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Measuring anything

Dave Grim wrote:

>Could I have some feedback on what is a desirable nitrate and phosphate 
>level for a planted aquarium. My tanks are heavily planted, CO2 injected 
>with high light levels. No algae problems. I have just never monitored this 
>area of chemistry but am going to start.

You have already stated that you don't have any problem algae.  Are your
plants growing well?  If so, take baseline measurements secure in the
knowledge that these levels are working for your tank.  Then, if something
does go wrong in the future, you can work to regain levels you know have
worked in the past.

The terms "heavily planted" and "high light levels" are quite subjective.
I really worry when I hear people getting caught up in the idea that there
are any absolute or "perfect" numbers for planted tanks.  Each tank is
individual, and each aquarist's methods and preferences will differ as
well.  If it ain't broke don't fix it.