High Nitrates and Fish Health

twilothunder

Junior Poster
Apr 13, 2005
9
0
1
Hi everyone :)

I’m coming up on week 4 of EI and my tank is exhibiting what I believe to be very high nitrate levels. Below are my tank specs and dosing regiment:

20 Gallon High
Eheim 2213 Canister Filter
65 Watt Coralife Fixture with 1x 50/50 bulb (8000k Pink & 7100k White).
DIY CO2 (2x 64 Ounce bottles) with 2 Hagen Ladder Diffusers (1 set halfway).
Eheim Air Diffuser run 50/50 on/off at lights off (timer).
Eco-Complete Substrate (approx 1.5 inches deep)
Heavily Planted (approx 13 stems red temple, 13 stems rotala, 5 stems ambulia, 1/3 substrate covered with glosso, mossball and an ever expanding clump of java moss)
Heavily Stocked (4 Corydoras Sterbai, 9 Corydoras Habrosus, 3 Ottos and tons of cherry shrimp – they sure like to make babies!).
*I'll be moving the Habrosus to my ten and replacing them with 3 Sterbai (currently being quarantined) very soon.

50-55% (10 Gallons) water change on Sunday (conditioned with SeaChem Prime).
1/8 teaspoon SeaChem Equilibrium after water change.
1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 4x a week (every other day - Sun, Tue, Thu, Sat).
1/16 teaspoon of KH2PO4 4x a week (every other day - Sun, Tue, Thu, Sat).
5mls SeaChem Flourish and 2.5mls SeaChem Trace added 3x a week on off days as macro nutrients (Mon, Wed, Fri).

PH 6.4-6.8 (actually gets higher at lights on, I’m guessing because the air diffuser gases out CO2 at night)
KH 3-5 (typically higher after water change)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Phosphate 1
Nitrate 160 (highest reading on the test kit)

Plants are doing GREAT, I couldn’t be happier with the progress I’ve seen over the past few weeks. My corydoras however are exhibiting irritated gills and frayed fins (getting worse every week).

Granted I’m using crap test kits (Red Sea-Phosphate and Aquarium Pharmaceuticals-Nitrate), however, before EI my nitrates were between 10-20 (with the same kit). So, there seems to be a change there.

Also, my light is considerable lower than the 110 watts indicate in the EI, so an adjustment seems to be in order.

I plan to perform a serious gravel vac, treat with both melafix/pimafix and make the following adjustment to my fertilization routine:

1/8 teaspoon of KNO3 2x a week (Sun and Thu). As opposed to 1/4 teaspoon 4x a week.

I’m fairly new to planted tanks and definitely new to EI. If some more experienced members can weigh in on my current setup and proposed changes I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
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745
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Re: High Nitrates and Fish Health

You do not need 4x a week of 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3, try 1/2 that with good fish load.

The kit is simply dead wrong.

Your max would be about 45ppm if no plant uptake occured.
That is an absolute.

So 1/2 that will still put you at target- 20ppm or so.

The fish are stressed due to other issues.
I have the same type of fish and species.
20-30ppm NO3.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

twilothunder

Junior Poster
Apr 13, 2005
9
0
1
Re: High Nitrates and Fish Health

Tom Barr said:
You do not need 4x a week of 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3, try 1/2 that with good fish load.

The kit is simply dead wrong.

Your max would be about 45ppm if no plant uptake occured.
That is an absolute.

So 1/2 that will still put you at target- 20ppm or so.

The fish are stressed due to other issues.
I have the same type of fish and species.
20-30ppm NO3.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Thank you Tom, I'll cut the KNO3 and keep searching for the fauna irritant.

mlfishman - word, reminds me of my twilo days :D

Thanks again!
 

mlfishman

Junior Poster
May 5, 2005
12
0
1
Re: High Nitrates and Fish Health

me2 twilothunder, I used to love that phazon sound system.