Curious about Nitrates
My two planted tanks have been up and running (the 23 gal for about 3 months now) my 43 gal has been cycled for about 2 weeks now.
I see some people have 0 nitrates. I know 20 is acceptable, but I wonder why I have the numbers I have, since I have plants. I've recently done WC twice a week (smaller amounts) rather than the 40-50% I was doing weekly.
My nitrates in my 43 gal were reading 20ppm yesterday, and I did a 15 gal WC. Which brings it down to 10. I use the API liquid test and I shake bottle #2 for almost 2 minutes before I add it.
Does it just take a long time to get a tank established where you get a reading of 0? In my 23 gal I have 2 gourami and 4 small Angelica loaches and a MS and 2 ghost shrimp.
In my 43 gal I have 5 neon dwarf rainbow fish and 3 ghost shrimp. I try not to overfeed either tank, offering food once a day, and they eat it up within 30 seconds. I use some flake and pellet/sinking food and offer frozen varieties too a few times a week.
I'm going to attempt to add pictures of my tanks. The stuff in the corner (floating) in my 23 gal is water sprite, which doesn't do well and I think it's because the light is too bright. I've moved some of it over to my other tank. Hope it does better there.
Your tanks are looking nice. I'd say the reason you're nitrates are at the level they are is partly because your tanks aren't that heavily planted yet. Give the plants some time to grow. Also, do you fertilise with something like flourish comprehensive? - this allows the plants to make more use of the available ammonia reducing the amount that will become nitates. Another factor is the k rating of your bulbs - plants need something around 6500k to grow best, again taking up more of the ammonia
My heavily planted tank normally runs at around 10-20ppm nitrate but is a little over stocked
I've spent enough on plants for now, so I'm holding off on these growing (or not). I had some supposed low light plant (bushy, can't remember name, they called it a "fry saver") but it died almost immediately after I planted it)
it was probably horn wort.
IMO you don't want nitrates zero. Thats one of the main form of nitrogen for plants. Those that do high tech actually add nitrates to the tank.
okay so it is okay if I have around 10ppm
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