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Nitrates at Zero?


20 Dec 2008
I dose EI as per instructions from Aquariumplantfood, I use moderate Co2. I use remineralized RO, at 50% water changes per week. I consistently measure Zero Nitrate (JBL PRO Liquid tests). This doesn't sound right. Should be upping my ferts? I do have a bit of a BBA outbreak, but I was without consistent CO2 for a few weeks- now fixed.

Hi all,
.... I consistently measure Zero Nitrate ......... This doesn't sound right.
I have the potential to test for nitrate (NO3), with an <"ion selective electrode">, but I've pretty much stopped doing it, because using plant leaf colour is a lot more straight forward. So the question is what <"do the plants look like?">, and particularly <"how green are they">?
.... I consistently measure Zero Nitrate (JBL PRO Liquid tests).
It may well be the test kit. Nitrate (NO3-) <"can be problematic to test for">, mainly because all NO3 containing compounds are soluble and you need to reduce the NO3- to nitrite (NO2-) before you can get a colour change you can measure.

cheers Darrel
The plants generally look good, although not so much now as CO2 regulator played up. (new one installed). Also I recently had a bit of a large cut back- my crypt parva was growing a bit wild, so taken it down to ground level- it always comes back. Blyxa may look a bit pale, but growing well after that was also uprooted, thinned out and replanted.
Hi all,
Looking at the Blyxa again, it looks pretty (good)
then review how plants look and you can always increase the KNO3 in your next batch by teaspoon or two.
Perfect, just watch the leaf colour and growth and if the whole plant pales follow @Zeus. 's suggestion and add a bit more KNO3.

I only really use leaf colour as an indication of <"when to feed">, I very occasionally <"dip the conductivity meter into the tanks">, but even that is now an infrequent event, and I only do it when I only have <"small, pale Ramshorn snails left">.

cheers Darrel
Thanks for the help, I'll up the ferts for a while and see what happens.
Looking at the Blyxa again, it looks pretty- just hints of BBA about.
Give your filter a clean and remove any muck/mulm/detritus from the gravel/substrate!
Give your filter a clean
Probably something in that, I used to religiously clean my filter every month. It's an FX4 on a 200L, so flow was never affected, but it had been neglected and it had its first clean for what must be 5 months at least at the weekend!
Didn't clean mine much in first 6months then stated doing them weekly and they was always plenty of detritus in them, so continued weekly, plus after 6 months I started turkey blasting substrate and let filter sponges remove detritus in suspension then did WC so sponges needed weekly clean.