How Many Plants Realistically Impact Nitrates?

Spyder

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I have a cycled 10 gallon tank (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ~5? Nitrate) but the nitrates never exceed a darker yellow/very borderline orange on the API master test. I’m fully aware of the “shake the ever living daylights out of #2” and I do that. The tank has:

1 Betta
3 Panda Cory
2 Nerite Racer Snails

1 Anubias nana (medium size)
1 Rosette Sword (medium)
6 Marimo Moss Balls (ranging from 1/2 inch to 2”)

I also do a 25% change twice a week out of habit and use API Stress Coat+ (I have a bottle of Prime but never used it yet). Is this 10 gallon planted enough that I’m just not going to see a nitrate spike? I think I’m cycled because I went through the 1ppm ammonia,0 0 phase to .5 ammonia .5 nitrite 0 phase to the now 0,0,5which has been the
Case for about 2 weeks now.

Edit: FWIW, pH always remains around 7.5

Edit 2: Sorry mods! I wasn't sure how strict the forum was on language (tried to keep it PG-13 still!)
 

goldface

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Your tank is very understocked, so not that surprising. Is it the plants? I don't know, but they are helping some.
 
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Spyder

Spyder

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scarface said:
Your tank is very understocked, so not that surprising. Is it the plants? I don't know, but they are helping some.
Wow I figured I was going to get a response saying I’m over stocked in the 10 gallon. Would this mean I could probably safely add another small tank mate or two in the future? Or leave this as is? The Betta is very, very friendly with the panda cory. He’ll chase shrimp pellets down and watch them eat for a bit and goes back to his Betta leaf. Occasionally he’ll throw a flare at a snail in his way and move on, but that’s just a fun sight lol
 

goldface

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Spyder said:
Wow I figured I was going to get a response saying I’m over stocked in the 10 gallon. Would this mean I could probably safely add another small tank mate or two in the future? Or leave this as is? The Betta is very, very friendly with the panda cory. He’ll chase shrimp pellets down and watch them eat for a bit and goes back to his Betta leaf. Occasionally he’ll throw a flare at a snail in his way and move on, but that’s just a fun sight lol
It's understocked in regards to bioload. Others may argue it's improperly stocked; that is, the species you have are not compatible and/or that the numbers of cories are too few. I tend to be more lenient. If it works for you, then great. Whether it works longterm or not, is for you to decide.

You could probably add a few more Panda Cories without negatively affecting your bioload, and a few shrimp as well. I recommend Amanos as they are relatively large and thus are less likely to be viewed as prey by your betta.
 
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Spyder

Spyder

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scarface said:
It's understocked in regards to bioload. Others may argue it's improperly stocked; that is, the species you have are not compatible and/or that the numbers of cories are too few. I tend to be more lenient. If it works for you, then great. Whether it works longterm or not, is for you to decide.

You could probably add a few more Panda Cories without negatively affecting your bioload, and a few shrimp as well. I recommend Amanos as they are relatively large and thus are less likely to be viewed as prey by your betta.
Thank you!! I appreciate the insight!
 

MrBryan723

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Plants help a ton really. I had to start adding nitrates back into my system as my stocking levels are too low to keep them above 0 with all of my plants.
 
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Spyder

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MrBryan723 said:
Plants help a ton really. I had to start adding nitrates back into my system as my stocking levels are too low to keep them above 0 with all of my plants.
That’s reassuring. I was totally clueless because most people report 20-40ppm nitrates and I could not for the life of me figure out why mine are consistently so low. I guess plants and under/low stocking are the culprit given the abundance of plants in conjunction to stock level and bio load.
 

DoraCory

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I don't recall ever getting nitrates higher than 5pmm in our 10 gallon planted Betta tank (1 Betta and 3 Nerites).

The plants are 1 Anubais Bart, 1 Rotala, 2 moss balls and a Crypt.
 

CheshireKat

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My nitrates really don't change from 20, which is what my tap water has, and I have many different plants. They don't seem to use up a whole lot in my tanks. I have a ton of platies and some mollies in my 25 gallon with the most plants and nitrates don't really change much from 20.
 
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Spyder

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phishRfriends said:
I don't recall ever getting nitrates higher than 5pmm in our 10 gallon planted Betta tank (1 Betta and 3 Nerites).

The plants are 1 Anubais Bart, 1 Rotala, 2 moss balls and a Crypt.
Sounds about the same as me here except my 3 additional pandas! I’m starting to think this may just be the norm lol

CheshireKat said:
My nitrates really don't change from 20, which is what my tap water has, and I have many different plants. They don't seem to use up a whole lot in my tanks. I have a ton of platies and some mollies in my 25 gallon with the most plants and nitrates don't really change much from 20.
Ah my tap water is 0-0-0. I also went nuts on filtration though and modded the SilentStream HOB filter with fluval ceramic, an intake sponge , a sponge to baffle water return AND a sponge filter with air stone. Wondering if all of that is also helping the water quality too.
 

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