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Re: Newbie

> Many thanks to James P for helping me not kill my fish. I read the article
> and think I have a handle on nutrients. Many thanks to Tom B for getting me
> to not starve my plants. So now I have even more questions. Should nitrates
> change throughout the day?

The time scale of NO3's is more a several day period rather than a daily
flux. 5-10ppm will get you 2-3 days worth of growth in a high light/CO2 tank
with very few fish till there is a potential problem with
stunting/deficiency. This equates out to about a 1/4 teaspoon per 35 gallons
of water to yield 6 ppm of NO3 so if you add this amount every 2-3 fdays,
you will hit your target + or - about 3-4ppm. A 50% weekly water change
prevents build up. 

> Will they be highest before the lights come on in
> the morning? What conditions must be present before I know I have an "N
> limited" tank?

Test kits say 0. Very slow growth, holes in leaves, pale colors, algae,
plants grow better when you add NO3.

> I have a tank that has a fairly heavy fish load 60-65 inches
> of fish in 75 gallons, and I have a tank with 3 praecox rainbows (40
> gallons.) Both tanks test at 0ppm NO3 an hour before the lights go out. What
> would be the proper way to add N, add more fish, remove filter media, dose
> KNO3? 

Well what type of kit do you have for NO3?

> Now to take a left turn, does anyone have a database that says what
> level of hardness certain plant types like? The one book I have (scheurmann)
> gives ranges such as 2-15 deg GH, which seems kind of general.

Sounds about right. I'd extended it up to 25GH.

I wonder if 
> that is based on what the plant will survive in, as opposed to having good
> growth rates.

The range mentioned is quite valid even at 25GH. Perhaps one or two plants
out of 250-300 don't care for high GH/KH. Bark up another tree.

> From the Krib, i get the impression that BGA is thought to be caused
> by low N:P
> ratio, is that still the general consensus? Anyone have any success killing
> BGA by raising N levels?

None I've seen. Blackout combined with raising the NO3 often will help.
BGA will grow in high N and P tanks also.
Tom Barr
> Thats all I can think of for now...Thanks for any and all help.
> -Zach