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RE: NO3 adding

> Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 05:44:08 -0400
> From: krandall at world_std.com
> Subject: NO3 adding
> I used to be very careful about adding NO3 only to the substrate.  But in
> the past year or so, I have become more daring, and add it directly to my
> water as needed.  I certainly don't add it daily, and I _only_ add it to
> strongly lit CO2 supplemented tanks with very fast growth.  I don't depend
> only a test kit to tell me when nitrogen is needed.  I _only_ add
> it when I
> see signs of nitrogen deficiency in the plants _and_ I test and find no
> measurable nitrate in the water.  When I _do_ add it, I still keep the
> levels below 5 mg/L.
> I think you should be _very_ sure that your plants actually need more
> nitrogen before trying this, and you should fell quite confident in your
> ability to handle transient algae problems if you guess wrong.  If your
> tank is less than 6 months old, and/or you are a novice aquatic
> gardener, I
> would be _very__VERY_ cautious about adding nitrate to your tank.

I was quite surprised to read this strongly worded caution.  I add NO3 to my
tank quite regularly, otherwise they fall quickly to 0 ppm.  When my levels
drop below 10 ppm I dose enough to raise them again to 15 ppm.  Once,
miscalculating the dosage, I got them to 30 ppm.  None of that has ever
caused a problem for me.

Before I started dosing NO3 I had terrible algae problems, and I have heard
from others on this list that nitrate limited tanks encourage certain forms
of algae.

If your test kit shows 0 ppm, why would you wait for your plants to show
damage before adding NO3?

The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen