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[APD] Nitrifying Bacteria

In an established tank, where are nitrifying bacteria most efficient?  I have a Magnum 350 canister filter and removed the bio wheels sevral months ago (I found them unsightly and too cumbersome to work around) and don't seem to have suffered any ill effects, though I do religiously change about 50% of the water weekly.  Are the bacteria best located in the substrate where they aren't disturbed but where water flow is less?  What about ceramic or other materials in the canister, where they will be in constant contact with the water flow?    

Kristian Anderson

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