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View Full Version : Goldfish, Plants, & Nitrates



birdman
03-09-2008, 10:06 PM
I have always maintained the nitrate level in my ponds and/or aquariums by filtration and water changes to stay below 10 ppm. Now I am learning for a heavily planted tank like mine the plants want 50 ppm nitrates. This really goes against my grain, just don't seam right. I just got off the phone with a man that sells dry fertilizers and he told me to keep adding dry nitrogen until my nitrate level gets to 50 ppm to feed the plants. I know 50 ppm won't hurt the goldfish if brought up slowly but boy or boy does this sound wrong.

Will you planted tank people comment please?

IMSALSMOM
03-09-2008, 11:30 PM
Won't your fish and bios system produce the nitrates the plants want?? When I had plants in my 1000 gal. tank I had NO nitrates, now, with almost no plants, I have 40ppm. I wouldn't do it. JMO

GoldieGirl
03-09-2008, 11:53 PM
I wouldn't fuss with Nitrates. Your biofilters will produce them and the plants will consume them. People with planted tanks where the main focus is the aquascape might keep their Nitrates that high, but it is unnecessary for the hardy plants we are putting into our goldie tanks. My nitrates hold pretty steady at 20ppm and you've seen how lush my plants are.

Aquatic plants also readily take up ammonium before it has a chance to convert to Nitrate, in fact most prefer the ammonium and will take it first as their Nitrogen source over Nitrate. Here I am referencing "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium - A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise for the Home Aquarist". Diana Walstad, 1999

birdman
03-10-2008, 09:32 AM
20 ppm would be nice. Right now my plants are consuming the nitrates faster than the fish are producing them. Guess I need more fish, :yes:

IMSALSMOM
03-10-2008, 10:04 AM
20 ppm would be nice. Right now my plants are consuming the nitrates faster than the fish are producing them. Guess I need more fish, :yes:

THERE YOU ARE!!!

Tristan
03-10-2008, 10:54 AM
I have all very heavily planted FW tanks, some have few fish others have a lot of fish, and to be honest I could not tell you what my nitrate are in any of them. Could not tell you what ph or nitrite or anything else is either, as its been a few years since I have even done a water test of any kind in a FW tank, but all of mine just do great. Same for my SW setups. If they look good I let em be, and its been well over 4 years since I did any kind of SW tank tests others than checking SG when I make up fresh SW. If I use NSW then I do not even check it, I just use it as I get it from the Gulf of Mexico. I do not use activated carbon / charcoal either in any of my tanks. I do use liquid plant fertilizer though in all of them and use C02 in some of them. Most times I do water changes at 2 week intervals on most, some I do it monthly and others weekly (mainly SW tanks on weekly)

I would not add any nitrate at all and would rely on the fish providing what is needed or at a minimum use aquarium planted tank fertilizer like Excel Flourish etc which works good.

Try growing miniature water lilys in your fish tank. I keep a few Helvola (yellow in color) lilys in a few of my tanks and they do fine with decent light.

birdman
03-10-2008, 11:12 AM
I would not add any nitrate at all and would rely on the fish providing what is needed or at a minimum use aquarium planted tank fertilizer like Excel Flourish etc which works good.

Try growing miniature water lilys in your fish tank. I keep a few Helvola (yellow in color) lilys in a few of my tanks and they do fine with decent light.
I am currently using the full flourish line but will be switching to dry ferts when the flourish is gone. Funny you mention small lilys, i just ordered a red tiger lotus to try. You can let it grow and flower at the top, or trim the buds off for more leaf groth under water, which is what I am after.

Tristan
03-10-2008, 03:06 PM
They used to sell at one time a dwarf madagascar water lily......and all it was is a Helvola miniature water lily. I was told to just keep pinching off thebuds as you stated and it puts out more leaves, which I do. Every now and then I allow it to put out a few blooms though.....I also like to have lots of duckweek and frogbit floating on top too as the hair roots that they have is good at exporting what is not needed.