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Nitrate too low?

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Hello everyone,

I’ve been running a few low tech planted neo tanks for a while. In the past I’ve fought what I thought was high nitrate problem, with good plant growth but some random deaths of shrimps every now and then. Since then I bought a large tub of Seachem Matrix and installed them into the canister filters and a diy low flow nitrate reducing chamber.  What I observe now is slow plant growth, some appearance of green thread algae, and very low baby shrimp survival rates.  The adult shrimps are happy and healthy but the colonies  are not growing.  I bought new phosphate and nitrate test kits today and the water tested zero NO3 with 1.5 PO4. Other parameters are tds 320, gh 11, kh 5, pH 7.5.

Is it possible that the nitrate level is too low, inhibiting the proper growth of biofilm? What should I aim for nitrate and phosphate levels for a moderate light low tech planted tank?  Could there be other factors I’m not considering?

Thanks in advance for your advice.



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it's my understanding that different algae grow at different phosphate levels.

5.0+ regular algae grows.

1.5 bad algae grows.

0 no algae grows.

maybe that's the problem,less algae,less biofilm.

raise the nitrate,like 5-10 so the plants feed on that instead of phosphate.



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