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Re: Denitrator question (freshwater) - CO2 & plants


If your tank is moderately to heavily planted, you should be *using up* 
nitrates over the course of the week. For example, I have two tanks - a 72 
gallon tank with CO2 and 220W of light, and a 29G with no CO2 and 30W of 
light. I have to add nitrates to both of them on a regular basis. N is a 
major plant nutrient, and plants use alot of it. You listed lots of methods 
for reducing nitrates, but you didn't list adding more plants, which is (in 
my opinion) cheaper and prettier than using artificial means. Stem plants 
and floating plants are great at reducing nitrate. If you have lots of 
plants and your nitrates are not going down, there are two possblities: too 
much decay of organics (from overstocking, overfeeding or letting dead 
leaves stay in the tank) or insufficient other nutrients for the plants. You 
didn't say that you are adding any fertilizers. You might try adding a 
general plant fertilizer and some potassium. If other nutrients aren't 
present, the plants can only use limited amounts of N. 
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_dosage_calc.htm is a great page for 
figuring out how much macronutrient to add.

I know this isn't the type of answer you are looking for, but I hope it 
helps. Of course if you have stem plant-eating fish it won't help at all...


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