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Popular misconception about NO3 levels
> I don't care that much for snails because even
> in my best planted tanks I tend to run high on nitrates, and I don't want
> the snail load adding to it.
I don't mention the writer because this comment was an aside in his
posting, and because I use it only as an example of a statement I see
The _only_ factor that controls the amount of nitrate in a water
column is how much of it is removed relative to how much is added. What
animals are in the tank is irrelevant. Unless the aquarist is feeding extra
food for the snails, the nitrogen load in his tank will remain the same
whether they are there or not.
Nitrogen is added through fish food for most of us, with additions of
fertilizer for some of us, and also some with chloramine treated water. It
is removed through plant trimmings and water changes, and animal removal
(snails, fish offspring, dead animals).
Food that is uneaten by fish or snails translates to nitrogen
compounds in the water even more surely than food that is eaten. At least
some of the food that is eaten is converted to growth of the animal.
Back to lurking now.
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