Why does Easy Green increase my nitrate level
Plants need more than light and water. They also require the right nutrients to provide them with the basic building blocks they need to grow new leaves, roots, and other vital elements.
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.
As you can see in the list of nutrients above, the goal of Easy Green is to raise nitrate (or nitrogen) and other nutrients so that plants have enough to consume. Because these nutrients are macronutrients, your plants require more of them, the percentages for nitrate and phosphate are higher than others. Easy Green can be added to increase the nitrate level as measured using a water test strip. It is important to use enough Easy Green to achieve a nitrate level of 50 ppm.
Are high levels of nitrate dangerous?
Ammonia and Nitrite can be toxic to animals even in small amounts. However, nitrate is much less toxic. A research paper entitled Nitrate toxicity to aquatic animals showed that nitrate levels could be raised to 800ppm before becoming fatal 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. In this situation, many hobbyists are tempted to stop using Easy Green since it will increase the nitrate even higher. However, withholding fertilizer will end up depriving the plants of other essential nutrients besides nitrate. The following guidelines will help you prevent this from happening:
1. If nitrate is 50 ppm or above, do a 50% water change (or multiple 50% water changes every four days) until nitrate reaches 25 ppm at most. 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. You want to get to 50 ppm nitrate. If the nitrate level is still low, you can repeat Step 2. You will continue to apply fertilizer until it reaches 50 ppm. 4. Give the water a rest for 3-4 days, then test it again. You will need to change 50% of the water if the nitrate level is higher than 75-100ppm. 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 a nitrogen deficiency
In order to avoid starving your plants, we recommend dosing 1 pump of Easy Green per 10 gallons of water with the following frequency:
– 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 the nitrate levels are between 0-25 ppm then you can add an entire dose of Easy Green according to the instructions. After waiting a while, test the water again. 2. If the nitrate level is below 50 ppm, you can repeat Step 1. Keep applying fertilizer until it reaches that level. 3. Wait 3-4 days and test the water. Dose Easy Green again if needed to reach the goal of 50 ppm nitrate.
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.
Bottom line: do not be alarmed if you see nitrate readings higher than 0 ppm. Nitrate is good and even necessary for plants. Easy Green is a beginner-friendly fertilizer that you can use without measuring out tons of other supplements. Just add 1 pump per 10 gallons, and you’re good to go!
The following articles provide more information:
Which is the best planted tank fertilizer? Nutrient Deficiencies: Why Your Aquarium Plants Are Dying
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