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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just did a 80% water change because of lots of debris after partial replanting and high Nitrate, about 80ppm.

I dose the E.I. method of 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp K2S04, 1/16 tsp KH2PO4 three times a week, 1/8 tsp CSM+B on off days, starting on water change day on my 29 gallon. After the water change my Nitrate reads 10 ppm. Should I still be dosing 1/4 tsp Nitrate since by day 7 it is so high? My Ammonia and Nitrite was little to none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can I assume that if I am dosing to much KNO3, or if my plants aren't using it fast enough, that the other ferts are not being use as fast either? So if so, I could dose less amounts or only dose twice a week.
What do you all think?
 

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I am in no way an expert, but even though I have Nitrate and Phosphorus to dose dry (along with CSM, Magnesium, and Potassium) - I no longer dose it.

My tap water contains 1-2ppm of Phos and 5-10ppm of Nitrate, so my tank normally has enough Phos (too much really, ~3) and enough Nitrate (too much really, ~20-40).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No I am not sure it is accurate but my tap water reads 0 Nitrate so I can only assume it is close. I changed 80% tank water yesterday and tested it at 10ppm then dosed 1/4 tsp kno3 this morning it is at about 20 to 25ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just did Phosphate test before adding firts today and it read 0. What should it read? I don't usually test P04 because I doubt the test results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I just added 1/4 tsp of KH2PO4 to my 29 gal, waited 1/2 hour and tested it again. Phosphate still read 0. The exp date on the Red Sea test kit is 06/08. So I can only assume the test kit is bad.

I normally add 1/16 tsp three times a week.
 

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Sounds like the PO4 test kit is fried.

The NO3 should not build up to more than 30-40ppm if you do EI with the standard 50% weekly change.
That assumes no uptake also.

Is there an issue in the tank?
Why worry if not?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Correct me if wrong but won't kicking up mulm with a replant as stated in the first post kick up the NO3 a bit?

Kind of depends on the routine maintenance as to how much poo build up is in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't done any testing for months. Plants were growing well. Fish seem to be doing fine. I had always been fighting the algae. This last couple of months I have been diligent on keeping the tank clean, getting rid of all debris, removing nearly all the algae I could, replanting and rearranging plants etc. Trying to make it a beautiful tank. So a few days ago I started testing and found the Nitrate high. Phosphate, Ammonia, & Nitrite all 0. Checking C02 it was real high so I started adjusting lighting and bringing the C02 down to about 35 to 40 ppm. Just concentrating on the little things to make things perfect.

So can I assume that if the Nitrate is not being used up fast enough then the other ferts an not also?

Right now I'm dosing E.I. for a 29 gallon tank. I thought maybe switching to dosing for a 25 gallon tank or maybe just dosing 2 times a week, but with a regular weekly 50% water change it should not matter. Right?
 

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From what I understand the relation of NO3 and PO4 go hand in hand. Limiting one will affect uptake of the other.

Of course the largest limiting factor is how much light and CO2 are available during the photo period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I use 4.48 watts per gallon for a total of 130 watts of compact fluorescent 6700 & 10000 k over my 29 gallon. I run one 65 watt light for 12 hours with another 65 watt light for the middle 6 hours. I run the C02 during the day and air bubbles at night. My C02 has always been high. I bump it up until I see fish gasping and then turn it down a bit until the fish are happy because of the algae issue from which I read if you have algae, bump up the C02 a bit.
 

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That is a long bright photo period IMO. Reel it back a bit to a 10 hour period and see how this works with your situation. You can always go back but I'd assume you would not be stripping out your ferts so fast with less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The light isn't my biggest concern right now. It is the Nitrate and Phosphate that I am concerned with.
 

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Then skip some NO3 in the next few rounds of macro dosing and get the PO4 numbers up... So for a bit just dose K and PO4. See if the NO3 comes down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I was just worried that if my plants aren't using KNO3 that they were not using the other ferts either. I guess I wasn't thinking... didn't think that maybe the Nitrate could being furnished by the fish load etc. Duhhh
 

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To kick up this old thread....

What's the problem w/ my API test kit reading at 40 Nitrates?

Plants are happy. No real algae (minimal growth on glass, but hardly any). And fish are happy. Well, actually I had two bumble-bee Gobies die this week, so am looking for an answer why the poor buggars died off...the last one was gasping for air for his final day at the top of the tank...I'm 'guessing' that maybe bacteria clogged his gills and he couldn't breath? There weren't any obvious symptoms to his "illness" though...

My tank has been pretty stable for months now, the only think I've changed is CO2 (from my 10lb tank) delivery, switched to a venturi, but I've got a PH controller and drop checker, so that shouldn't of changed much really but make things more efficient.

I have a CO2 drop checker, shows nice and green (30ppm CO2)
I do EI (50% weekly WC)
Its Friday, I tested Nitrates and read 40 w/ my API "test kit" and no I didn't test the test kit.

But even if it is accurate, is 40 really too high for a tank? I'm thinking my Gobies died from a disease or something maybe introduced from some new plants? I know people say 10-20 Nitrate is "ideal" but every one else in my tank seems fine and healthy?

(fyi, I have a dozen cherries, 5 Amano's, long-fin bushy nose, leopard cactus pleco, 4 blood fins, 3 hatchets, 3 SAE's, 2 baby Clown loaches (that will get a bigger tank when they grow up, along w/ the pleco's), a red tail shark, in my 55g in the sig). I think its a medium+ bio-load, but with the medium+ plant load I have in there, to me it seems like I have a decent balance, and I shouldn't worry about the 40 Nitrates (especially since its end of the week, I'm assuming its higher right before the WC). I don't test the water really anymore now that I do EI, so not sure what my cheap tester says on other days....
 
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