NitrAte and plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Question NitrAte and plants

Is it normal to get a 0ppm nitrAte reading with live plants in the tank? I am showing 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, but now I'm also showing 0 nitrAte. This is my 5g tank with 4 live plants.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 10:38 AM
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Its possible!
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaC144 View Post
Is it normal to get a 0ppm nitrAte reading with live plants in the tank? I am showing 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, but now I'm also showing 0 nitrAte. This is my 5g tank with 4 live plants.
Lisa- All my tanks are planted and all my tanks test 0 for nitrates. Plants consume (absorb?) nitrates so it's not at all unusual that your tank has a zero reading for nitrates.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I feel a whole lot better. Just wanted to make sure my cycle wasn't thrown off as this is my first planted tank
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 01:20 PM
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Yup like Kym said they consume it, you'll only then get a reading if they're SO sky high that even all your plants can't consume it, which in my tank-lifetime never had happens Which is WHY planted tanks are AWESOME lol

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-24-2010, 01:30 PM
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Yes it is normal, but I must just correct something. It is ammonium, not nitrates, that the plants are mainly consuming as their preferred source of nitrogen. I explain this in Part Two of the 4-part stickies at the head of this section. What little ammonia/ammonium the plants might miss, the nitrosomonas bacteria will grab, but this is very little in a well-planted tank with few fish since the plants are quick to assimilate it.

For plants to use nitrates as their nitrogen source, it costs them considerable energy to convert nitrate back into ammonium; this is why they use ammonium by preference.

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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