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Easylife profito suitable?

gargamelcz

Seedling
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18 May 2009
Messages
24
I can guarantee you that using test kits cannot help you to grow plants.
Thanks for your reply. I know, that it's possible to add teaspoons of KNO3 and KH2PO4 weekly to my tank and growth will be fantastic. On the other hand I don't want to have concentration of NO3 up to 50 ppm. Why? Maybe it's good for plants, but there are some fish in the tank too. I know, that high NO3 concentration can't cause problems immediately, but in a long term it's not good at all for livestock. All discus breeders try to cut nitrate levels as much as possible, because growth and healt of fish is far better. That's why I use NO3 test kits. I currently try to keep my nitrate levels around 30 ppm. Hobby test kits are more accurate than you think - unfortunatelly quite expensive (I tested JBL NO3 test and JBL PO4 test). I tested these tests, I used KNO3 to calibrate them and they were +- 10 ppm accurate. I don't care if there is 20 ppm or 30 ppm, it doesn't matter. Without these tests, I wouldn't be able to find out approximate nitrate level in my tank.
 

ceg4048

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Hello,
This is another illusion that folks misinterpret. There are no measurable long term negative effects of NO3 levels at 50ppm. NO3 production is the method in which natural systems detoxify. NO3 is actually the termination of a toxic sequence. The real toxicity in a discus tank, or in any tank, is the NH3 that it starts out as and the NO2 that it gets oxidized to. Those are the killers in the tank. Furthermore, the oxidation sequence NH3->NO2->NO3 requires oxygen, so this so-called nitrification cycle steals oxygen from the water.

The long term and short term damage to fauna in a tank is a direct result of the high toxicity of NH3 and NO2, plus the hypoxia caused by the bacteria's theft of oxygen from the water column in order to maintain this cycle. NO3 is merely the smoking gun.

Discus keepers force feed their fish with massive amounts of high protein foods. Protein is high in nitrogen. Uneaten foods, as well as the high urine and fecal production from the fish generate huge amounts of NH3. This is where the cycle starts. Large water changes are required to rid the tank of the buildup of the toxic substances. So they think they are getting rid of nasty nitrates but in actuality, they are ridding the tank of organic waste products which generate the nitrate.

When you add inorganic NO3 to the water, since NO3 is the end product of the nitrogen cycle, there is no further breakdown. There is no NH3 or NO2 production. Equally important, there is no oxygen theft from the water column. That is why 50ppm NO3 is completely safe, whether short term or long term. A CO2 injected tank suffers the same fate as those discus tanks. High production of organic waste from the plants themselves enlarges the NH3 production rates and so water changes in a CO2 tank is imperative, both for the sake of the fish as well as the plants.

The kits are not accurate. More importantly, they are not consistent. I will bet the farm that you do not have 30ppm NO3. The real number can be anything, and will probably be closer to 3 than to 30 if you have plants in the tank. You have never known what the nitrate level in your tank is. You have only been hypnotized by test kit vendors who have told you, without ever showing any evidence, that their kits return valid data. Calibrate your kit using distilled/RO water + known amounts of KNO3/KH2PO4 and reveal the illusion.

This is why people have all sorts of algae problems in their planted tank, because they depend
on the kits to tell them what's in the water. The kit returns high readings like 20ppm or 30ppm when the number can be ten times lower. The plants starve, causing algal blooms and they never even consider adding NO3/PO4 because someone told them these are evil chemicals. So people buy all kinds of products EXCEPT the products that are the healthiest for the tank. NO3 and PO4 additions are crucial to the success of the plants in a CO2 tank and their addition results in better plant health as well as better oxygen production in the tank, which is vital for the health of your fish. I don't experience any long term or short term effects of high NO3/PO4. People only blame NO3 for their problems, again, without any evidence, simply because "some discus keepers" are afraid of it.

Cheers,
Cheers,
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I know, that it's possible to add teaspoons of KNO3 and KH2PO4 weekly to my tank and growth will be fantastic. On the other hand I don't want to have concentration of NO3 up to 50 ppm. Why? Maybe it's good for plants, but there are some fish in the tank too.
I practice nutrient depletion as well, because I'm convinced that using the "low BOD" concept and fertilising your plants to achieve the lowest sustainable growth rate, rather than the optimal growth rate, is a long term strategy that brings stability to the tank, and I want stability more than any other factor. There are more details here: <http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=22824&hilit=bromeliad>

Having said that I'm pretty sure that Clive is correct, and that NO3- is the symptom of problems with biological filtration, rather than the problem itself.
That's why I use NO3 test kits. I currently try to keep my nitrate levels around 30 ppm. Hobby test kits are more accurate than you think - unfortunatelly quite expensive (I tested JBL NO3 test and JBL PO4 test). I tested these tests, I used KNO3 to calibrate them and they were +- 10 ppm accurate.
Honestly they don't work, it would make life a lot easier if they did, but they don't. I know this because I have a lab full of analytical equipment, and a library full of scientific papers. It is almost impossible to get repeatable values from water samples. As you suggest you can get some form of repeatability from a KNO3 standard, using either colorimetric methods (cadmium reduction), Devarda's alloy or a selective ion electrode, but once you add in the other the compounds (humic acids etc) and anions (SO4--) etc. that occur in tank water it becomes much more difficult. You can measure total nitrogen with kjeldahl or a plasma AAS, but they aren't techniques that are available to many of us.

It is because of the lack of an accurate analytical method for NO3- etc that the Environment Agency developed the methodology of using a "5 day biochemical oxygen demand" (BOD), bio-assay with Daphnia etc and a biotic index (RIVPACS etc) to characterise water quality in streams and lakes. <http://www.britishecologicalsociety...nts/ecological_issues/river_water_quality.pdf> & <http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/PDF/Outputs/Water/R8161-Section5.pdf>

Despite what the various manufacturers and forum experts tell you, the only test kit or meter that you can just dip into a tank and get an accurate repeatable reading with is a conductivity meter.

cheers Darrel
 

D1gg3r

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Thread starter
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9 Sep 2012
Messages
39
Despite what the various manufacturers and forum experts tell you, the only test kit or meter that you can just dip into a tank and get an accurate repeatable reading with is a conductivity meter.

I'm guessing this is the method that water suppliers use to monitor the water they supply to us all?

dw1305 said:
Hi all,

I practice nutrient depletion as well, because I'm convinced that using the "low BOD" concept and fertilising your plants to achieve the lowest sustainable growth rate, rather than the optimal growth rate, is a long term strategy that brings stability to the tank, and I want stability more than any other factor. There are more details here: <http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=22824&hilit=bromeliad>

I take it that I can therefore adjust the amounts in EI dosing. For example taking the water company's base amount of NO3 and adding only enough KNO3 that is sufficient without lifting NO3 over 50mg/l. Incidently if levels higher than 50 mg/l of NO3 aren't necessarily an issue, why is this the legal upper limit for drinking water?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I'm guessing this is the method that water suppliers use to monitor the water they supply to us all?
No, they have dedicated analytical equipment in a dedicated analytical lab employing numerous technicians and analytical chemists, they also have a dedicated microbiology lab with similar staffing.

You can get accurate readings for nearly all compounds, if you have the right kit, enough time and you know what you are looking for. This is particularly true for pesticides etc where you can only use an HPLC successfully if you have a library of pesticides, the right column and the appropriate mobile phase.

You can get all the methodology employed in the USA from the EPA <http://water.epa.gov/scitech/methods/cwa/index.cfm>, as in the USA any federally funded methodology has to be made available to the wider public. These are the compounds that Wessex Water can test for you: <http://www.wessexwater.co.uk/customers/twocol.aspx?id=1346>.
Incidently if levels higher than 50 mg/l of NO3 aren't necessarily an issue, why is this the legal upper limit for drinking water?
It is the figure that was decided upon after hard negotiation in the EU, where in many countries the farming vote decides elections, interestingly the WHO suggested figure was 10ppm. The usual reason given is that in some cases excessive amounts, typically over 100ppm, may cause methaemoglobinaemia (blue baby syndrome) in bottle-fed infants. This is the "Potable water treatment" module from the OU. <http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=399252&section=4.8.1>.

cheers Darrel
 

ceg4048

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D1gg3r said:
...I take it that I can therefore adjust the amounts in EI dosing. For example taking the water company's base amount of NO3 and adding only enough KNO3 that is sufficient without lifting NO3 over 50mg/l...
This is not a good idea and it is contrary to the EI methodology. The reason for this is that you do not really know what the level in your water is unless the municipality measure at your house and published those values. Secondly, having a given concentration in the water does not mean that the plants are actually seeing those values. If your flow or distribution is inadequate you will have problems later on. You should dose the suggested values for your size tank. We do not have to worry about toxicity or measure values. Dose the proper values and later, if you wish you can systematically reduce the dosing if you want to reduce the growth rates or if you wish to reduce the maintenance requirements.

Cheers,
 

D1gg3r

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Thread starter
Joined
9 Sep 2012
Messages
39
Thanks ceg4048, I'm going to get hold of some EI salts and run at the suggested dosing from the off. I think trying some hybrid approach with the profito is likely to get complicated and likely cause me issues. Might see if I can exchange the profito at my LFS for easycarb.
 
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