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Dead bacteria

><< Whether you have a filter or not, the bacteria are all over your tank, in
> whatever populations the nutrients will sustain.  I think it's absurd to
> think that single-celled organisms have a complex enough metabolism to do
> much adjusting for low nutrient levels.  I tend to think that theirs is a
> digital existance.  They are living, or dying.  >>

What happens to dead bacteria? You say they die so what happens to dead 
bacteria? It's loaded with all kinds of good chemicals for growing more 
bacteria/plants and algae (perhaps in large die offs/quantities etc).
    It has been stated, I feel correctly, that when conditions are good 
most of the nutrients can be utilized by the plants. When these bacteria 
die in the gravel the waste gets nabbed up by the plant's roots primarily
rather than
the other organisms if all is working well.
     Think about it. The bacteria die off in slow small amounts where the 
algae cannot get at it but the roots of plants have very good access to 
this sump of slowly added brew of bacterial fertilizer added in nice small 
constant amounts for plants. A water column approach can be applied also by 
adding small amounts at a low constant level.
    What happens when there is a big die off of bacteria? You get a crash
or/and algae. Now why would that happen if the bacteria's role was not an
important nutrient sump? If you remove a filter you remove the source of the
die off so you get no algae bloom/crash etc and an added boost of nutrients.
You were starving the plants before in this case so the growth is not a
result of competition but of *****balance******. Plants and bacteria can
coexist to your advantage not your disadvantage depending on how you apply
it and view it.

Bacteria will always be there and be replaced by new bacteria constantly 
adding new bacterial fertilizer to this system/cycle. Some of the die off 
will be recycled by the bacteria (cannibals). Plants may/do have the upper 
hand when obtaining these nutrients added to the tank but there will always 
be some that are used up by the bacteria adding to this source of 
living/dying/self sustaining fertilizer or sump. 
    Bacteria *can* grow at lower nutrient levels also. They just don't grow 
as fast. They can handle quite a bit of torture actually and have optimum 
ranges(temp,nutrients) etc. Their needs are far less demanding than plants
in almost all 
cases. They can have very complex metabolisms also, even altering their 
genetic make up to adapt to stress and find new sources of food. There's a 
lot we still don't know about many of the metabolic pathways in many cases. 
There are other factors besides nutrient levels to consider like temp, time,

antibacterial agents, growth rates, disturbing the to area where they 
live(as in moving the gravel all over or moving the gravel to another tank 
etc), relationships with other bacteria(there are many in our tanks not just
one) and more that can influence bacterial growth. Saying that nutrients 
alone sustain a quantified population is not looking at the whole 
picture,it is not that simple nor is their metabolism and cycles within a
tank in many cases.

Tom Barr