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If nitrate levels increase, I would think there is excess ammonia not being
used by plants.
Chuck Gadd mentioned in a post the other day that he replaced a substrate.
For a short time there was a small amout of measurable nitrite and ammonia.
This leads me to believe that much biological filtration is occurring right
within the tank. If fish load is low enough, that would be enough. Since most
people put more than a bare minimum of fish in, extra media providing surface
for bacterial colonization is needed, and usually it's put in the filter.
What I'm thinking is, whatever is in the tank (bacteria or plants) would get
a first shot at utilizing the ammonia. If there is ammonia in the water going
through the filter, bacteria in the filter will utilize the ammonia and grow.
Isn't this so?
Meanwhile, I was sold on Diana Walstad's book by a previous poster who
reported on her infrequent water changes yet apparently wonderful success
with fish and plants. I am awaiting shipment. Perhaps there is a more
in-depth explanation in there.
<< Well after reading Diana's book I'm actually giving this a try. I have
plant growth but my nitrates do creep up.
I'v removed all filter media out of my Fuval404 except for the sponges (want
to keep the water clear of particles) so that it should have insuffient
biological filtration for the tank.
Will see if I can see any changes in plant growth and nitrate levels.
Will of course keep a close eye on Ammonia levels :)