Low Nitrates In Planted Tank. Good Or Bad?

  1. pinky93

    pinky93 Member Member

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    So I decided to skip last week's water change to see how my aquarium would handle it. I tested the water and I noticed that the nitrates are low. Is that good?

    10 gallon planted with:
    bacopa c.
    Amazon swords
    Anubias nana

    3 male platies

    0 ppm ammonia
    0 ppm nitrite
    ~10 ppm nitrate

    Oh and I had DIY CO2 running until from Thursday to Saturday. It's a low tech tank so I only use Flourish root tabs.
     


  2. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

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    Low nitrates is good but water changes are not just to lower nitrates. They are also for replenishing minerals in the water and other things.
     


  3. bgclarke

    bgclarke Well Known Member Member

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    Both of our 7.2 gallon betta tanks never show nitrates: the tests always read 0/0/0

    Each tank is covered with floating wisteria and salvinia.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    pinky93

    pinky93 Member Member

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    But don't plant need the nitrates?
     
  5. vin

    vin Well Known Member Member

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    My planted tank always shows 10 Nitrate. Plants are thriving using any excess nitrate to feed on. There really should be no need to boost your nitrates and I never use fertilizers or cO2. I may use a 1/2 dose of root tabs every 4-6 months. If I remember.
     
  6. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

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    Plants can use ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to obtain nitrogen. The prefered form is ammonia. This means they will suck ammonia if available first and will only use nitrite or nitrates when there is no ammonia, that may explain why some tanks with 0 nitrogen dont end up with dead plants. Anyways, 0 nitrate is not good in planted tanks. You want to keep it at 10-20 ppm.
    Water changes cant be replaced Im afraid. I was running a planted tank where I had to dose nitrogen because there was no nitrogen available, I wasnt doing water changes to test things out. I probably did not do a water change in 3 weeks, maybe even a month. When I got back in track and started doing 50% weekly water changes the fish were way more active and looked better.