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Re; NO3 and PO4 in Takashi Amano Aquaria

In response to my post on the Amano "Water Quality" measurements of 1 mg/l
or less of NO3 and 0 mg/l of PO4, Tom Barr wrote:

> My impression is that there's some translation issue, there's art but
plant physiology.
> Basically I would not worry about what is written about tank parameters.
....The proof is in the pudding, you try those parameters and see for

I believe what he is implying is that these values are probably incorrect
and that, if you were actually to try them, you could "see for yourself"
that you would have problems in your tank. If something was lost in the
translation, perhaps Karen Randall, the editor of TAG, could ask Mr. Amano
or his translater for clarification.

Later, John Wheeler responded with the possibility that:

> Japanese tap water already has N and P in sufficient
> OR-- Those values quoted are dosed every day, which I
think is more likely.

I believe John has misunderstood my question.  These values are listed
under "Water Quality" along with temperature, pH, and other parameters,
and therefore, must be measurements of levels not amounts added.  If there
were N and P in the tap water, then the measurements should show values
other than 0.  I don't understand the second part of John's answer,
because I don't understand how one would dose 0 mg/l (unless, like a very
dry martini, you only allow the shadow of the vermouth to fall on the

But, like John, I find I don't need to add NO3 to my tank to keep the
level between 5 and 10 mg/l.  And I add exactly the same amount of PO4 as
he does: 0.2 mg/l per day (after a starter dose of 0.5 mg/l after each
weekly 50% water change).

Chuck Huffine conjectured as to the meaning of Amano's TH and COD

> I suspect TH = total hardness. COD = chemical oxygen demand.

But, if that is the case, is it reasonable to have a KH of 20mg/l, which
is little more than 1 degree?  As for chemical oxygen demand, how does one
measure that?  Just curious.

John T. Fitch
E-mail: JTFitch at FitchFamily_com
Web Site: www.fitchfamily.com/aquarium.html