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[APD] Re: Nitrogen suppliment (lot of questions)

way) and produce a lot of waste. Still, my aquarium developed green water at which point my tests for NO2 and NO3 showed absolutely zero as far as I can tell. It is my understanding that the plants as well as algae (am I right about algae eating nitrogen?) ate all nitrogen.

Not sure if I'd call it "eating", but nitrates (NO3) are one of the primary nutrients the plants need. There are many other things besides just NO3 that they need though.

I also have about 5 watts per gallon of light and do CO2 fertilization with

5 watts/gallon is on the high side and might be part of your problem. What size tank do you have? 2-3 watts per gallon is more "normal" with the exception of the smaller tanks (<20 gallons or so).

the yeast bottle. According to pH and dKH graphs I easily bring CO2 to 20-30 ppm. My KH right now is 4dKH. By the way condition of my amazon swords with few yellowish spots, which are getting bigger indicate, I believe, luck of nitrogen. As you can guess I am trying to get rid of green water. I am trying to do it without radical methods, like chemical treatment, diatom filtration and alike, and do it by changing nutrient content in the water and substrate.

"Chemical treatment" is *not* a radical method, it is part of the process used by nearly all successful planted tank keepers. Chemicals themselves are not bad/evil/dangerous or anything like that, as long as you make sure you are putting in the *right* chemicals. Any fertilizer is a chemical, as are nitrates, phosphates, or any other compound organic or otherwise. In fact, using strictly reagent grade chemicals actually ensures that you better know what you are putting in the water than any other fertilizer you might try.

That said, I think you might be short on iron (Fe) and/or potassium (K). Both are somewhat related, and shortages of either can cause the yellowish color in the plants. I had the same problem you describe with swords in my tanks some time back, and dosing with KNO3 (potassium nitrate) solved the problem (I was already dosing iron with Seachem's Flourish Iron).

Thus I'd like to supply additional nitrogen to a higher plants only, which means adding something to a substrate. One person suggested me to add small pieces of Miracle-Gr sticks, however it did not sound too good to me and I understand that it is not preferred by many growers of terrestrial plants at all, let along for aquatic plants.

Nitrogen is normally added to the water column, not the substrate. Things like jobes sticks are usually only used for certain plants that are especially demanding in their needs for a given nutrient, which usually means swords. They can also cause green water problems if overdosed or if pulled out of the substrate by uprooting and the like.


Some growers of terrestrial plants suggested me to use organic granular products (don't remember brand name) of which some contain as active ingredient only nitrogen, though it was not clear from the label in which form nitrogen is present there. Do you think this would work?

Don't worry if it is "organic" or not. If you need any particular nutrient you are better off buying the chemical in dry form from a place like litemanu since it will be cheapest this way and you'll have control of exactly what you are dosing.

I think that while you may be low on nitrates, you're probably also missing something else and I think that something else is probably iron or potassium (or both), at least in part. You need everything in the right proportions to make the tank work, and there is a lot more to it than just checking the nitrate level. Seachem makes an inexpensive Fe test kit, although I think it's a bit difficult to read.


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