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Do planted tanks keep the nitrates down? I'm doing twice a week water changes on a 55g with just an oscar in it due to nitrates testing up to 80mg/L. None of my other tanks test that high ever.

I did a 50% water change this morning and just tested nitrates at 40mg/L. *** checked for leftover food bits and I see nothing...I gravel vac the entire tank when I do water changes, and it looks like I'm still pulling pleco **** out of the substrate, but would this cause the nitrates to get so high so fast?

I cant remember the plant name but it was something that floated on top of the water for nitrate purposes....
 

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All I can say is I have a planted 10 gallon with few fish, not over stocked. And if I dont do big time water changes I have nitrate problems, and I have lots of plants, so they help some but you still need to do weekly 30% changes with an oscar
 

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plants + oscar = oscar but no plants

sorry to break it to you, but I dont think a planted oscar tank is even possible. They will rip that up as soon as you plant.

Are you overfeeding? Do you have adequate filtration? May need to do a twice a week water change, or do a larger one. Also 55g is the smallest tank possible for an oscar, maybe a larger tank?
 

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Have to with Naegling here. With oscar you can add plants all you want but don't expect them to live there for long.

As for helping to keen nitrates low having some fast growing plants will help a bit. With heavily planted aquarium and added CO2 and good lightning (HQI) you might end up having add in some nitrates but still it doesn't replace weekly WC.

Basically, if your oscar doesn't end up tearing your plants apart go for it. But I wouldn't change the weekly maintenance routines.
 

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Duckweed is good floating plant for eating nitrate, I don't know if an oscar would think it's food or not though. It is pretty difficult to get rid of if you should ever decide you don't want it in your tank though.
 
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