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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What specifically does fish poop provide in terms of fertlizer and is all fish poop created equal ? Do live bearers provide more or less of something than cichlid. Plant eaters, meat eaters and omi have an impact and type of digestive track (pleco for example i believe digest food differently than guppies).

It is a bit of a long winded question but i couldn't find any obvious discussion that talks about such. I am curious in part because i have one specific low tech tank that seems to grow plants quite a bit better than my other low tech tank and at times compete against the high tech tanks.
 

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I know from the level of filtration needed to keep "monsters" that not all poop is created equal 馃槅 I have no scientific research done into the breakdown of it but my carnivore tanks tend to dirty quicker than my omnivore tanks, I'm assuming because smaller amounts released over time isn't a hard on filtration as large feedings fewer times. I don't honestly know but I'm interested in seeing the responses you get.
 

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Fish poop has Nitrite and Phosphate. The Nitrite ends up being Nitrate after it gets filtered. Fish also pass Ammonia through their gills which gets turned into Nitrite then Nitrate. You would have to consult with a fish poop sommelier to assess the different grades of fish poop. Shall I send him to your table?
 

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Fish poop has Nitrite and Phosphate. The Nitrite ends up being Nitrate after it gets filtered. Fish also pass Ammonia through their gills which gets turned into Nitrite then Nitrate. You would have to consult with a fish poop sommelier to assess the different grades of fish poop. Shall I send him to your table?
LOL I need to put that on a resume! Pretty sure all the orchid clubs have the fish poop sommelier booked solid :)
My wife has discovered 2020 was a good year for the tuxedo guppy vintage...
 

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Fish waste provides ammonia/urea, which is converted by bacteria in our tanks into Nitrite, and then the Nitrite is converted by secondary bacteria into Nitrate. Our plants then use either the ammonia/urea (which, they prefer) and the Nitrate, in addition to the Phosphate.

There are also usually enough of most traces, if you have a low-tech setup, that come from the food the fish eat (a function of the individual food used). In many cases, particularly with low-tech setups, the only fertilizers that need to be dosed are Potassium and Iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hum. I wonder if they produce more ammonia which the plants are able to consume before it damages them ? The low population tank would of course likely not produce enough ammonia to have a chance to be absorb by the plants. I definitely under feed the guppies but the tank is vastly over populated without have an issue with water quality.
 

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Fish waste provides ammonia/urea, which is converted by bacteria in our tanks into Nitrite, and then the Nitrite is converted by secondary bacteria into Nitrate. Our plants then use either the ammonia/urea (which, they prefer) and the Nitrate, in addition to the Phosphate.

There are also usually enough of most traces, if you have a low-tech setup, that come from the food the fish eat (a function of the individual food used). In many cases, particularly with low-tech setups, the only fertilizers that need to be dosed are Potassium and Iron.
Really? I thought fish poop contains Nitrite. Is it accurate to call fish poop nitrogenous waste? I think you're saying it's nitrogenous as in Ammonia is nitrogenous. I thought it was nitrogenous as in it contains Nitrite. I really don't want to have to test this. I would have put my Angelfish back into quarantine and collect a sample then test that for Nitrite. So great. Now this thread has me researching fish poop. Thanks @jake21.
 

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Really? I thought fish poop contains Nitrite. Is it accurate to call fish poop nitrogenous waste? I think you're saying it's nitrogenous as in Ammonia is nitrogenous. I thought it was nitrogenous as in it contains Nitrite. I really don't want to have to test this. I would have put my Angelfish back into quarantine and collect a sample then test that for Nitrite. So great. Now this thread has me researching fish poop. Thanks @jake21.
The Nitrite is the waste product of the first stage of bacteria that convert ammonia into Nitrite. Fish poop has more than just nitrogenous waste (ammonia), so it may be better to simply call fish poop organic waste. In fact, if I recall correctly, most of the ammonia actually comes from the fish gills, not the other end. Both NH3 and NH4 are forms of nitrogen. If you're cycled, you shouldn't need to test for NO2, NH3 or NH4. Just test for NO3 as a proxy for sufficient nitrogen availability. As a side note, our cadmium-based NO3 tests actually convert the NO3 back into NO2 and then translate that into NO3 readings. These tests don't convert at 100%, so there is always a little more NO3 in our tanks than we think.
 
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Fish waste provides ammonia/urea, which is converted by bacteria in our tanks into Nitrite, and then the Nitrite is converted by secondary bacteria into Nitrate. Our plants then use either the ammonia/urea (which, they prefer) and the Nitrate, in addition to the Phosphate.
The Nitrite is the waste product of the first stage of bacteria that convert ammonia into Nitrite.
My assertion that fish poop contains Nitrite may well be wrong. Yesterday I tested 4.4 ppm Ammonia in my tank indicating my filter isn't working. The Nitrite test showed only 0.1 ppm Nitrite. IMO there would have been more Nitrite present if fish poop had Nitrite. This accidental experiment supports what you are saying.
 

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My assertion that fish poop contains Nitrite may well be wrong. Yesterday I tested 4.4 ppm Ammonia in my tank indicating my filter isn't working. The Nitrite test showed only 0.1 ppm Nitrite. IMO there would have been more Nitrite present if fish poop had Nitrite. This accidental experiment supports what you are saying.
With well-developed BB (a large plant mass also helps enormously), Nitrites should not be present because these are the things that consume the ammonia and Nitrite so that Nitrite never appears. Nitrites should only appear during the cycling process at that brief time when the secondary BB are developing to consume the Nitrites.

I would definitely be very concerned about 4.4ppm ammonia. Something is wrong - big time. If you truly have such high ammonia (tests can be bad), your inhabitasnts should be dead or dying ...unless your pH is below 7.0, which will keep the ammonia in a safe ammonium form. So, if you are sure about that ammonia reading, keep pH down (If it it isn't), do some water changes and find out what the problem is. You may also want to add some Prime, just to be sure that the ammonia is kept in the ammonium form.

Most ammonia test kits measure TAN (total ammonia) which includes both toxic NH3 (鈥渇ree ammonia鈥) and NH4 (ammonium). with these test kits, you can only know which level of each exists by looking at temperature and pH. This chart will help you with this and there are many sites that also have it:
1029870


The numbers in the chart show TAN ppm. At each Temp/pH point, the amount of your test result ppm can be found, at which toxicity occurs. Example; at 24dC and 7 pH, 3.9ppm of Total ammonia (test kit result) is toxic.
 

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With well-developed BB (a large plant mass also helps enormously), Nitrites should not be present because these are the things that consume the ammonia and Nitrite so that Nitrite never appears. Nitrites should only appear during the cycling process at that brief time when the secondary BB are developing to consume the Nitrites.

I would definitely be very concerned about 4.4ppm ammonia. Something is wrong - big time. If you truly have such high ammonia (tests can be bad), your inhabitasnts should be dead or dying ...unless your pH is below 7.0, which will keep the ammonia in a safe ammonium form. So, if you are sure about that ammonia reading, keep pH down (If it it isn't), do some water changes and find out what the problem is. You may also want to add some Prime, just to be sure that the ammonia is kept in the ammonium form.

Most ammonia test kits measure TAN (total ammonia) which includes both toxic NH3 (鈥渇ree ammonia鈥) and NH4 (ammonium). with these test kits, you can only know which level of each exists by looking at temperature and pH. This chart will help you with this and there are many sites that also have it: View attachment 1029870

The numbers in the chart show TAN ppm. At each Temp/pH point, the amount of your test result ppm can be found, at which toxicity occurs. Example; at 24dC and 7 pH, 3.9ppm of Total ammonia (test kit result) is toxic.
Thanks for sharing this chart
 

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I would definitely be very concerned about 4.4ppm ammonia. Something is wrong - big time. If you truly have such high ammonia (tests can be bad), your inhabitasnts should be dead or dying ...unless your pH is below 7.0, which will keep the ammonia in a safe ammonium form. So, if you are sure about that ammonia reading, keep pH down (If it it isn't), do some water changes and find out what the problem is. You may also want to add some Prime, just to be sure that the ammonia is kept in the ammonium form.
I did four 50% water changes at the beginning of the week. I've been trying to get this tank cycled since the beginning of March. I did the cycling outside the tank. There was no Ammonia or Nitrite according to API so I thought the bacteria were established and I put them in the main tank's filter. I then proceeded operating like I had filtration without adequate testing. I used the API Ammonia test to verify filtration when I should have used my better low range LaMotte test. API is fine for cycling but you should do a series of API tests for verification. The pH did get up too high when I turned off the CO2 at night. I'm leaving the gas on now so the pH stays below 7.0. Plus I put in a gram spoonful of fulvic acid which knocked off another 0.1 point pH in 20 gallons. Thanks for the chart. It's better than what I was using.

In the meantime @jake21, I've been researching fish poop like crazy. I put some under the microscope today but didn't find out anything new. :unsure:
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My understanding is the ph from co2 has a neutral impact since the ionization doesn't change; so i'm not sure there is benefit leaving co2 on to 'control' ph.

I did four 50% water changes at the beginning of the week. I've been trying to get this tank cycled since the beginning of March. I did the cycling outside the tank. There was no Ammonia or Nitrite according to API so I thought the bacteria were established and I put them in the main tank's filter. I then proceeded operating like I had filtration without adequate testing. I used the API Ammonia test to verify filtration when I should have used my better low range LaMotte test. API is fine for cycling but you should do a series of API tests for verification. The pH did get up too high when I turned off the CO2 at night. I'm leaving the gas on now so the pH stays below 7.0. Plus I put in a gram spoonful of fulvic acid which knocked off another 0.1 point pH in 20 gallons. Thanks for the chart. It's better than what I was using.

In the meantime @jake21, I've been researching fish poop like crazy. I put some under the microscope today but didn't find out anything new. :unsure:
 

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My understanding is the ph from co2 has a neutral impact since the ionization doesn't change; so i'm not sure there is benefit leaving co2 on to 'control' ph.
This makes sense because there's no H+ in CO2. I think it's H+ that lowers pH. But I wonder how CO2 throws our pH tests off? I thought CO2 was a weak acid. I guess it's Carbonic Acid that's the weak acid I'm recalling because there's an H in that. Does adding CO2 to water make Carbonic Acid? I thought the CO2 just offgassed out of the water. @Mark Fisher posted HCO3 + H --> CO2 + H2O. Carbonic Acid is H2CO3 and there are two H on the left side of this equation. Does CO2 + H2O --> H2CO3?
 

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When CO2 is added, not only is HCO3 formed, but H is also formed in equal amounts. This means that alkalinity does not change (KH readings remain the same), unlike when only HCO3 is added, which raises alkalinity (our nominal KH test result).
 

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When CO2 is added, not only is HCO3 formed, but H is also formed in equal amounts. This means that alkalinity does not change (KH readings remain the same), unlike when only HCO3 is added, which raises alkalinity (our nominal KH test result).
Oh, so it is CO2 + H2O --> HCO3 + H. I have been keeping my Akalinity unnecessarily high at 2 dKH partly because I thought CO2 would lower it. Does that H on the right side mean you get a legitimate pH drop or is there a neutral impact since the ionization doesn't change like @jake21 says?
 

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They balance each other - no change in alkalinity.
 
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