Ideas to increase nitrates?

freshgoby

Junior Poster
Jan 8, 2007
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I recently found that my plants really thrive and grow in my tank when there are 5-10ppm of nitrates present in the water. Making the nitrates the limiting factor in my tank for growth.

The plants have since sucked up all of the nitrates and levels are back to zero and growth has slowed.Now I need to find a way to get nitrates back into my tank.

A friend of mine suggested adding a bio-wheel filter to my tank saying that bio-wheels produce nitrates, I was a little skeptical and after reading this>
FishIndex.com Forums - The Great truth about the untruth on bio wheels bio balls, etc.
I'm not so sure it would actually work. Granted the post has to do with saltwater but I figure when it comes to the nitrogen cycle, saltwater and freshwater aren't too different.

The way I see it, I need to add ammonia or nitrates in order to provide my plants with what they need. I have tried dissolving different kinds of terrestrial fertilizers (Osmocote 14-14-14 & 12-6-19 and Jobes Plant Spikes for Ferns) to make a "Nitrate water" I could dose into the tank, but when I dose it I see no change in the nitrate levels (Nitrate levels with Jobes Plant Spike dissolved in 250ml water is about 160ppm).

I was thinking of putting a small piece of cooked shrimp into the tank, but I worry that that will create a problem with phosphates. My other thought was to take small piece of a Jobes Plant Spike for Ferns, place it in a filter-media bag, and put it in my filter to dissolve out into the tank.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what I could/should do - other than buying an expensive pre-made nitrate supplement from Seachem ?

50 gallon freshwater tank, HOT Magnum filter (used for Mechanical Filtration only, 2 T5 bulbs equalling 17500K @78W
1 brushnose pleco
6 Peacock Gudgeons
4 Green Flame Tetras
6 Serpae Tetras
2 Kuhli Loaches
2-3 Amano Shrimp
Red & Green Tiger Lotus, Amazon Sword, Water Sprite, and Broad Leafed Red Ludwigia.
 

sw00n

Junior Poster
Nov 17, 2006
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You can purchase almost every element and compound you need, including nitrate, for a planted aquarium at bargain price from Greg Watson's site.
However, if you don't live in Canada or the US, like me, you can obtain most of it from a good hydroponic store with similar pricing.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
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Sacramento, CA
freshgoby;13095 said:
I recently found that my plants really thrive and grow in my tank when there are 5-10ppm of nitrates present in the water. Making the nitrates the limiting factor in my tank for growth.

The plants have since sucked up all of the nitrates and levels are back to zero and growth has slowed. Now I need to find a way to get nitrates back into my tank.

A friend of mine suggested adding a bio-wheel filter to my tank saying that bio-wheels produce nitrates, I was a little skeptical and after reading this>
FishIndex.com Forums - The Great truth about the untruth on bio wheels bio balls, etc.
I'm not so sure it would actually work. Granted the post has to do with saltwater but I figure when it comes to the nitrogen cycle, saltwater and freshwater aren't too different.

The way I see it, I need to add ammonia or nitrates in order to provide my plants with what they need. I have tried dissolving different kinds of terrestrial fertilizers (Osmocote 14-14-14 & 12-6-19 and Jobes Plant Spikes for Ferns) to make a "Nitrate water" I could dose into the tank, but when I dose it I see no change in the nitrate levels (Nitrate levels with Jobes Plant Spike dissolved in 250ml water is about 160ppm).

I was thinking of putting a small piece of cooked shrimp into the tank, but I worry that that will create a problem with phosphates. My other thought was to take small piece of a Jobes Plant Spike for Ferns, place it in a filter-media bag, and put it in my filter to dissolve out into the tank.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what I could/should do - other than buying an expensive pre-made nitrate supplement from Seachem ?


50 gallon freshwater tank, HOT Magnum filter (used for Mechanical Filtration only, 2 T5 bulbs equalling 17500K @78W
1 brushnose pleco
6 Peacock Gudgeons
4 Green Flame Tetras
6 Serpae Tetras
2 Kuhli Loaches
2-3 Amano Shrimp
Red & Green Tiger Lotus, Amazon Sword, Water Sprite, and Broad Leafed Red Ludwigia.
Let me start by requesting that you not set the color of the type when you post. You are posting in yellow and white, which don't show up at all on the style of window I view the forum on.

Nitrate is a simple chemical ion - NO3, and can most easily be provided to the plants by dosing potassium nitrate, which covers you for both potassium and nitrogen for the plants. No need to make it more difficult than that.