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Okay, Greggz-- I am going to do some study on this article you linked from Barr. He cites studies ( albeit quite old) that I will trace back and review. That is exactly what I meant by context-- I want to see the scientific variables that were used to determine the findings.


Why this concerns me: I have just began dosing EI ( Seachem's schedule ) in my tanks with fish that have never experienced nitrates over 10 ppm. This is the fourth day. I tested my nitrates last night and they were 20 ppm. This made me very nervous. Im wondering by the 7th day what these nitrates will be and the detrimental effects on my fish: discus, geophagus, biotodoma cupidos, corydoras eques, wild African tetras from the Congo River. So yeah, you can say that I will be initiating a new and unfamiliar kind of experience--- higher nitrates than I typically allow in my aquarium..

Bump: "Research paper is valid when fits one’s narrative"

So does this mean that Tom Barr's article is only true because it fits his narrative?
 

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"Research paper is valid when fits one’s narrative". So does this mean that Tom barr's article is only true because it fits his narrative?
There are countless threads about fish health relationship to NO3 levels with references to hundreds of scientific research documents pointing clearly in one direction. But no, the little opposing group will still try to dismiss it based on a claim that no research was conducted on their own glass box and also not in their living room.

It has already started in post #17 above:
And honestly, peer reviewed scientific University articles mean little to me. I don't know of one that takes place in a home hobbyist aquarium.
See? More is coming.
 

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@Discusluv I have no experience with sensitive species like Discus or the others you mention.
@discuspaul might be able to let you know about his experiences.

My primary experience is with Rainbows.
@Edward guilty as charged. I do rely on personal experience in my glass box.

The other end of the spectrum are those who rely solely on research, but ignore practical experience.

In the end, do what you think is best. I honestly think some are more interested in proving they are right than enjoying the hobby. And when you start arguing the science, most rely on that which support their cause.
 

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I don't really have a dog in the fight here since I mainly keep shrimps but I do know for a fact that the species I keep don't tolerate nitrate levels over 10 ppm very well, with 20 ppm being fatal sooner than later. It is for the very reasons stated earlier by @Discusluv about weakening the immune system. Bacterial infections are very common with these types of shrimp. Temperature also plays a significant role in all of this. If one were to keep temperature cool, maybe these detrimental strains of bacteria would stay dormant and never become a problem? I certainly wouldn't bank on that though. I'd rather just raise healthy shrimp and not worry over it. I'm not saying 20-30 ppm is all that high either but it is in my case.

My betta/amano shrimp tank is a different story all together. I often see red API samples in that tank. My guess is between 40-80 ppm. I don't dose nitrates in that tank since quitting CO2 and running it low tech. The bioload itself provides more than enough "organic" nitrogen. I'm already doing weekly 50% WC as it is. I don't care to do more than that, so I don't. Everyone seems fine and plants are growing great. Having said that, these aren't levels I would aim for. I'd probably stick to 10-20 ppm if I had a choice (without frequent water changes that is).

Many of us have gotten away with high nitrates for various lengths of time, so we tend to repeat what works, regardless of it being "ideal".
 

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@Greggz I agree with you about that type of person Greggz and I am not one of those people. I am not arguing for arguments sake. My curiosity level goes further than that. I want to know what is underneath.

"There are countless threads about fish health relationship to NO3 levels with references to hundreds of scientific research documents pointing clearly in one direction. But no, the little opposing group will still try to dismiss it based on a claim that no research was conducted on their own glass box and also not in their living room".
@Edward: What countless articles, hundreds you say, are you speaking of here to establish the ( "health relationship"? What does "health" mean in terms of nitrates?)

If you know of hundreds, Im willing to read them, give me a link, a name of an author, etc...
I will read them.

I thought these scientific articles were, to you, just data twisted to advance the predetermined conclusion of the researcher? So, are these hundreds of articles only valuable because they confirm your ideas?
Lets be consistent here.
 

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Okay, Edward. Read the first article provided.


https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5eb8/62b20729b804521991a7567eb38a96629ec4.pdf

In the abstract it asserts that: "Nitrate toxicity in aquatic fish increases with increased nitrate concentrations and exposure times." Furthermore, the abstract claims that "A nitrate concentration of 10 mg NO3-N/l (USA federal maximum level for drinking water) can adversely affect, at least during long-term exposures, freshwater invertebrates (E. toletanus, E. echinosetosus,
heumatopsyche pettiti, Hydropsyche occi-dentalis), fishes (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha,Salmo clarki), and amphibians (Pseudacris triseriata, Rana pipiens, Rana temporaria,Bufo bufo). Safe levels below this nitrate concentration are recommended to protect sensitive freshwater animals from nitrate pollution.

These findings are further reiterated in conclusion.

Can you please point me to the area of article that was to support higher nitrate levels as not harmful to fish?
 

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Can you please point me to the area of article that was to support higher nitrate levels as not harmful to fish?
My PPS fertilizing systems since 2004 recommend 5 – 10 ppm NO3.

You need to redirect your question to Greggz:
Many EI tanks are 50+ ppm nitrates for years.
Even the article says fish don't show any symptoms under 100ppm. I routinely dose N to get the water column into the 50 range, check my journal to see loads of pics of my large long lived Rainbows.
 

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http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/defaul...ty effects on freshwater aquatic species .pdf


Look at table 5.1 on page 16 titled "Guideline derivations for Nitrate-N."

We are speaking of Nitrate (MG NO3-N/L which converts to commensurate value of 1ppm) between:
1.0-1.5 Pristine environments
2.4- 3.5 Environment has a range of human interaction w/ little harmful effects to aquatic-life.
3.8-5.6 Environments with naturally occurring seasonal disturbances.
6.9-9.8 Measurably degraded seasonally elevated levels of nitrates 1-3 mo. of year.
20-30 Environments that are significantly degraded. Probable chronic effects on multiple species.

20-30 ppm Nitrates is the high measure with "chronic effects on multiple aquatic species".


Im confused.
 

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What I found interesting in one of those articles was the mention of freshwater species being more sensitive to nitrate levels than saltwater species. It's common practice for the saltwater folks to use denitrator units or natural nitrate reduction filtration (NNR) with live rocks and sand to keep nitrate levels down. Then you have the planted tank folks (myself included) that have dumped KNO3 in their tanks like it's going out of style.

I've started PPS dosing around the time Dennis posted all those beautiful pictures of his tanks using the PPS method of dosing. So far, it's been working really well for me on a majority of my tanks. It's just a shame I can't get the nitrates down in my betta tank. I think it's suffering from old tank syndrome or something. Maybe the purigen pouch needs recharging, it's been about 6 months since the last refreshing. Could be all those damn mulberry leaves breaking down also. I keep one in there almost everyday now. I had to do something, the amano shrimp were eating my healthy lobelia cardinalis to nubs. lol
 

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@Discusluv if I were you I would reach out to Discuspaul. He has been involved with Discus for many, many years, and is what I would consider to be the go to guy here. He always seems to be happy to share his years of practical experience, and I am sure he would welcome hearing from you.

It's true that with the species I keep (Rainbows, Denison Barbs, Clown Loaches) I have not experienced any problems in a heavily stocked heavily dosed tank. But I do recognize that with the South American Cichlids it could be entirely different. Will be curious to see if you come to any conclusions, but more importantly I'll be curious to see how the fish react to the higher macro levels.

Are you intending to keep high light high tech plants with your Discus? I would be interested to learn more. Do you have a journal for your tank? Since searching is not working here right now, I couldn't tell.
 

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I typed in an answer and lost it- Grrrr- Ill try again.

Bump: The 180 gallon has a light I have not been able to determine its capacity ( its PAR?).

It is a 72 " Licah Planted Led Light. Here are its specs:

https://www.amazon.com/LICAH-AQUARI...75T9PGHS?tag=vs-powersports-convert-amazon-20

In 180g I have:
Valisneria Italian and Leopard
Lagendera Meedboldii
Echin. Ozelot and Frans Stoffel
Crypt. Undulata and Spiralis
Anubias hastifolia, coffeefolia, and bleheri
Java Fern Standard leaf and Needle

Not sure- are these low light plants?

In 60 g. I have 2-24" Finnex Planted Plus SE

Anubias butterfly, pinto, coffeefolia
Java fern Standard leaf
Italian and Leopard Val
Crypt. Spiralis and Green Gecko
Nymphea- Sulphurea Okeechobee

Would this be low light? Would my light be at least medium. It is 24 inch from surface.


PS: No, not high tech, low tech.

Here are a couple pictures of the 180 gallon




The 60 gallon:




I know--- they need some work :)
 

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@Edward I get that your system is PPS. And you have success with it.

And many others use EI, and they have success with it.

I don't think there is a question that both can be successful. And I don't believe it is the case that one is right and one is wrong. High macros seems to work best in my tank. If someone else is more successful with low dosing, I don't get mad or try to belittle their method. In fact just the opposite, I am interested in learning more. Successful tanks fascinate me.

For me, I started following a couple of well documented tanks of people I respected (Burr/Pikez) and tried my best to apply what I learned to my own tank. That developed a framework for me, which is still being tweaked to this day. I don't have it all figured it out, and still stumble and stub my toe, then look for solutions and try to right the ship. Pretty much like I think everyone else is doing here.

Keep in mind my goal is not to prove any theory. I have no interest in growing single plants in an empty tank to document the effects of different dosing methods. My goal is to keep a fish tank with a wide variety of plants/shapes/colors. It's just what I personally like.

Honestly my main goal is just to sit in front of my tank (like I am doing right now), and enjoy the tranquility it provides me. I also enjoy the journey itself, and the challenges it presents.

As to the effects of N on the fish I keep, I have only stated my personal experience. If that doesn't fit with your narrative, so be it. I'd like to know more about your experiences with N dosing and fish health. Not something you've read, or an article you can point to, but your own actual experience.
 

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@Discusluv love the tanks.

Very nicely presented and artistic. Evoke a great feel. Don't need much work from I can tell.

All what I would consider to be low light plants.

I don't use LED, but I am guessing low light.

All in all seems to be appropriate for South Americans. Haven't seen a high tech tank with Discus that every worked out for long. To me great concept, and very nice execution.
 

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With all due respect, they suggest keeping a tank at no higher than 5 to 10 ppm Nitrates. Do you think ANY planted tank here on this board would fall into that category? Or for that matter very few freshwater tanks in general.
I will say it again;
At the stage your aquarium is in, I would really like to find out why you are experiencing problems when lowering NO3 to half when the most aquariums on this planet with the best plants have 1/10th of that.

Why? Because there must be some reason we can learn from. Why do I like having lower NO3? Because it is not the best thing for fish, if you agree, see bellow:
We are speaking of Nitrate (MG NO3-N/L which converts to commensurate value of 1ppm) between:
1.0-1.5 Pristine environments
2.4- 3.5 Environment has a range of human interaction w/ little harmful effects to aquatic-life.
3.8-5.6 Environments with naturally occurring seasonal disturbances.
6.9-9.8 Measurably degraded seasonally elevated levels of nitrates 1-3 mo. of year.
20-30 Environments that are significantly degraded. Probable chronic effects on multiple species.

20-30 ppm Nitrates is the high measure with "chronic effects on multiple aquatic species".
For example, some tetras get more colorful, more beautiful when introduced to higher trace element metals. More Cu better colour they get, until they go to shock and die. Even when dead, they have unusually very strong ‘beautiful’ coloration. So much for happy looking fish, right?

I'd like to know more about your experiences with N dosing and fish health. Not something you've read, or an article you can point to, but your own actual experience.
You don’t want me to test that. It is cruel enough what the research does. I rather take the research as is and keep my fish happier based on their data.

I support everyone doing something new for this hobby, developing new stuff, like @happi and @burr740do. That’s the right way to get forward.
 
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