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Re: [Killietalk] Plants, nitrates & shyness was ; Less KT, more breeding
I re-read and made too many assumptions, Great clarification/points...before
I post the specifics, I'll elaborate as best I can...
I'm trying to achieve zero nitrates through actively growing plants + H2O
changes (not zero nitrate and actively growing plant, I shudda clarified
that), thus far the fish and natural processes usually provide most of the
"N" I need (w/o CO2 injection that is)
I've been skipping the complex/trace type ferts (like Flourish et) because I
use the run-o-mill type "bunch plants"...this obviously applies to only my
tap, YMMV...basically I use the cheapo K & Fe based types: (like Leaf Zone),
....and of course you can roll your own using Epsom salts, potassium salt &
a aquatic iron supplement (but Big Al's has 1/2 gal for $16 I think it was)
...and yes, I also long suspected O2 is a major player (along with low
Nitrogen in any form)...that's why I spent a lot of $$$ converting my sump
from open cell foam to 2/3 volume of bio-Balls, w/ open cell foam as the
final stage...(all filter media are not equiv w/regard to gas exchange, some
like fluidized sand bed allegedly consume lrg amts of O2)
I absolutely agree many fish can be tolerant of higher nitrates, but as the
nitrates get higher, I believe tolerance to disease and other issues are
...I'm "trying" to maintain a reasonable amt of CO2 in the tanks...the
bio-balls are likely killing that idea, but my return flow is directed down
as opposed to horizontal across the surface...and as mentioned, any of the
air driven tanks, I re-cut my lift tubes to within 1" of the surface...
...with a insane amount of effort, I'm fighting the usual "pest": the water
mite thingies that LOVE to damage water sprite, the infamous pond snails,
the green flies, blah blah blah...
...and as many know: some plants just don't play well with others...najas
just can't seem to fight off string algae real well under high light,
hornwort has problems with that fuzzy bright green stuff...and again, you
bump up that light, seems best to learn your lighting, ferts and algae
relationships (hair algae responds real nasty to too much iron)...w/o CO2 it
can get a lil tricky
From: Mark R [mailto:oldsan at gmail_com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:36 PM
To: ken_combs at sbcglobal.net; killifish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Killietalk] Plants, nitrates & shyness was ; Less KT, more
On 4/10/07, Ken <ken_combs at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> > In short: I'm just about sold on "natural systems" & plants in
> actively growing plants just don't mitigate shyness/nervousness via
> but also in tandem greatly reduce nitrates/improve water quality and I'm
> thinking that side effect is altering the fishes behavior...
I agree but I'm not sure it is lowered nitrates that is the crucial
factor - I believe it is higher oxygen levels and extremely low
ammonia. I actually add potassium nitrate to most of my tanks to keep
the nitrates around 20ppm, a level that plants prefer, and my fish are
doing great. I suspect fish can acually thrive in nitrate levels much
higher than that. (Not willing to personally test that out in my
modest fishroom however).
> I know the skeptic/old timers are thinking "ditch fish", I change my water
> 2X mo and the fish are fine, blah blah blah...but I'm personally
> (in some species profound) change in behavior as I crank up the lights,
> ferts and plant cover and pay close attention to water quality...basically
> I'm shooting for zero nitrates, pristine water and I can noticeably
> a positive change in my fish (sounds obvious, but I'm stressing "pristine"
> not just "good/acceptable")
Again, you'll find that your plants do much better if there is some
nitrate in the water. 0 nitrates under medium-to-high light situations
is a recipe for disaster, actually. Actively photosynthesising plants
provide lots of oxygen and strip ammonia very quickly, but they
require a source of N, more than the trace levels of ammonia provide
in most cases - nitrate is the best source for it because of it's
relative non-toxicity to animals. P, K, Ca, Mg, and trace elements
also have to be provided in sufficient amounts.
Anyway, I agree with your basic approach entirely. My fish have never
been as happy, healthy, or horny as they are now that plants have
become my primary preoccupation.
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