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I have a 55 gal fish tank and I do a 60% water change every 2 weeks.  My nitrates at the water change is usually 20ppm then is usually 40ppm before the water change with adding no fertilizer.  Do I or should I add fertilizer?  I did this time and its only been a week since my water change and the nitrates are almost 80ppm.

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Hi @Scherry, do you happen to have a picture you can post of the aquarium? What is your stocking like? How often do you feed? How many and which plants do you have? What light do you have and how long is it on for? 

Going based off of the nitrate readings, I would not add any easy green. I would work on having enough plants and plant growth to keep up with your bioload. If the nitrates keep rising, it usually means your plants cannot keep up with the bioload. 

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I'm just really getting started in plants.  I received 2 penny wort last week that I think got too hot in shipment and were in and shape when I opened them.  I put them in the tank in their pots cause they were so bad and I think they are dying nor at least they keep losing their stems and leaves and are down to nothing pretty much.  I have 10 corydoras and guppies which are having fry like crazy so I don't know exactly how many are in there.  I would guess at least 20.  The lights are what came with the tank.  I fed once a day but different foods each day.  I have a hang on the back filter and Undergravel filter with 2 power heads and 2 air stones.  My water here is hard.  All the other readings are good just the nitrates.  Hope I answered your questions.  

 

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Pennywort is fairly hardy so it may come back but only time will tell. Given that you are not heavily planted, I would refrain from adding fertilizer. The only other question I have as of now is what your nitrate is of the water coming straight from the tap? For instance, my tap water has between 10-20ppm of nitrates. It is good to know the baseline so we know what our starting point is. I would typically recommend a partial water change anytime your nitrates are over 40ppm. 

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