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Re: Aquatic Plant Food 20-10-5
Ed was kind enough to reply:
> 20-10-5??? WOW that's HIGH in nitrates! I would strongly suggest to NOT
> use that in an aquarium unless there's a nitrate deficency, i.e. 0 Then
> monitor it closely as this can and possibly WILL cause the nitrates to
> skyrocket. Do a test, take a gallon of bottled watter, and test
> nitrates, then put the recomended amount in then check it again in about
> 30 mins and compare the results :) Then ask yourself if you want to put
> this in your aquarium, if you have fish then you probably do not want
> to add nitrates.
> Under most conditions you can add trace elements and be on the safe side
> (presuming you have fish in the tank)
Thanks for the advice.
I did a test similar to what you recommended. I put 1/8th of a tablet in
a gallon of my aquarium water. The tablets are quite large. 1/8th of a
tablet is the size I was thinking about using near each plant. I tested
the water before and the nitrate was zero. After letting the tablet sit
in the water for 4 hours I gave the water a good stir and tested again.
Again the nitrate level was zero.
How to explain? These are supposed to be slow release tablets. Maybe I
would have seen a rise if I had let it sit longer. Also, you might note
from my original post that the bottle says that about 1/3 of the
Nitrogen is Urea Nitrogen and 2/3 of the Nitrogen is "Water Insoluble
Nitrogen." So maybe 2/3 of the Nitrogen never dissolves to raise
nitrates. I'm no chemist so perhaps I am wrong to think that a Nitrate
test kit with measure the form of Nitrogen being released.
Anyway, I'm eager to hear any more suggestions you or others have
regarding this product. As is obvious from the results of my little
test, my tank does indeed have a nitrate deficiency. So I'm leaning
toward experimenting with a few pieces of this stuff buried near 2 or 3
plants. I would like to think that by making these nutrients available
to the plants through their roots, the algae up above the substrate
would not benefit.
Kevin O. Hicks