Ye Old Ram Cichlid And Nitrate Question

Nick72

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I've got four happy GBR's in a heavily planted 50g.

Typically this tank had:

0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, <5 Nitrates. KH <3, GH 6, PH 7.4

I've been dosing the tank with:

Seachem Florish Comprehensive, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Nitrogen.

This raised my normal Nitrates to 10ppm.

My pants haven't been doing great so I recent upped the Nitrogen dosage to keep the Nitrates between 20-25ppm.

Plants are much improved - but is this OK for the Ram Cichlids?

I've read a fair bit here and elsewhere and the views are quite varied, from:

1) You must keep Ram Cichlids at <10 ppm nitrate.

2) Decomposition generated nitrates must be <10, but raising nitrates to 25ppm with Seachem Nitrogen is fine for Ram Cichlids as it's a different form of nitrates.

3) Ram Cichlids are fine at anything below <50 ppm nitrates it's poor water quality they can't cope with, and high nitrates are a sign that your water quality may be poor - not poor in themselves (kind of backing up no.2)

But which of these is correct?

I'd like to keep my nitrates artificially around 20ppm for my pants, but not if it's going to harm my Rams.
 

AquaticJ

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Sorry to hear about your pants

You’re good, my Rams are in anywhere from 5-30 ppm nitrate. Just try to stay at or below that.
 

oldsalt777

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I've got four happy GBR's in a heavily planted 50g.

Typically this tank had:

0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, <5 Nitrates. KH <3, GH 6, PH 7.4

I've been dosing the tank with:

Seachem Florish Comprehensive, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Nitrogen.

This raised my normal Nitrates to 10ppm.

My pants haven't been doing great so I recent upped the Nitrogen dosage to keep the Nitrates between 20-25ppm.

Plants are much improved - but is this OK for the Ram Cichlids?

I've read a fair bit here and elsewhere and the views are quite varied, from:

1) You must keep Ram Cichlids at <10 ppm nitrate.

2) Decomposition generated nitrates must be <10, but raising nitrates to 25ppm with Seachem Nitrogen is fine for Ram Cichlids as it's a different form of nitrates.

3) Ram Cichlids are fine at anything below <50 ppm nitrates it's poor water quality they can't cope with, and high nitrates are a sign that your water quality may be poor - not poor in themselves (kind of backing up no.2)

But which of these is correct?

I'd like to keep my nitrates artificially around 20ppm for my pants, but not if it's going to harm my Rams.
Hello Nick...

Large, weekly water changes will guarantee a steady water chemistry. This is all fish and plants need for good health. Putting fertilizers or anything else into the tank water, other than the standard water treatment to remove chlorine and chloramine and detoxify nitrogen, can create water chemistry problems. This is a disaster for most sensitive aquarium fish. Unless you're keeping plants that require very strong light, you don't need to use commercial fertilizers. As long as you feed your fish a balanced diet of flakes, freeze dried and frozen foods, the fish will provide all the nutrients the plants need. If you prefer to keep the more complex plants that need extremely strong light, then you need to keep very hardy fish that don't mind slight changes in their water due to dosing fertilizers. Livebearers, with the exception of Mollies are good. As are any of the Minnows, Danios and Rasboras. If you want to use fertilizers, then dose them right after you perform your, large weekly water change.

Old
 

EMcT1985

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Two things to note:

1) Depending on the type of plants you have, you might consider root tabs rather than liquid ferts. I use root tabs for my tank that has jungle val and bacopa.

2) The hardiness of your rams will depend at least a little on where you got them. Fish stores and breeders that know what they are doing will have rams that are in better shape than fish stores that get their rams from Asia (I've heard that in some parts of the world, they use a lot of hormones to make the rams more colorful, but then they don't last very long).
 
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