View Full Version : Do I have to have nitrates....

Lady Hobbs
03-16-2011, 06:46 PM
in my planted tanks? I dosed my 29 gallon two days ago and nitrates are back to 0. I dosed my 55 gallon yesterday and nitrates are just barely detectable already.

Now and then I give it a dose of Iron...not sure why.

The only plant that doesn't grow is my anubias that has been the same size for two years, I think. I have no algae and afraid dosing more I will have.

03-16-2011, 06:52 PM
If it is not broke then well you know the rest. Plants do need nitrates to grow, yours are growing so there must be nitrates. It sounds to me like you are close to a perfect balance.

Low nitrates can lead to cyano algaes but if it were me I would leave weel enough alone unless something happens that forces you to rethink you dosing etc.

Lady Hobbs
03-16-2011, 06:57 PM
Oh gez. I hardly ever have nitrates. I hope to heck I don't have to watch out of cyano now. I was grateful to be rid of the BBA.

03-16-2011, 07:25 PM
What kind of lights are you running? Any co2? If low lights and no co2, I wouldn't bother dosing ferts. I have rather strong lights on my tank and I do run co2 and I still don't add ferts and I get pretty good growth, but I also keep the tank pretty heavily stocked. Just because your readings are showing zero doesn't mean there aren't any nitrates in there. The plants are just utilizing it before it has a chance to accumulate in the tank.

03-16-2011, 07:26 PM
Just a few weeks ago I was battling BGA (cyanos) and in the process of researching outbreak reasons, I found the same hint that lack of nitrate/plant available nitrogen can be a cause. I killed the BGA with medication and simultaneously started dosing with Flourish Nitrogen - No more BGA, plant growth went wild.
Just my 5 cents worth of experience, but if your plants are doing fine, you really may have hit a great balance as rich311k mentioned, with fish supplying just the right amount.

03-16-2011, 07:41 PM
That's the thing with thriving plants, no nitrate. I keep pretty high numbers of fish, but am lucky to get one or two PPM nitrate. But as Rich said, it ain't broke, so no reason to fix it.


03-16-2011, 07:43 PM
You can add to your stock, if stocking plan allows it, or just dose nitrogen in liquid or dry form. The KNO3 powder is much cheaper than the liquid, but if its just for one tank and only a periodical thing you may be better just doing it that way. Having the nitrates hovering around 10-20 in a planted tank is perfectly fine.

Lady Hobbs
03-16-2011, 07:49 PM
I think you're all right. If there is no problem, why bothering trying to fix it? I've found that in the past, whenever I try to fix something that isn't broken, I break it. Best to leave well enough alone.

Thanks everyone

03-16-2011, 08:00 PM
i just had a battle with cyano in both of my tanks due to low nitrates. tried many ways to clear it up but nothing worked, so i got some antibiotics and did a 1/6th dose and over night the cyano was gone, and my biofilter was intact