Originally Posted by Silverthorne
If not doing water changes in FW or SW, dosing of macro and micro nutrients will have to be done no?
What happens when minerals are depleted and nitrates are raised. Not everyone has a well balanced aquarium. My nitrates won't drop bellow 2.5ppm and highest has been at 5ppm.
Would not being stricter with feeding etc help with excess (bad) nutrient creation?
Bear in mind that water changes add phosphates to the aquarium. *sigh* What to do?
I've run SW setup before and as soon as phosphates get in it wreaks havoc as lighting has to be extremely high for corals.
Many SW enthusiasts use ATS (algae turf scrubber)and reap the benefits with reduced Phosphates, Nitrates and creation of habitat for Pods. I run a sump in my FW aquarium, so was thinking, why not have a ATS with very strong lighting to migrate algae to that specific spot? or even an sump camber with high lighting and hardware for algae to grow on?
I'm aware that it might not run the same as in SW, buy I can only think of positives.
Byron, tell me what u think!
I will only comment on FW planted aquaria; I've absolutely no experience with saltwater tanks so will leave that for those many on here who do. However, regardless of how this works in SW, the FW is as below.
First, there is certainly nothing wrong with 2.5 or 5 ppm nitrate. My 90g runs at 5 ppm, my 115g at 10 ppm (this because the fish load is considerably greater in the 115g, and at the same time the plant load is greater in the 90g though perhaps not by much).
It is not likely that all nutrients will be present in tap water; some may be, especially calcium and magnesium in harder water, and perhaps copper, iron, manganese may be present in trace amounts [which is why water conditioners detoxify heavy metals, these named being heavy metals]. Some arrive in the aquarium via fish food. But in my experience, most planted tank aquarists find they have to use liquid fertilizer to supply those nutrients that are missing; the frequency depends upon the specific conditions in your aquarium. I for instance have very soft water out of the tap, at most 1 dGH and KH, so there is not much of anything, and if I do not use Flourish twice a week [and I have experimented with this several times] my plants quickly begin to deteriorate, within 1-2 weeks.
To my knowledge, this does not vary much with or without water changes. The plants use the nutrients, and unless they are being somehow added as they are used, they will become depleted. The safest way in my view is to use a good comprehensive liquid fertilizer. All plants utilize nutrients from the water. They may do so through their roots in the substrate, but if water does not percolate down through the substrate, bringing nutrients with it or picking them up from the substrate, the plant roots will not get them [this is one main reason I advocate small gravel over sand]. And obviously floating plants and other non-substrate root plants assimilate nutrients from the water.
Back to the nitrates, in a planted aquarium nitrates will never be an issue. As I mentioned, nitrates up to 10 ppm are fine; some have zero. It depends upon the number of plants and how they function, plus the number and type of fish. All this has to roughly balance, and provided you do not overload the fish beyond what the whole aquarium can reasonably handle (meaning the water volume, area needed by the fish, plants, substrate depth for bacteria) you will have a balanced aquarium. Also provided you do not interfere with the natural balance by adding Excel (carbon supplement) or more nutrients than the plants can use with the given light, etc. It is not difficult to achieve this balance; my philosophy is to start with everything minimal, the least needed in both light and nutrients. The balance will be there.