Why is Easy Green raising my nitrate level?
Besides light and water, plants require an exact mix of nutrients to give them the fundamental building blocks needed to grow new leaves and roots.
These nutrients are nutrients that plants need in large amounts (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium).
There are trace amounts of nutrients that plants require, such as iron, manganese, and boron. Traditionally, it was thought that fish poop and uneaten fish food were sufficient sources of nutrients for plant growth, but in reality, they do not contain all these necessary nutrients in the right ratios or amounts. Therefore, we developed Easy Green as an easy, all-in-one fertilizer to help keep plants healthy and well-fed.
Easy Green’s goal is to increase nitrate (or nitrous oxide) so that plants can eat enough. In fact, the percentages of nitrate, phosphate, and potassium are higher than the rest because they are macronutrients that your plants need greater amounts of. Easy Green will raise the nitrate level in water tests. In fact, the goal is to dose enough Easy Green until the nitrate level reaches 50 ppm.
Are High Nitrate Levels Dangerous?
Ammonia and Nitrite can be toxic to animals even in small amounts. However, nitrate is much less toxic. In a research paper titled Nitrate toxicity to aquatic animals, nitrate levels were raised up to 800 ppm before they became lethal to guppy fry. As a rule of thumb, we recommend keeping aquariums at 50 ppm nitrate and below.
If you have a fish tank that is heavily stocked with animals and/or does not have a lot of aquarium plants, the nitrate level produced by fish waste can naturally climb to 50 ppm and above. Many hobbyists feel tempted to stop using Easy Green because it will cause an increase in the nitrate. But withholding fertilizer could cause the plants to be deficient in other nutrients. These are the steps to prevent this:
1. Perform a 50% water changing (or multiple 50% water changing every four days) until the nitrate level reaches 25ppm. 2. Dose 1 pump of Easy Green per 10 gallons of water. Give the water a rest for a few hours before testing it again. 3. The goal is to reach 50 ppm nitrate. Step 2 can be repeated if the nitrate remains too low. Continue to dosing fertilizer till you reach 50ppm. 4. Give the water a rest for 3-4 days, then test it again. A water change of 50% is required if the nitrate levels are already between 75 and 100 ppm. Consider removing some fish or adding more plants (especially fast-growing ones) to decrease the rate at which nitrate is produced.
Are low levels of Nitrate dangerous?
While fish and other aquatic animals are not affected by a lack of nitrate, plants absolutely need it to grow well. Plant leaves that lack nitrate will become yellow especially around the leaf tips and then melt away. This happens because the plant is taking nutrients from its bottom leaves to make new ones.
Signs of nitrogen deficiency
We recommend that you use 1 pump of Easy Green to 10 gallons water. This will help prevent your plants from starving.
– Dose once a week for low light aquariums. – Dose twice a week for medium light aquariums.
If your plants are still turning translucent or developing holes due to lack of water nitrate, you may need to adjust the dosing.
1. If nitrate ranges from 0-25 ppm, then add a full dose of Easy Green (according to the instructions above). Wait a few hours and test the water again. 2. If your nitrate levels are still below 50ppm, continue to douse fertilizer as normal until they reach this level. 3. Allow the water to sit for 3-4 days before testing it. If necessary, take Easy Green again to achieve the 50 ppm target.
You will soon be able to determine your personal dosing schedule by recording the dates and amounts of Easy Green you used. Just be aware that as plants and fish grow larger or are removed from the aquarium, this changes the amount of nitrate that is needed, so keep an eye on the growth of the plants and test your water to adjust the schedule as needed.
The bottom line is don’t be alarmed if your nitrate readings are higher than 0. Nitrate can be good for plants. Easy Green is a beginner-friendly fertilizer that you can use without measuring out tons of other supplements. Add 1 pump to 10 gallons and you are good to go.
You can find more information in the following articles:
Which Planted Tank Fertilizer Is Right for You? Nutrient Deficiencies: Why Your Aquarium Plants Are Dying
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