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[APD] Re: High water evaporation in a planted aquarium

Clint Brearley asked:

<snip> ...if water changes were not performed, would other harmful compounds
>that cannot be tested for with hobbist test kits?

There are a multitude of dissolved organic compounds which may or may not be
digestible by tank microbes or plants - including fish (and even potentially
plant) hormones or pheromones, cyclic compounds (including phenols, which
Ms. Waldstad credits with a half-life of some 18 months!), and no doubt a
significant list of simpler structures.   The main reason for water changes
is IMHO not dilution of nitrate - nitrate is just the pollutant most easily
roughly measured, and therefore assumed to be in some way proportional to
the more generalized class of materials increasing in concentration in
partially closed systems, which may be termed "pollutants" or just
pollution.  In plant tanks, we lose that easy test for buildup of
undesirables as related to nitrate buildup, and assume that many are used by
the plants.  In the cases of the organics, that assumption is as likely
invalid as often as not.


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