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plant nitrate uptake

This is a discussion on plant nitrate uptake within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> How did you salt bathe the plants? How much salt how much water how long? Do you use salt in the aquarium at all?...

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:34 PM   #11
 
How did you salt bathe the plants? How much salt how much water how long? Do you use salt in the aquarium at all?
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:36 AM   #12
 
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5 gallons of water, 5 gallons of salt water (heavy, id say the better part of a small API salt carton). I swish the new plants around in the salt water for probably 10-20 seconds, dip and a swish in the fresh water, then into the tank. Never salt in my tanks. Im 50/50 on doing it, and I didnt do it for a long time. Never did any harm, though its funny how some folks think it just does everything Id like to see some research personally. I do it because its supposed to help cut down the possibility of nuisance snails, but ive also heard it lowers the possibility of transmitting ick from tank to tank. probably an old wives tale, but its never done any harm, and ive never had a snail population boom.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #13
 
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I never bother trying to disinfect plants. Rhonda Wilson once wrote in her column in TFH that anything strong enough to kill snails, snail eggs, algae and ich would kill the plants, and in weaker solution is useless. A better option would be to place the new plants in a fishless tank for a couple weeks.

To your question about nitrates. Unless the nitrates are very high, I would not suspect them of causing the issues described. [I am not disease person, but I would say that what you describe sounds like a protozoan. Members with more experience in this area will be of more help.] Knowing the number in the tap water and the tank may help here, as it will stress many fish at elevated levels and some of the species mentioned are very sensitive to nitrates. But I'm still not suggesting this is the whole issue.

Plants will use nitrates but not readily, only as a last resort. According to studies cited by Walstad, and supported by other botanists and planted tank sources, most of our aquarium plants prefer nitrogen as ammonium. They will use the available ammonium and/or ammonia until it is depleted--which in an aquarium I would suspect is likely never going to occur due to the substrate bacteria breaking down organics and the fish respiration and waste. Once the ammonium/ammonia is used up, plants would then use nitrate and perhaps nitrite before that (studies on this are inconclusive, but suggestive). What is known is that aquarium plants taking up nitrite or nitrate have to internally change it back into ammonium in order to assimilate it as nitrogen, and this takes more energy from the plant. Thus, ammonium (ammonia) is faster and preferred.

Byron.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
 
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I take away from that, that If I can get rid of the nitrates, they wont occur at all (in quantity). I never got to the LFS today, will try to get there tomorrow for a new test kit. Provided the source water isnt nitrate ridden (ive tested before with 0 results but who knows, the whole area was farm land at one point) then I should be able to get by with just water changes.

Ill post the results tomorrow.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
I take away from that, that If I can get rid of the nitrates, they wont occur at all (in quantity).
True. I see nitrates at zero to 5 ppm (the API nitrate test colour for 5ppm) and I have fairly heavily-stocked tanks fish-wise. I'm sure some ammonia gets grabbed by nitrosomonas bacteria; I've read from several sources that plants are somewhat faster but no one says totally. And of course at night when plants are not photosynthesizing I've no idea how much ammonia/ammonium they would be taking up then. So some goes through the nitrification process.

If nitrates are in the tap water, we will know from the test number what should perhaps be done, if anything.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:09 PM   #16
 
If you turned your filter off for a day, won't all the bacteria have died off? You could be having an ammonia spike.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:07 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Rayemond View Post
If you turned your filter off for a day, won't all the bacteria have died off? You could be having an ammonia spike.
ammonia never once climbed above zero. and no, not in 1 day. I turned it off but the media stayed wet. Its only a mech pad anywhoo!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #18
 
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Welp, I did the battery of tests this evening. For this particular tank ammonia and nitrites are both 0. Nitrates measured at about 22 (im guessing, was just slightly into the 20-30 range) ppm. And that was after a 50% water change yesterday.

Ph of 7.3ish, (read bone bottom of the scale on high range ph test)

GH 90ppm
KH 54ppm.

I dont want to completely remove my liquid ferts, so I will do a water change every other day, and a dose of prime in between until the nitrates come down (which I would think they would). The tank is fed heavily, but all the food gets eaten in a few minutes. I will have to get better about just grazing the surface with the vac to get the leftovers out when im back to weekly water changes.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by beetlebz View Post
Welp, I did the battery of tests this evening. For this particular tank ammonia and nitrites are both 0. Nitrates measured at about 22 (im guessing, was just slightly into the 20-30 range) ppm. And that was after a 50% water change yesterday.

Ph of 7.3ish, (read bone bottom of the scale on high range ph test)

GH 90ppm
KH 54ppm.

I dont want to completely remove my liquid ferts, so I will do a water change every other day, and a dose of prime in between until the nitrates come down (which I would think they would). The tank is fed heavily, but all the food gets eaten in a few minutes. I will have to get better about just grazing the surface with the vac to get the leftovers out when im back to weekly water changes.
Have you checked the tap water for nitrates yet? This was suggested earlier in this thread, but I don't see any results. If nitrates are in the tap water, more water changes will worsen not help the tank.

Also, if using the API liquid nitrate test, remember to shake regent #2 for 2 minutes, not just the 30 seconds in the instructions; otherwise the result may be innacurate and higher than what it is.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:13 AM   #20
 
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interesting, I had forgotten that shaking more than instructed was necessary. That makes me breathe a little easier as my 110g tested close to 60ppm. I will double check my nitrate results in about an hour when I head to the house. I did not have an opportunity to check my tap water yesterday, was running late for a meeting. I will do that when I go over there today :)

thanks for the heads up on the nitrate test. its been so long since ive used it I had completely forgotten about that tidbit! I believe it was "shake until your arm is about to fall off, then keep going for another minute"
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