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Crazy Nitrate Levels

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by JHipkin, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. JHipkin

    JHipkin Junior Poster

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    I am just starting week three of the EI method and my Nitrate levels are out of site. The facts and figures:

    20 gallons
    130 watts of light (2 x 65 watts Coralife at 6,700)
    Injected CO2
    Heavily planted.
    26 fish (corydoras paleatus x 4, Cardinal Tetra x 9, Monglow tetras x 5, Dekeyseria brachyura x 2, SAE x 2, Otocinclas x 2, ? loach x 1 and Clown loach x 1)

    50% water change on Sunday (2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp Epson salt)
    1/4 tsp KNO3 and 1/16 tsp Kh2Po4Sun Tues and Thurs
    5 ml CMS + B Mon, Wed and Friday

    Current levels as of Monday 7/11:

    PH 6.7, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 160 (it’s really off the scale as this is the highest my test kit goes), GH 60 ppm and KH 130 ppm.

    All of the plants seem to be flourishing with the exception of one that is developing holes in the leaves. No algae to speak of. What am I doing wrong??

    Thanks for your attention.
     
  2. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: Crazy Nitrate Levels

    I'm very new to this but a 160+ ppm Nitrate tells me that your tap water nitrates are insane or more likely that your test kit is probably fubar. I'd expect if that nitrate reading was true, most of your fish would be ka-put. Of course, by all means seak more experienced opinions on this.

    Blake
     
  3. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Crazy Nitrate Levels

    I agree the test kit could be off, get a new one and retest. Test your mains water, obviously if this is high you don't need to add KNO3, you may need to look for a method to reduce the nitrates.

    Your addition of baking soda is way too much, hence your elevated Kh reading. At most you need to add i/s tsp to your tank and then only when it dips near to 3ppm. Again don't add any if it's already in your tapwater.

    Ian
     
  4. mlfishman

    mlfishman Junior Poster

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    Re: Crazy Nitrate Levels

    I have been dosing 10ppm of nitrates every other day and my nitrates test has been reading very high. I tested my tapwater and it reads 0 so I know hte tap water is good and the test kit is good. I have stopped dosing nitrates for hte last week and a half and have done 3 25% water changes since and the reading hasnt budged too much. I actually lost some shrimp a while back too so I know what thats from. The fish are fine though. I started to develop some holes in leaves as well. Could high nitrates cause this??
     
  5. JHipkin

    JHipkin Junior Poster

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    Re: Crazy Nitrate Levels

    I tested my tap water this morning and got a zero reading for NO3. I also tested the tank and got 80 ppm. This may have been what it was last night and didn't get an accurate read on the color under the kitchen llights. I skipped the KNO3 this morning. I may need to cut back on the KNO3 dose due to the heavy fish load.

    The plant suffering from the holes is relatively new. When I purchased it I had the family w/ me and, as a resyult of ther boredom w/ the whole fish thing, got rushed out of the store bbefore I could take note of the name. It has fine, broad, pale green leaves growing from a central stem. Slightly red on the edges.

    Further thoughts appreciated.

    James
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: Crazy Nitrate Levels

    A number of years ago when I kept Discus, I didn't dose KNO3 for several years. I got all of the Nitrate I needed from the heavy raw beef heart and fish waste ...

    What I did do ... was simply substitute Potassium Sulfate for whatever I *would* have dosed Potassium Nitrate ...

    One of my personal opinions is that whenever we experience a high nitrate contribution from fish food, fish waste, or naturally high nitrate levels in tap water, that we need to pay extra special attention to making sure that we have enough Potassium ...

    So *IF* you come to the conclusion that you are getting a substantial nitrate contribution from your fish load ... you might keep your nitrate needs in the back of your minds ...

    That said ... I think its rare in today's high light environment that we actually get that substantive of a contribution of Nitrate from a heavy fish load. I do think it used to be far more common when lighting levels were much lower.

    Greg
     
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