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[APD] Re: re water changes

----- Original Message -----
Message: 7
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 15:12:11 -0500
From: Chris Hotte <ecwh at cogeco_ca>
Subject: Re: [APD] re water changes
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>

Ramon wrote:


I've got kind of a stupid question. I know for sure that one of the reasons
to we do water changes in a established tank is to reduce the nitrate level
in your tank. But what happens when you put a lot of fast growing plants in
your tank? I would think that these undemanding plants will use up the
excess nitrates.

You can just add more water as it evaporates from the tank and fertilizer
for the plants. Do you still need to do water changes in this case?


I've got alot of plant estate in my tank and nitrate levels as I've recently discovered are high every other week. If you had enough quick growning plants to absorb all the nitrates, you'd then have to add to keep the plants going. With suffient filteration as required to keep the tank healthy, I don't personally think it's possible to achieve 0 nitrates through plant absorption.

- Chris

I'm no expert at this, but I have come to the opinion that there IS no filtration better than plants. It amazes me how fast a couple of handfuls of plants will clear up a cloudy tank. Better than any filter I know. And I would think 0 nitrates is certainly possible, if the plants are taking it up as fast as the fish produce it. They don't have to constantly grow---they can stop and start, or grow as slowly as there is food available to them. As far as water changes go, even though you will reach a stasis, where the plants are cleaning the water as fast as the fish pollute it, fresh water can still be a good idea. My well water is like mineral water, and I think the plants especially like a resupply of minerals. On the other hand, evaporation leaves all minerals behind, so any the plants are not taking up would tend to build up over time (if you just replaced what evaporated), which will alter your water chemistry, raising pH and hardness. Both my fish and plants seem to enjoy an influx of fresh water. Think rain. I think fish love rain.

Just one layman's opinion.


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