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Re: High NO3/Discus

> Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 21:50:27 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at yahoo_com>
> Well I can tell a thing right off the bat. High NO3 's are a
> factor of not enough light and/or CO2 and/or plants. 
> <Do stuff to make your plants grow well>
> Do this for about 3-4 weeks then you should likely be doing
> well.

I have to respectfully disagree. 

Planted tanks with large fish or a high bioload may indeed be nitrate generators 
no matter how many plants are in them and how well they are growing. Both our 
100g discus tank (4 adult discus and a handful of cardinal tetras) and our 120g 
Rainbowfish fish tank (a dozen fish of various ages) need 50% water changes 
biweekly to keep the nitrates in the range of 10-20 mg/l. In each tank, we feed 
two frozen cubes 3 days a week, assorted dry foods on days we don't feed cubes 
and skip feeding one day a week. When available, we feed live brine shrimp 
instead of cubes.  

I don't know if this is "heavy feeding" or not, but the food is consumed in 30 
seconds by the discus and instantly by the Rainbows. We're not likely to reduce 
the amount of food, either.  

You might say "It's the damn trickle filters. They are converting wastes before 
the plants get a chance." No, it's the feeding. Our other 100g tank with 5 M. 
praecox and assorted housekeepers maintains nitrates at around 5 mg/l with 
monthly 25% water changes. That tank gets half the food of the other tanks. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at frii_com)