Gage.R Posted December 24, 2021 Share Posted December 24, 2021 (edited) tank stats: 20g Long light: Fluval 3.0 20% for 8 hours a day ferts: liquid east green 2 pumps once a week (although haven’t dosed since the issue. Easy root tabs plants: trident fern, tiger lotus, crypts, vallisneria, dwarf sag, dwarf Lilly, dwarf water lettuce. c02: yes ph: 7.6pom Ammonia:0ppm Nitrite:0ppm Nitrate: 40ppm So I’ve been battling an issue with high nitrates in one of my my 20g longs with no livestock. I thought I knew the issues but I’m stumped on how to go about resolving it. This tank is “medium tech” with low amounts of c02 and low/light and liquid ferts, (with the exception of a lot of root tabs in the substrate). I do think that having a lot of plants that are heavy root feeders and slower growers is really up a big part of the issue here. The tank is full of Vallisneria, dwarf sag, Crypts, a few tiger lotus bulbs, a dwarf Lilly bulb, swords, and a fair amount of epiphytes on the rocks and driftwood. (some dwarf water lettuce too). So because of this I have kept my water column fertilizing schedule pretty minimal (2 pumps of easy green once a week). So the problem I ran into a few weeks ago is that my nitrates are consistently sitting around 40ppm. So because of this I’ve stopped my liquid ferts and increased water changes. When I first noticed this I did A 50% water change and rinsed out my filter sponge. I tested my water using both the API test kit and tetra test strips and still read about 40 ppm nitrates. So you may think that my tapwater could potentially be the issue however my tapwater has zero nitrates and about .50 ppm ammonia due to chloramines. So within the same week a few days later I did a 25% water change and a light hovering over the substrate as I cannot really “gravel vac” due to the large plant mass on the substrate. Next week I did another 50% water change and a 25% about three days later while hovering over the substrate and getting as much detritus as I possibly could. Once again after testing my tank, The nitrates were still 40ppm. Now this is without dosing liquid ferts, for the duration of doing these water changes over two weeks. Currently my nitrates are still reading 40ppm, so I did take a water sample to my trusted LFS and they got the same results so I am not convinced it is a test kit issue. What is making me question the efficacy of these test results is that my floating plants aren’t doing that great although the tank has a decently high flow so this could be it and the fluval 3.0 is positioned to the point of the light being very centered to the middle of the tank so portions of those floating plants aren’t getting as much lights others. Now I am of the impression that this could possibly be that the ammonia in my tapwater is kind of canceling out the water changes in the sense of the ammonia just being converted straight to nitrates after removing nitrates. I’m at the point now where the dwarf lily starting to develop some small holes regardless of adding root tabs Weekly so I suspect this might want some liquid ferts as it is a huge plant now. I feel as if I know the answer already but failing to realize it. Any help is appreciated. happy holidays! Edited December 24, 2021 by Gage.R 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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