the peak hours.


Ammonia is zero all the time. I guess the canister is holding pretty good. ph is around 7 to 7.2

What am i doing wrong?
I like the way plants are progressing, but i am tired of just looking at fishless tank :'(

Change to post for dosing questions:

EI dosing with macro and micro stock solution with GLA ferts.

Macro
500 ml of distilled water
45g of KNO3
12g of KH2PO4

Micro
13g of CSM+B


Dosing 20 ml of stock solution at a time.
Dosing schedule

Saturday night water change
Sunday 20 ml of macro
Monday 20 ml of micro
Monday night water change 80%+
Tuesday 20ml of macro
Wednesday 20 ml of micro
Wednesday water change 80%+
Thursday 20ml of macro
Friday 20 ml of micro
Saturday night just water change.
 

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If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?
 

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What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Aren't you adding KNO3 via EI,
Yes have KNO3 in in the stock solution.

Bump:
If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?
Yes I do have stem plants.
Have rotala rotundifolia and ludwigia ovalis 'Red'. Have atleast 15% of the tank loaded with mosses on drift wood and lava rock.
Have few blyxa.
What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
I will update my initial thread to answer all your questions.

Stop fertilizing for a few days, see what the NO3 does.

Sounds like you could use perhaps 25% of the amount of fertilizer you are using.
I am afraid if i stop fertz, would lead to a algae spike :crying:
 

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Well it's not your current dosing regime alone. However, you are dosing too much macros and not enough micros.

Code:
Macro Solution
[B]Your current dose	Proper Dose[/B]
NO3	9.72		7.5
K	7.34		7.5
PO4	2.95		1.3


Micro Solution,
[B]Your current dose	Proper Dose[/B]
Fe	0.299		0.5
Try 15ml of macro and about 34ml of micro when you get this figured out. That's closer to actual EI dosing.

That said your'e only adding 30ppm of NO3 in those three days between water changes. That means 50+ is coming from somewhere else.

I didn't see a response if you have substrate fertilizers such as Osmocote tabs. Those can be problematic leading to high NO3 levels in a short time.

The other two things I can think of is substrate and maybe feeding. If you used a dirt mix then it may have been contaminated. To get that much nitrate by overfeeding would be a very remote possibility. That's a lot of food!

If you haven't already I would check your testing procedures. Following this post will ensure your tests are as accurate as possible, Calibrating Test Kits - for non-Chemists
 

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Honestly though, if your plants are growing and your dosing within norms and doing water changes, there really is very little to worry about other than too much co2 for the fish. The water changes will make sure it doesn't get out of hand. I haven't tested my water in years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
If you are adding ferts which has kno3 the plants that you have in your tank HC and hairgrass are slow growing and wont eat up the nitrate that fast. Do you have stems too?
What exactly are you dosing? Fertilizer ________ , Amount ________ , and how often __________? Your tank can't be producing that much NO3 without ammonia and/or nitrate. Other than dosing errors the only thing left is testing errors unless you have added some sort of other fertilizers such as substrate nutrients.
Stop fertilizing for a few days, see what the NO3 does.

Sounds like you could use perhaps 25% of the amount of fertilizer you are using.
Well it's not your current dosing regime alone. However, you are dosing too much macros and not enough micros.

Code:
Macro Solution
[B]Your current dose	Proper Dose[/B]
NO3	9.72		7.5
K	7.34		7.5
PO4	2.95		1.3


Micro Solution,
[B]Your current dose	Proper Dose[/B]
Fe	0.299		0.5
Try 15ml of macro and about 34ml of micro when you get this figured out. That's closer to actual EI dosing.

That said your'e only adding 30ppm of NO3 in those three days between water changes. That means 50+ is coming from somewhere else.

I didn't see a response if you have substrate fertilizers such as Osmocote tabs. Those can be problematic leading to high NO3 levels in a short time.

The other two things I can think of is substrate and maybe feeding. If you used a dirt mix then it may have been contaminated. To get that much nitrate by overfeeding would be a very remote possibility. That's a lot of food!

If you haven't already I would check your testing procedures. Following this post will ensure your tests are as accurate as possible, Calibrating Test Kits - for non-Chemists
No i do not have any root tabs.
Substrate is eco complete. I have 3 bags in that tank.
There is no live stock in that tank other than one assassin snail.

But what's wrong with Micro? I got that from thenutrientcompany.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I cleaned my filter yesterday, There was loads of crap that was in the filter.
Yet, this morning, Nitrates are already 20ppm.
I changed 80% of water and planted some more stem plants yesterday.
Removed a lava rock with moss in it and planted 'parrot feather' plant.
LFS guy said is cheap and fast growing plant.
Lets see where Nitrates are today evening.

I also changed my dosing regime as recommended.
Dosing only 10ml of macro and increased micro to 30ml....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What plants do you have, or how many? Did you add any garden fertilizer to your substrate? - just wondering.
pic that i took right after a water change this Sunday.
No i do not have any root tabs or garden fertilizer.
Only chemical going in to the tank is de-chlorinator, macro and micro.

Bump: I am also thinking, the tank was marked 30g at petco, so do i target 25g while calculating EI dosing?
 

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is that white stuff in photo bubbles? If so I'm guessing (wildly - without proof) that it contains gasses that account for your nitrate reading to increase as the bubbles dissipate. You might have dodgy water. Why I say this is because recently after a water shortage where I live, they hastily sanitized water from another source and my bath ended up looking similar/worse than a bubble bath - kinda milky. Let the tap water stand in a container and test it.
 

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The bubbles come from CO2 in the tap water. That's perfectly normal. The CO2 is gassed off rather quickly.

I see no reason your nitrate levels should be rising so dramatically. Dirty filter? Well, REALLY dirty but I doubt it.

I urge you to calibrate your test kit with the link above. I have a sneaking suspicion your testing method is flawed. Calibrating will eliminate the majority of problems related to that. Basically, if you're not adding NO3 or organics that can create it your'e not going to magically see them. It's just not possible and from what you're telling us, they are. I may be missing something but until we eliminate EVERYTHING we'll never know. I'm not trying to beat you up here. I just want to get to the bottom of your problem and logic is the way to go in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The bubbles come from CO2 in the tap water. That's perfectly normal. The CO2 is gassed off rather quickly.

I see no reason your nitrate levels should be rising so dramatically. Dirty filter? Well, REALLY dirty but I doubt it.

I urge you to calibrate your test kit with the link above. I have a sneaking suspicion your testing method is flawed. Calibrating will eliminate the majority of problems related to that. Basically, if you're not adding NO3 or organics that can create it your'e not going to magically see them. It's just not possible and from what you're telling us, they are. I may be missing something but until we eliminate EVERYTHING we'll never know. I'm not trying to beat you up here. I just want to get to the bottom of your problem and logic is the way to go in my opinion.
i believe you are talking abt o2 in new water.
O2 is at saturating level in new water, and hence the o2 all over the tank. I will try to get new pics today.

I have cleaned canister and this is by far the worst i have seen.. even worse than the canister on my old gold fish tank.
I tested nitrate and it stayed at 20ppm after full 24hrs.
 

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Glad to see them remaining unchanged. That must have been one dirty filter!

Actually, tap water typically does contain large amounts of CO2. Try testing the PH right out of the tap. Let it sit overnight or aerate it and test again. The PH will usually be lower due to the CO2 being off gassed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
culprit is the canister.
I used to clean the glass surface when the filter is still running before doing the water change.
Maybe i should stop the filter before cleaning the glass and remove the dirty water and not let it get into the canister a lot.

tested water again yesterday night before doing a 30% water change and the nitrates were holding at 20ppm.

Will keep an eye on nitrate after large water cahnge this week end.
 
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