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I know nitrates are comprised of the left over waste from fish food and poop, so the question is is there a such a thing as good nitrates and bad nitrates when it comes to the makeup of the nitrate? I know adding something such as Flourish fertilizer and excel or easy green and liquid carbon are in this case "good" nitrates. Is there such a thing as a bad nitrate , which would be defined as something a plant cant consume? 

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This is a complex chemistry question. For the easy version, nitrates from fish waste and fertilizer will act in your aquarium the same essentially. There are differences, but as a hobbyist we are unlikely to see them.

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8 minutes ago, Cory said:

This is a complex chemistry question. For the easy version, nitrates from fish waste and fertilizer will act in your aquarium the same essentially. There are differences, but as a hobbyist we are unlikely to see them.

Ill take the easy version as it suites my needs that aslong as I maintain around 20-40ppm nitrates in my planted tanks and dose micro and macro nutrients I should be fine.  

Thank you

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This piqued my interest so I looked into it a bit

* Note all the numbers should be sub script but I am not sure how to do that.

Nitrate is a chemical, NO3, Potassium nitrate is also a chemical, KNO3.

When you dissolve KNO3 in water you get K + NO3, so you have a liquid fertilizer with K and NO3.


When fish poop, nitrifying bacteria go through a complicated process of turning the Ammonia in it into Nitrite and then different bacteria turn the nitrite to nitrate, NO3.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrifying_bacteria


it seems the NO3 produced from the nitrification process and the NO3 produced as a result of dissolving KNO3 or other nitrates in water, are both the same NO3, but with the poop, you are getting what ever other minerals are in the food you are feeding while with the fertilizer you just get the minerals that plants want. 

Edited by MattyIce
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