- May 13, 2011
- Reaction score
- Central New York, USA
Sadly measuring for nitrates is our only means of monitoring tank pollution. Even in my heavily planted tank (including fast growing water sprite) with just a handful of fish, I've never ever had zero nitrates and continue to strive for nitrates less than 20ppm. Attempting to hit an impossible target can be maddening.This is another example of a problem in this hobby of providing "numbers" for whatever.
Actually no. Plants must convert nitrates to ammonium to extract the nitrogen. Since ammonia is nearly always present in the average aquarium, plants typically use that for their nitrogen source.Uhhhh don't.plant need nitrates.
As above, not the case. If we could achieve zero nitrates, it would be great! In theory, if we had a heavily planted tank with only a few fish, the plants would use nearly all (or all) of the ammonia and there would be zero resulting nitrates from nitrosomonas and nitrospira bacteria. However, in most tanks the numbers of fish, fish food, and fish/plant waste (along with tank maintenance) produces more ammonia than the plants can effectively use, so nitrate levels rise.A That is not what I am saying. I only say that nitrates of zero isn't what we should be aiming for cause plants need nitrates to grow.