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I'm not one to chase numbers, and everything is going good in my tank. But, in what ways can I lower my Nitrates? They're consistently 40ppm on a weekly basis. API Master Test Kit is used.

I have a 10g planted tank. Plants include: Anubias Nana Petite, Crypt Wendtii Green, Crypt Parva, Rosette Sword, Bacopa Caroliniana, Anubias Frazeri, Crypt Lutea, Banana Plant, Ammania Gracilias, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Dwarf Aquarium Lily.

Livestock: 5 Chili Rasboras, 7 Ember Tetras, 3 Kubotai Rasboras

Inverts: 1 Nerite snail, 2 Blue Velvet Shrimp

I do weekly water changes. I rinse out my AquaClear 30 every water change, I squeeze out the sponge in tank water, and change out the filter floss.

My GE T8 4100k Florescent is on a 7 hour light cycle - on a timer.

 

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19 minutes ago, igot2gats said:

I'm not one to chase numbers, and everything is going good in my tank. But, in what ways can I lower my Nitrates? They're consistently 40ppm on a weekly basis. API Master Test Kit is used.

I have a 10g planted tank. Plants include: Anubias Nana Petite, Crypt Wendtii Green, Crypt Parva, Rosette Sword, Bacopa Caroliniana, Anubias Frazeri, Crypt Lutea, Banana Plant, Ammania Gracilias, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Dwarf Aquarium Lily.

Livestock: 5 Chili Rasboras, 7 Ember Tetras, 3 Kubotai Rasboras

Inverts: 1 Nerite snail, 2 Blue Velvet Shrimp

I do weekly water changes. I rinse out my AquaClear 30 every water change, I squeeze out the sponge in tank water, and change out the filter floss.

My GE T8 4100k Florescent is on a 7 hour light cycle - on a timer.

 

 

What % of water do you change?

 Are you overfeeding the fish perhaps?

What substrate are you using?

How well are the plants doing?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, DaveSamsell said:

 

What % of water do you change?

 Are you overfeeding the fish perhaps?

What substrate are you using?

How well are the plants doing?

 

 

Eco Complete. 20% water changes. I don't feed a ton, IMO.

Here's a pic of my tank. 

Capture.JPG

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If you're looking for a natural way to lower nitrates (other than more water changes) I'd suggest floating plants or adding a pothos to your filter. Make sure to check the legality of the plants in your state because some are considered invasive (ex: Salvinia minima is illegal in my state). Definitely consider what other people have said before thinking this is the for-sure solution, I just personally tend to find excuses to get more plants.

Edited by ange
embedded a link to Texas Parks & Wildlife prohibited aquatics page as an example
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Pothos is amazing for lowering ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Here are some videos about it:

Life with Pets: Youtube Video

Tazawa Tanks: Youtube Link

Aquarium Co-Op: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQbVAtfQLho&t

Michael's Fishroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_IHN_wFqyg

And a video demonstrating the impact it can have from Rachel O'Leary (that woman is amazing!): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2jqZzHO2OA

Edited by Ben_RF
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On a sidenote, Pothos was a life saver for me one time when I using DIY osmocote tabs and they came up out of the substrate.  The DIY tabs started to cause an ammonia spike in the tank which then caused an algae bloom.  By adding pothos, the algae bloom cleared up and my numbers for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate all went back to normal.  Plus it gave me a beautiful looking plant.

Wandering Jew does not work as fast as pothos, but it does the same and provides a nice purple color.  

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1 hour ago, ange said:

If you're looking for a natural way to lower nitrates (other than more water changes) I'd suggest floating plants or adding a pothos to your filter. Make sure to check the legality of the plants in your state because some are considered invasive (ex: Salvinia minima is illegal in my state). Definitely consider what other people have said before thinking this is the for-sure solution, I just personally tend to find excuses to get more plants.

I tried a floating plant before. Salvinia Minima. I created a tube ring to put them in, and they still kept floating near the filter, and getting wet. Was more of a hassle than anything. Took that out.

I'll contemplate the Pothos in my filter. 

Thanks.

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Just now, TheDukeAnumber1 said:

TBH 40ppm really isn't bad, but Easy Green does have nitrogen in it so I would try dosing only once a week. I also agree with the other comments that a floating plant or pothos may help with the balance.

I was just about to edit my post and add the same thing basically lol

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A lot of the plants named are slow-growers and don't seem to be nitrate hogs. The roots may be pulling in nutrients from the substrate. Nitrogen added by way of fertilizer would be absorbed more readily (from what I've read, plants have to use more energy to absorb nitrate produced by organics in the water column). Overfiltration can actually be counterproductive in feeding plants, since they much prefer to absorb ammonia/ammonium and nitrite, where literally your beneficial bacteria are outcompeting your plants. And if you're doing low-light, your plants aren't super nutrient hungry in the first place. That's the case in pretty much all my aquariums as well. 

Other than that, I agree with the above  -- fast-growing floaters has helped me tremendously in some of my insane "holy-crap-that's-a-lot-of-fish" setups.

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2 hours ago, igot2gats said:

I dose Easy Green 2x per week, Eco Complete, 4 months

@igot2gats, My understanding is that Easy Green is supposed to be dosed, keeping in mind about 10-20 ppm of tested nitrates coming from the fertilizer itself.  This number is used as a proxy.  This fertilizer is great and I use it myself.  It is a 'hot' fertilizer, meaning it has a good amount of nitrogen in it.  Of course, nitrogen, potassium & phosphorus are the main 3 macro nutrients.  

Every aquarium is different and fertilizer dosing should be dialed in for your own, unique application plant requirements/fish sensitivity , etc.

 

 

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1 hour ago, DaveSamsell said:

@igot2gats, My understanding is that Easy Green is supposed to be dosed, keeping in mind about 10-20 ppm of tested nitrates coming from the fertilizer itself.  This number is used as a proxy.  This fertilizer is great and I use it myself.  It is a 'hot' fertilizer, meaning it has a good amount of nitrogen in it.  Of course, nitrogen, potassium & phosphorus are the main 3 macro nutrients.  

Every aquarium is different and fertilizer dosing should be dialed in for your own, unique application plant requirements/fish sensitivity , etc.

 

 

Like I said, I wasn't worried. I'm not a number chaser. My parameters are consistent week to week. 

It doesn't hurt to have lower Nitrates, so I was curious. 

I have definitely learned a lot from all the input. So, thanks to everyone for chiming in. I at least have options now.

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Hi @igot2gats, as you said, that is definitely not a bad level, and you just want to see if you can improve. Same here. I watched a YouTube vid last night where they compared identical planted tanks, one with injected CO2 and one without for a month or so and as expected the tank with co2 had much more growth, but also zero nitrates during the test period. The tank without c02 injection had steady nitrate increase, only decreasing with water changes. Planted tanks without co2 are definitely possible, and people here have "walstad tanks" that only need water changes after many months, but there are a lot of factors, and there isn't always an easy answer.

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5 hours ago, Ben_RF said:

And you can actually let the pothos roots drape down into your tank.  You don't have to do your filter. 

The main reason I suggest starting them in the filter is because I've had a lot of fish eat the roots (even if they leave submerged plants alone).

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On 9/30/2020 at 5:11 PM, Bill said:

Hi @igot2gats, as you said, that is definitely not a bad level, and you just want to see if you can improve. Same here. I watched a YouTube vid last night where they compared identical planted tanks, one with injected CO2 and one without for a month or so and as expected the tank with co2 had much more growth, but also zero nitrates during the test period. The tank without c02 injection had steady nitrate increase, only decreasing with water changes. Planted tanks without co2 are definitely possible, and people here have "walstad tanks" that only need water changes after many months, but there are a lot of factors, and there isn't always an easy answer.

Fully agree with what Bill said. If your plants have plenty of nitrate but are lacking in another nutrient (or CO2), they won't consume as much nitrate because they can't use it. @Danielposted this awesome diagram of a leaky barrel that shows how plant growth (and nutrient consumption) is limited by the scarcest element. 

772641523_Barrelillustrationforplantnutrients.png.49e438ac19a87b3561ef7e71ef8bba92.png

In this example, the plant growth is limited by nitrogen since it's the lowest plank of wood in the barrel. However, in my aquarium, I was lacking in potassium so my nitrate kept rising because the plants couldn't use it. Once I increased my potassium, the plants started consuming nitrate again. Hope that helps!

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