Jump to content
crimsonvice

Dosing Nitrates with NaNO3

Recommended Posts

So I have been struggling to keep my nitrates detectable. Most of the time they do not register on my Salifert test kit or will be somewhere in the ballpark of 0.2 ppm. I can tell when it starts to get real low because my zoas will close up and my polyp extension suffers. So I have been researching dosing nitrates. Seems that there are a lot of options out there, but I was looking for cost effective, easy, and not something super weird like chemicals to kill trees from Home Depot :blink:

I stumbled upon a thread on R2R where Randy Holmes explained his process for dosing nitrates with Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3). I found a food grade bottle of NaNO3 for $8 on Etsy

il_570xN.1025565395_4unf.jpg

Then I followed this calculator to help in mixing the solution (You use the entry for Potassium Nitrate. If you are concerned about the difference between Potassium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrate, you would use 84% of the recommended amount). 

I found this recipe that Randy also recommended which I will probably follow if and when I need another solution. This is pulled directly from his post of Reef2Reef:

Dissolve 10 grams potassium nitrate in 1 liter of fresh water. That 10 grams contains 6.14 grams of nitrate, so that solution is 6,140 ppm nitrate.
If you add 1 ml of the solution per 2 gallons of tank water volume, that will boost nitrate by 0.8 ppm nitrate.
As a rough estimate, 10 dry mL of powder weighs about 10 g.

 

Granted this is for Potassium Nitrate and not Sodium Nitrate so keep that in mind. I would just lessen my dose slightly and monitor parameters. If you use Potassium Nitrate instead, you will want to keep an eye on your potassium and make sure you are preforming water changes. 

To make the solution I mixed ~4 grams of NaNO3 in a 500 ml water bottle. I shook the bottle vigerously until the NaNO3 had dissolved. I let it sit before dosing and made sure to shake the bottle before use. 

I preformed my first dose last night of 10 mL. My nitrates were at .2 ppm. This morning I tested and they appear to be more like .5/1.0 ppm. This should be bringing my nitrates up by .4 ppm per dose. I dosed another 10 mL this morning. We will see where I stand this evening. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Muttley000 said:

Also is he increased sodium a problem or is negligible since there is so much there in normal saltwater already?

From what I understand it is negligible. However, I will be sending out another ATI test after another few weeks.

7 hours ago, Flounder said:

Please keep updating this thread! Having a similar issue with no registered Nitrate on Salifert test kit and would enjoy the opportunity to learn from you.

Will do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I am sitting at a solid 1. Have increased my dose to 20 ml. Will check again in the morning. Slightly better color on some coral and polyp extension on some that I have not seen during the day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Muttley000 said:

What is your total water volume in the system these days?  Getting an idea of how much it takes per gallon based on your results.

Im guessing between 120-130 gallons. 120 tank + 30 gallon sump - 60-70lbs of rock. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Waters said:

I have dosed KNO3 off and on for almost a year with no issues.  I buy it from GreenLeafAquariums.....it is meant for planted tanks but works great in our reef tanks.  

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/potassium-nitrate.html

 

Cool. What is your process for mixing/dosing it? Curious to see what the difference is. Did you measure your potassium too? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not mixed a new batch in a LONG time, but according to my notes, I have written down that I used 160 grams of KNO3 mixed with 1000ml of RO/DI water.  I use Green Leaf dosing bottles and just store the mixture.  http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/dispenser-32oz.html  Again, according to my notes, I have written down that a 10ml dose would increase my nitrates from 2.5 to 5 in a 130 gallon system but I have not tested those numbers in a long time.  If you decide to go this route, I would just start dosing slowly and keep testing daily until you figure out what works for your system.  Green Leaf Aquariums actually has dosing numbers for various types of systems on their site which I used as a starting point, but those numbers are for planted freshwater tanks.  Yes, I also tested Potassium using Salifert test kits, making sure that it always stayed in the allowable ranges. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Waters said:

I have not mixed a new batch in a LONG time, but according to my notes, I have written down that I used 160 grams of KNO3 mixed with 1000ml of RO/DI water.  I use Green Leaf dosing bottles and just store the mixture.  http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/dispenser-32oz.html  Again, according to my notes, I have written down that a 10ml dose would increase my nitrates from 2.5 to 5 in a 130 gallon system but I have not tested those numbers in a long time.  If you decide to go this route, I would just start dosing slowly and keep testing daily until you figure out what works for your system.  Green Leaf Aquariums actually has dosing numbers for various types of systems on their site which I used as a starting point, but those numbers are for planted freshwater tanks.  Yes, I also tested Potassium using Salifert test kits, making sure that it always stayed in the allowable ranges. 

Thanks! I am gonna have to pick up one of those dosing containers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Waters said:

Too bad you weren't a little closer....I have two 500ml ones you could have that I no longer use.  It would cost you more in gas driving out than they are worth lol.

Lol where are you located?

16 hours ago, Muttley000 said:

What's the latest?

I am still in the 1-1.5 range. I think I need to make the concentration a little stronger next go around. I am dosing 30 mls a day, and still can't break 2 ppm.

The only export I have is my skimmer and a now small clump of chaeto. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is up to you then....if you are willing to drive out, you can have both containers.  They are from Green Leaf also...just half the size.  I try to keep mine about 5 with the dosing and feedings.  Sounds like a reason to add more fish :)!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So another week in what do you think.  I've been thinking about doing this for months and my King Midas are already not opening like when they were new.  I just tested again and big fat zero on the nitrates.  I'm thinking about taking my ATS offline too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little update. I started dosing 40 mls a day and still wasn't seeing much change in my nitrate. So i said what the heck and dumped ~1/3 of my 1000 ml bottle in. 

Well everything is looking fantastic! Polyps extended and colors are looking great. LPS are looking super fluffy. Nitrates have been sitting at 10 for three days, no dosing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Muttley000 said:

So another week in what do you think.  I've been thinking about doing this for months and my King Midas are already not opening like when they were new.  I just tested again and big fat zero on the nitrates.  I'm thinking about taking my ATS offline too.

Lol what timing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. Since the last 1/3rd bottle dose, my nitrates have been between 5 and 10 ppm. Everything has looked fantastic. Granted I have not done a water change, so that might be part of it. When I get back from vacation I will do a water change and see how much it drops. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×