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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I created a nitrate spike when I had to pull out a bunch of plants trying to catch some fish.

It was 80. Tank is 40 - so I did a 15-16 gallon w/c which brought it to 40. I did another one today of only 10gl and nitrates still 40.

I'll keep doing them until I get down to 5 or so, but is 40 really harmful?

I wonder if I'm way overfeeding. I have 2 rams who are kind of new and they would never come eat so I feed a lot in hopes of them getting some. And I added 2 bamboo shrimp 2 weeks ago so I feed extra to hopefully be sure there is food in the water column for them.

Generally I feed frozen something daily and I've been adding flakes as well to help with the shrimp. I make snail jello which always gets eaten and I put algae wafers in from time to time. maybe 5 at a time.

I have quite a few plants and was doing EI but am switching to PPS now. I have to mix my stuff to go that route and hopefully reduce water changes.

Thoughts? thanks
 

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40 ppm of nitrates is not too high. It may not be ideal, but it is not too high for the fish or plants. Before you take that and run with it, first be sure of the nitrate reading. You have to be very careful about following the directions when doing a nitrate test, and you need to learn to interpret the test colors. If you make some samples of water with known nitrate levels, then test the samples, you will know if your test kit is accurate, and how to interpret the colors. One way to do this relatively easily is http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=83545

You can reduce your water changes without switching from the EI dosing method, if you just reduce the amounts of each nutrient you are dosing. Do this a little at a time, for one nutrient at a time, until you finally notice the plants not growing as well. Then go back to the last dosage where the plants were still growing well. By doing this you can easily go 2-3 weeks between water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Hoppy

I got th

e stuff for the PPS so I'll go ahead with it, just mixed up my stuff but I'm not so bright and don't know where to fill my bottle up to. Says the 500ml line but I don't see one.

I follow those directions and shake and shake and shake. I should calibrate it I guess because I've read about that.

I will keep doing my water changes until I get down to 20 or lower I guess.

I am worried about my over feeding issue but I see the one bamboo shrimp doesn't like to get up on the leaves to feed under the current. I see it on the ground and I know that means it's very hungry. The other one hangs out right under my current. I don't want it to die.
 

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The fertilizers used for EI and PPS are identical. The amount dosed per day may be different, but the same stuff is dosed.
 
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