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Old 04-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #1 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: tn
Can you be too planted for your bioload?

I have 2 20G and both are cycled. The nitrates NEVER really get to 5ppm. They come close, but never get there. I let it go 10 days between WC this week because of school stuff and my husband being out of town. One tank (the original) especially isn't getting much nitrates. In that one we have 1 male betta, 3 platies, 2 otos, and 1 kuhli loach. It's got 2 large amazon swords, 2 good size bunches of water wisteria, a good bit of java moss, 3 anubias, and 1 large moneywort. Should we get some more residents? Before we added all these new plants, about 6 weeks ago, the nitrates would rise steadily up to about 10-20pm.

The other is a 20G sorority, with 7 bettas, 6 mollies (3 being 4 month old juveniles that I'm trying to rehome) and I suspect a few snails (I know I saw at least 1). It has 2 reaaaally large amazon swords, with several runners (4 I think), 4 small amazon swords, 3 small anubias, good bit of java moss, 1 umbrella plant, some ludwigia, some water wisteria, and a medium-sized cryptocoryne. ETA- oh, and one small bit of telanthera? cardinalis and a java fern.

I still do my weekly WC, but I keep it to just 25%. What would be best?

Last edited by osromatra; 04-28-2013 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:30 PM   #2 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Nitrates are a toxic waste product, just like ammonia and nitrites. It is just that they are substantially less toxic than ammonia. Having low levels is not a bad thing.

In heavily planted tanks, it is not unusual to see zero or very low nitrates for quite some time. It's a good thing.

25% weekly is probably fine, but keep in mind that there are total dissolved solids as well. I would toss in one larger WC a month, but that is just me being a worrier. I don't think there is any evidence that a heavily planted tank needs more than 25% a week, as long as it is showing zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and low nitrates.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: tn
I knew that about the dissolved toxins, which is why I continue with the WC even when sometimes there is a 0 reading for nitrates. I was just worried I wouldn't be able to maintain my plants, I know they use the nitrates. I'm more worried I don't have enough to maintain them. I do add plant fert weekly, but still.

Glad it's ok for it to be so low. :)
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