Finally, zero nitrates! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
JDM
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Finally, zero nitrates!

I always do my testing before the water change now that the tank is pretty well established so I know where things are at and mainly out of curiosity rather than concern for the levels.

Today is my first zero nitrate test... YAY! I've always had less than 5ppm so this was just a matter of time in coming.

I've included a recent shot of the tank for plant reference as I am sure that the plants are the main reason why the nitrates are disappearing. I know that the root tabs that are in there are gone by now and due for replacement so I am curious if adding them again will allow the nitrates to ride back up again.

Jeff.
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Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 11:18 AM
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congrates

It does seem to take forever for nitrates to drop down especially compared to ammonia/nitrItes. Phosphates take even longer.

And I'm sure nitrates would jump up again with the root tabs or any other fertz which may add some ammonia.

meanwhile here comes the cyano.


But in the mean time just enjoy.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
congrates

It does seem to take forever for nitrates to drop down especially compared to ammonia/nitrItes. Phosphates take even longer.

And I'm sure nitrates would jump up again with the root tabs or any other fertz which may add some ammonia.

meanwhile here comes the cyano.


But in the mean time just enjoy.

my .02
You wishin' cyano on me now? I don't think so as if it were going to appear I would have already seen it as I believe that zero nitrates is a symptom, not a cause. I'll let it ride for another week or two before putting root tabs back in to see if this is a consistent thing. As far as dead water spots (anouther suggested cyano factor) my spraybar is vertically oriented with exhaust holes on both sides that provides some water movement throughout the column.

You'll love this BBob. I stopped vacuuming at least a month ago... maybe two. There was nothing worth noting coming off the bottom so now I just siphon from mid water and leave the bottom alone. Certainly speeds up the change process. 10 mins for water out, 10 mins for water in and 10 mins for prep and cleanup.

I've no intention of dropping the water changes, although I might be able to based on testable toxins, I am not fond of the climbing GH that you experience in your tanks... mine is already hard enough that I tend to be in the top range for the fish and I would expect that some of the trace metals could become problematic without being obvious once they start building up. Having said that, my evaporative loss is next to nothing so it would be a very slow buildup.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 12:05 PM
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Your tank looks fabulous, Jeff! This is exactly the type of plant growth I wish for. I can't believe it only took your four months! Your betta is a mirror image of mine. Did you have any problems with him and other fish? Can you share in which order you stocked your tank fishwise? Thanks.
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

Betta first as we only had him (Oscar). Cherry Barbs next, emerald catfish next then more barbs (16 in total) then cherry shrimp. All these additions were spaced about two weeks apart other than the bettas and first group of barbs... they were within days.

No signs of aggression, fin nipping or even anything more than curiosity toward the shrimp. I got almost fully grown shrimp though, I am certain smaller ones would have become sushi.

I added plants all along and still buy one here and there. I pulled most stems out and transferred them to the office tank, added more crypts and assorted other stuff.

The only issue that showed was the betta took a 30 day fast recently... he's fine now but I wasn't sure what was up... never know I guess. Oh, I lost a couple emerald cats, they were wild caught so may have just been super sensitive to environmentals. Even though the water has been fine they may have been stressed by something else, maybe even the betta even with no obvious signs.

Oh, I added four pepper corys recently too. One rescue and three new little ones to bring the group op a bit.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 08:31 PM
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I was always under the impression you wanted some small level of nitrates for the plants since the bacteria does most of the work on the ammonia and nitrites. I guess with enough plants though and small bio load it makes sense for them to bottom out.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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I was always under the impression you wanted some small level of nitrates for the plants since the bacteria does most of the work on the ammonia and nitrites. I guess with enough plants though and small bio load it makes sense for them to bottom out.
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I don't consider it a small fish load and the number of plants are using up the vast majority of the ammonia, not the micro organisms. Any nitrite is probably dealt with by the bugs though. I wasn't initially thinking that I would hit zero but seeing as its been riding under 5, I figured that it might. I have plans to introduce one more group of fish now so we'll see what happens then.

Jeff


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 11:24 AM
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Which plants had the substrate tabs? I would only use one for that sword at the back. But if you were using them for the crypts, not adding them might cause a melt, hence the question.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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I had one for the sword and tried one for the vals and crypts out of curiosity.

The swords benefited. The crypts started to wilt (pre-melt) so I removed it and put it with the vals, I couldn't really tell if there were a difference or not with them.

Crypts are doing fine without, sprouts, green (or brown/red where expected)... seems normal.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
JDM is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 11:57 AM
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I had one for the sword and tried one for the vals and crypts out of curiosity.

The swords benefited. The crypts started to wilt (pre-melt) so I removed it and put it with the vals, I couldn't really tell if there were a difference or not with them.

Crypts are doing fine without, sprouts, green (or brown/red where expected)... seems normal.

Jeff.
Then I would stay with just one for the sword; these do make quite a difference with the larger species (non-chain).

Valls should be OK without tabs, providing you are using liquid.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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