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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm running a planted African Rift Lake Cichlid tank in which I have a very hard time keeping up with fish waste-derived nitrogenous waste even though I run some pretty serious filtration - just the way things go with Africans' eating habits. I find that, when I test for N (using a LaMotte NO3 kit), my tank maintains a fairly high level of NO3 (~5 ppm) even without KNO3 fertilization. Given that, I dose very little KNO3 as it does not seem necessary to maintain good N levels, but my plants still show signs of NO3 deficiency. I'm fairly new to planted tanks (about 6 months experience now) and will readily admit that I'm not a chemistry whiz. Given my tested levels of nitrates from fish waste alone, why am I still seeing noticeable signs of NO3 deficiency? Am I wrong in not supplementing with KNO3 at recommended levels? Is there a difference between fish waste-derived N and potassium nitrate-supplemented N? I am very curious. Thanks :)
 

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nitrates

Hi Travis

In a planted tank the preferred level is higher than 5ppm we generally aim for 10 to 20 ppm of NO3. As far as the difference in nitrates I believe nitrate produced by fish waste is organic and plants cant take up organic NO3.
With respect to dosing there may be more than just nitrates you may need to dose. A good read is the Perpetual Preservation System PPS. Take a look at that and theres usually plenty of guys on the chat that can help you out with it and you can bounce your ideas and concerns there.

Good luck and ask away its the only way to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks discus :) I'm aware of the appropriate levels of NO3 and PO4 for standard planted tanks and my goal is to maintain NO3 at roughly 10 ppm and PO4 at 1.0 to 1.5 ppm. I run NO3 slightly low (<= 10 ppm) in an effort to bring out the colors in my L. aromatica and P. stellatus, thus my reliance on the LaMotte NO3 kit for accurate sub-10 ppm NO3 measurements, but what I really wanted to find out was, does fish waste-based NO3 vs. potassium nitrate-based NO3 make any comparable difference in total NO3 levels as far as plant requirements vs. algae limitation go. I've read the PPS info but will go back and take another look to see if they've got some recommendations. Appreciated :)
 

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I dont think fish waste is No3. I believe its ammonia, although I am not sure. From what I understand the plants can uptake the ammonia, the nitrite and last the nitrate. If I remeber the cycle, the plants actually prefer the ammonia intake. The No3 in the Kno3 would be different than the fish waste, which is ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That was poorly worded on my part. What I should have said was fish waste-based nitrogen vs. potassium nitrate-based nitrogen sources. Up too late last night :?
 

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here is my take on it


nitrate is nitrate no matter where it comes from and anything above zero if it is not being used is extra so what i mean is that if u got no3 at 10 ppms and still show sign of no3 deficiency something else is the cause of no no3 being uptaken wether it be trace phos or what ever
 
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