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NO3 Help

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by BradH, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    I have a low light non CO2 tank. When I first set it up I was doing the EI method with excel. Then I stopped dosing or doing anything, but I kept up on my water changes. Slowly but surely I was getting some algae. Found out I was doing everything wrong after reading some more and thanks to you guys advice in a previous post... I started dosing excel every other day and my ferts once a week, and I cut back on my water changes to once a month, since I'm dosing the excel.. I bought an API test kit to test for Nitrates to make sure everything was ok. My readings came out to 0 after a month of no water changes. So my question... Are the API test kits reliable? Should I be dosing more KNO3? All the plants look good in my tank except for the rotala has some yellowing and holes on the leaves and my wisteria has some black on the leaves. Other than those 2 plants though, everything looks good and the growth is good. Any suggestions?
     
  2. phanmc

    phanmc Lifetime Charter Member
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    Using Excel will increase plant growth, which puts more demands for ferts. So try increasing your ferts to twice a week or until you are able to maintain a nitrate level of around 10ppm.

    API test kits are reliable enough for our purposes. Test the kit out, add some nitrates to some tap water and see if it registers.
     
  3. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    Thanks. I'll add some to some water and test it out and up my dosing to 2 times a week.
     
  4. pelmato

    pelmato Junior Poster

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    first, test your test...put some KNO3 in it. ;)
     
  5. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    Does it matter if I'm using liquid instead of dry ferts? I'm using seachem. I added some to some water, then filled up the test tube and added the drops. The color stayed yellow, which is 0ppm on the test card, but the top of the water in the test tube looked like it changed, just not all the water in the tube.
     
  6. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    1/2mL of Flourish Nitrogen in a gallon of water is about 10ppm per FertFriend. If you add any Flourish to a test tube and see no change in your kit, something is wrong.

    Since you're doing regular water changes anyway, why not just go back to EI? As you've already found, you can deplete any excess nutrients simply by changing water again and having plants grow :) When I kept healthy growing low tech tanks, I never found dosing KNO3 to hurt, and, for what its worth, even in slow growing tanks find it much easier to float a somewhat attractive fast grower (say, Wisteria) and trim it for nutrient export than I do testing.
     
  7. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have a low light, non-CO2 tank to which I have to add NO3 about once every 6 weeks or so. I aim for a range of 5 to 10 ppm, but I don't worry if it is outside of that range.

    Why do you dose Excel?

    Bill
     
  8. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the info. I forgot about FertFriend... I couldn't remember the name actually. haha I do have some frogbit floating, so it could be sucking it up.


    I was dosing excel to battle some BBA that was popping up. It's gone now, so I guess I could stop dosing.
     
  9. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    I just looked at FertFriend, thank you CZADO, and if I want to bring up my tank of 29gallons to 10ppm, then I need to dose alot more. I was just dosing 2.5 ml like the bottle said , but according to ferfriend I need to dose about 15ml to get to 10ppm.
     
  10. SpeedEuphoria

    SpeedEuphoria Prolific Poster

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    That sounds right, seachem is known to be "lean" on the dosing.

    Also make sure you realy shake up the #2 bottle for the API Nitrate test, I didnt have any issues, then when it was near empty and I had not been testing lately, I got a false "0". I reshook the bottle and retested and got a valid test.
     
  11. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    I would say Seachem is very lean on there dosing. I didn't shake the #2 bottle at all, so I guess I completely screwed that up. Will test again.

    thanks for all the help.
     
  12. BradH

    BradH Junior Poster

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    Wow! I guess I should have read the directions in the first place. I was just used to doing it like most other API tests. Now that I shaked up the bottle and the test tube for a minute I got results. Looks like i am at 10ppm. So I guess I'm good.
     
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