Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So I've been dosing Easy Green since forever in my 75 gallon, and it wasn't until fairly recently that I actually read the online store's instructions. So if I'm reading correctly, after dosing fertilizers and after some time for it to mix in, it should register on water test kits as nitrate? If that's true, never seeing a significant increase in nitrates is probably a symptom of not dosing enough fertilizers?

The tank is super over filtered but strictly with sponge and biomedia, so I don't think either would reduce nitrates. I also have been dosing 16 pumps about 4-5 times a week while also increasing my feedings to get more fish waste over the past 2 weeks. Thank you for the input!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your plant quantity/density? Got a pic?

Yes, it sounds like your plants are really consuming it all. Cory has suggested in the livestreams to aim for 20 or so ppm nitrates in the tank at all times. You can slow down the consumption by reducing the light.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really bad at this. I can't ever get myself to put in enough. But I test obsessively.

When I dose at the recommended 1 pump per 10g, I notice a modest increase for a day or so (10ppm), and then watch the nitrates drop to zero. If I did water changes based on nitrate levels, I would literally never change my water. My tanks are over planted and under stocked right now.

To get over it, I am planning on just springing for the BIIIG bottle. It is that, or set up seven auto dosers according to @Bill Smith's Starbucks dispensers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Bill Smith said:

What's your plant quantity/density? Got a pic?

Yes, it sounds like your plants are really consuming it all. Cory has suggested in the livestreams to aim for 20 or so ppm nitrates in the tank at all times. You can slow down the consumption by reducing the light.

Yeah it's pretty heavily planted. I actually recently increased my lighting about 2 weeks ago (i think? Time has lost all meaning in quarantine) and ferts but have noticed algae slowly growing on the newer plants so dialed back the intensity of the lights from 100% to 70% while continuing to dose 16 pumps. Still not seeing an increase in nitrates.

 

As im typing, I'm starting to wonder if this is an excuse i can use to add more fish to increase the bioload O_O

20200725_212509.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Brandy said:

I'm really bad at this. I can't ever get myself to put in enough. But I test obsessively.

When I dose at the recommended 1 pump per 10g, I notice a modest increase for a day or so (10ppm), and then watch the nitrates drop to zero. If I did water changes based on nitrate levels, I would literally never change my water. My tanks are over planted and under stocked right now.

To get over it, I am planning on just springing for the BIIIG bottle. It is that, or set up seven auto dosers according to @Bill Smith's Starbucks dispensers.

I actually just bought the big bottle an order ago. I go through the small ones so quick.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators
1 hour ago, MickS77 said:

If you really want to crank up the Nitrate I would get a bag of dry Nitrogen fertilizer and dose that too.

In my experience, Upping just nitrogen will just expose other deficiencies. For most people this is a water change issue.

 

For reference my ponds with thick plant growth have never had a water change.

 

The goal is a balance of nutrients, simply changing water or adding one specific macronutrient doesn’t solve the equation for most people. A tempered approach of studying how your tank is getting there works well long term as then you understand how the tank is running. 
 

my first step would be getting nitrates to 20ppm and the. Watching how many days it takes to consume that. From there you can adjust lighting, water changes, dosing and plant types to get the desired result.

535C2C95-BA5F-4A2A-A7A4-FA6703F2EDB6.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Cory said:

my first step would be getting nitrates to 20ppm and then watching how many days it takes to consume that. From there you can adjust lighting, water changes, dosing and plant types to get the desired result.

Whats your advice for getting to 20ppm, less water changes?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

Well fertilizer is like maintaining a bank account. If you want to keep 20 dollars in your bank account, and you're putting in $1 in each week, but spending 1 dollar each week you'll never get there. So I myself dose heavily to get to 20. Then I can monitor how much the tank is consuming. If we find out we are spending $7 a week, I'm gonna need to make sure I put $7 back in each week. Water changes would be like giving money away to charity. Giving 50% of whatever I have away each week. If I start with $20, spend $7, I'm left with $13. I give half away to charity. I'm left with $6.50. Now I spend $7 this week and am out of money. Without the water change/charity i'd be at $13, and have an additional week to bring in the difference.

 

I find most people try to just put in the right chemicals, when they could be looking at their ecosystem and tweaking it. An example would be with potassium you could work in some banana baby food into repashy. Or if you had pacus, just feed them bananas. Now this isn't 100% practical for everyone, but if I had a tank that was light on phosphate, and high in nitrates, i'd make sure I was feeding more flake food and less frozen food.

In another thread, someone said they were dosing micro nutrients twice a week for their planted tank, this is why I let the brine shrimp water into my tanks as i use marine reef salt which is full of micronutrients. While Dean, rinses his brine shrimp, and doesn't want ammonia and the nutrients because of his small plant loads, I want the opposite knowing that if I rinse all of that off, I am dosing more fertilizer and other nutrients to make up for it.

I try to blend the line between what nature does and what is visually acceptable to me. A rotting banana  in the corner of my tank won't look very good, but  in nature it would work. Every aquarium is different, even in the same fish room. I enjoy tweaking that system to be optimal while "adding" the least amount of raw chemicals.

I strive to put the least amount of things into my aquariums. Even in the ponds that have never had a water change, they've gotten Easy green maybe 5 times in the 6-7 months they've been setup. There is tons of guppy grass in there and they produce a ton of fish. However at the warehouse, I dose fertilizer daily as that is what it takes to provide healthy plants without fish to possibly bring disease. In my 800g, currently there is only fish poop from the fish from before, no fertilizer in over a year. However once I add fish and push the plants to grow more than they are, I'll start dosing lightly as plant bio mass will increase. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MickS77 said:

Whats your advice for getting to 20ppm, less water changes?

Admittedly I've slacked on water changes to about once a month. I haven't felt much pressure since the nitrates are pretty much 0 for me all the time. I only did them to help get rid of visible fish poop and because of online reading pressuring me to "always keep up on water changes!"

I think the play now is to crack open the big bottle of easy green, measure out what i have been dosing, then increasing the amount and seeing what it takes to get to 20ppm. And then like Cory suggested, time how long it takes to get to 0 and then tone down the lights to try and keep it at 20. I've learned so much from everyone. Thank you!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cory said:

In another thread, someone said they were dosing micro nutrients twice a week for their planted tank, this is why I let the brine shrimp water into my tanks as i use marine reef salt which is full of micronutrients.

I did not even think about this. I use instant ocean for my brine shrimp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Brandy said:

Tooootally. 🙂

Ghost HaHa! I was out of reactions for today!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1471831371_GhostHaHa.PNG.268ffc4ca428c6dcbf247fe240c502d6.PNG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread here, thanks Cory and others. I'm in a similar position as the OP. Little stock, lots of plants, huge amount of bio filtering, and nitrates that never seem to get above 5 on my Tetra test strips despite dosing easy green. Oh, and a huge hair algae problem. 

I'll try dosing until I hit 20ppm and then report back. 

Side note: it's so refreshing to have a real forum with in-depth information that can be found! Facebook is a major step backwards from the forums of 10-15 years ago... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2020 at 8:17 AM, Novabound said:

 

As im typing, I'm starting to wonder if this is an excuse i can use to add more fish to increase the bioload O_O

20200725_212509.jpg

I am super new to the hobby but i was/am having the same issue. Just added 3 rainbows and 3 platys last weekend from Aquarium Coop. I plan to just keep adding fish until i get some nitrates or my kid says stop. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So i had been quietly testing to get my nitrates up putting increasingly copious amounts of ez green (up to 72 pumps) every day to try and get my nitrates up. It would always stay at 0.

 

I gave up, and just went to 8 pumps a day and toned down the lights to fluctuate between 50% power for 6 hours and 10% for 4 hours to lessen nitrate consumption and just hoped the fine algae would stop covering my leaves of plants.

 

Today i noticed my seachem filter nob pop up, which if you don't have one, is a thing they have where if the water filter flow starts to slow down it causes a little peg to be pushed up on top as a signal that you may want to service it.  Like the lights on my dashboard, i usually ignore it. But it's been about 4 or so months since i wrung out the sponges so decided to service it today and do a large water change.

 

I was wrung out the prefilter sponge into a bucket, wrung out the coarse sponge in the filter basket, shook off all the bio media in the dirty tank water, and squeezed my fine filter sponge.

I stared at the fine filter sponge and realized it wasn't just a fine filter sponge, because my LFS only had coarse sponges and NITRATE ABSORBING sponges. I never got it for its ability to absorb nitrates, i just wanted a finer sponge as part of having a diverse set of non-chemical filtration assuming that "nitrate absorbing" was just a buzz word to get people to buy it. I just assumed it was gonna suck at its job of absorbing nitrates and just be a fine filter sponge.

I feel like if my life in aquairum keeping were a book, it would be called "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Over corrections"

Edited by Novabound
Spelling errors
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

With that many pumps of easy green and no major change to nitrate levels, I have a hunch that you may not be shaking the #2 nitrate test bottle enough before using it. I only say this because I ran across a similar issue in my aquarium where I didn’t think I had a nitrate issue. I wouldn’t say my tank is heavily planted but nitrates were always quite low.... until I realized I was using my test kit wrong.

If you don’t BEAT UP THE #2 BOTTLE HARD it will never register the nitrates in your test. For example, my testing was showing 0-5 ppm nitrate. Great, right?  With that result I did minimal volume water changes until things started to turn for the worst. My plants started failing, my cherry shrimp went from a strong population to just a few adults and my Cory cats were glass surfing.   I begun to dig to find out what was wrong. My answer was I needed to seriously shake and smash the nitrate #2 bottle (api kit) and when I finally did this properly I was blown away to find my nitrates were off the charts SKY HIGH. I’m amazed I didn’t lose any fish. I did several large water changes until I got my levels down to earth and now I’m starting to monitor this properly.  As someone else said, A very high nitrate level will expose other deficiencies and that’s why my plants went south.  Please please please before it’s too late for your livestock, retest after beating that bottle. If you can, follow up and let us know if this is a factor in your testing results 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...