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Nitrate too high

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by rcalzadilla, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    100 gal net
    CO2= 30ppm
    Nitrate in tank: 50ppm (Has been like this for 8 weeks. Test kit is good)
    Issues: BBA which is growing and BGA which seems to be receding.

    EI dosing= 6g 3x week
    City water Nitrate= 0.54ppm

    What may be causing this high Nitrate level and does it matter?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sounds like poor uptake of NO3.

    You have been adding 23 ppm of NO3 to this tank per week.
    Add some fish in there, let's say 25-30ppm total.

    So that;'s about right if you have no uptake and you have BBA.

    BBA=> CO2.

    If you slack on CO2 in a tank, not much NO3 will be used, if you have good CO2?
    Lots of NO3 will be and no BBA.

    It's pretty much that simple as to a cause.

    So the issue of NO3 can be easily resolved, dose less, do water changes.
    However, add more back once you address the CO2 issue.

    Plants are not getting enough.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    SMS Controller turn off at 6.4 PH turns on at 6.5 PH. Morning PH 6.7.
    Controller and probe calibrated.
    I get no pearling except for a brief, 15 min. light overlap period (between front and rear light banks), at noon.

    3 dKH
    5ml Exel every other day, started 6 days ago.
    5g Grumpy's GH Booster, 1X week., started 2 weeks ago.
    Drop Checker green to light green.

    CO2 looks good to me.
    Will reduce KNO3 until BBA goes away.

    tks

    raul
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Are you dosing phosphates per EI too? I know some people modify the EI recommendations depending on the conditions in their own tank. But, without phosphates plants will use very little nitrates.

    Your very limited pearling could indicate low CO2, in spite of what the drop checker shows. By the way, is the water in the drop checker distilled or DI water, and not tank or tap water?

    Edit: Don't forget the need for good water flow throughout the tank. If the drop checker is located near the point where CO2 is introduced, especially above that point, it could show much more CO2 than most of the tank ever sees. With good, even vigorous water flow throughout the tank CO2 is much more likely to be available everywhere in the tank.
     
  5. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Hi VaugnH:
    Yes, my Phosphate per EI is 2.8g KH2PO4 3x week.
    Not dosing extra K2SO4 beyond what is in KNO3 (6.13ppm 3xwk)

    Drop Checker with "4dKH Standard" water. DC Installed 72" away from CO2 inlet.
    Good water circulation with Aquaclear 50 Powerhead (174gph?) at same end of tank as CO2 inlet.

    Any ideas for NO3 uptake would be greatly appreciated.

    Otherwise my tank is doing pretty good overall at 6 months of age.

    raul
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think you got what I meant.

    You also do not have pearling.
    That is a HUGE sign that you have poor CO2.
    Do not place so much blind faith in measurements and CO2 readings.

    Never do that.

    You cannot, it's impossible, to get rid of BBA in a controlled test using less KNO3.
    You cannot do it even if you spent 6 months trying.

    I know because we tried this.

    CO2.

    Focus solely on this.
    Then you'll get the uptake from the dosing of KNO3 which you lack now.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Oops, sorry. Should have read it over to understand correctly.

    Obviously CO2 is not right.
    Will do tests to find out what's wrong with my CO2 injection.

    Appreciate your patience with an old man.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    How do you inject CO2, what kind of reactor setup? A 6 foot long tank needs a lot of water flow to even come close to getting good distribution of CO2 throughout the tank with CO2 coming from only one location in the tank. If I recall correctly, tanks that long usually need multiple CO2 input sites.
     
  9. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Hi VaughnH:
    Reactor a la Rex Grigg which I think is working perfectly

    I have pressurized CO2 with SMS 122 Controller, which I think (actually my wife thinks) I'm not using properly. Too much PH swings.
    Also have a Aquaclear 50 Powerhead for water movement which may be dislodging some of the CO2 out of the water.

    I am making some changes in the way I use it and will let you know.

    Thanks so much for your interest.

    raul
    .
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Isn't the Aquaclear 50 a hang on back filter? I looked it up in Google and that's what I found. That will be depleting CO2 in the tank about as fast as you add it, in my opinion. I suggest getting a powerhead such as a Maxijet 1200 for better water circulation. You could then modify its impeller to make it be a CO2 mist generator too.
     
  11. 2wheelsx2

    2wheelsx2 Lifetime Members
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    Maybe you want to run a manifold and another CO2 injection point at the other end? I had CO2 problems in my 125 in the past and had to run a diffuser at each end.
     
  12. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Actually they both ( the filter and powehead) carry the same model 50 and it's confusing. The Powerhead Aquaclear 50 is just a powerhead which I install with suction cups (provided) about 4 inches below water surface:

    AquaClear 70 (802) Powerhead, Powerheads | Pet Solutions

    It has the added benefit of using a Quick Filter attachment which does a great job of ridding my tank of floating diatoms and other debris.

    I have just turned it off while I test my CO2 injection problem.

    tks
     
  13. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Thanks. I will consider using to CO2 imputs.
     
  14. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla Prolific Poster

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    Hi VaughnH:
    I have increased my CO2 levels and will continue increasing until rid of BBA and no stressed fish.

    I am getting a lot of pearling when lights overlap between front and rear light-banks, for 25 minutes, at 3.84 Watts/ gallon.

    My tank is receiving 8 hrs of 1.92 Watts/ gallon alternating between front and rear banks.

    Should I increase my lights or keep working just on CO2?

    tks
    raul
     

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