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Re: Biological Filter in planted tanks

Adrian Banica wrote "It is still my opinion that plants and nitrifying
bacteria WILL 'compete' for the available ammonia...I would go as far as
saying that adding media that offers a large area for
the bacteria to colonize and then running water over it would not be in our
best interest (if we are trying to grow plants that is)."

We have a heavily planted, heavily stocked 135-gal with commercial CO2. The
many species of plants are thriving and growth is about as rapid as we
would like it for most species. We have an Eheim 2228 which is clearly
larger than "necessary" (when planning our setup we didn't know that the
plant would be a success and had in mind a full fish bioload). Our nitrate
is practically stable at about 10-15 ppm and I add potassium nitrate once
in a while if it drops too low. In other words there is no nitrate buildup,
although we still do regular water changes. I assume this is a fairly
common situation in our planted tanks.

Many species are capable of converting nitrite and nitrate back to
ammonium, albeit at a slight energy expense. I assume that little or no
nitrate is being converted to nitrogen and oxygen. So what is the effect of
this "competition" between bacteria and plants? We feed our fish generously
and it appears our plants are getting fed as well. I think you forgot this
back conversion.

Jared Weinberger                    jweinberger at knology_net  
______    http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/     ________