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Re: [APD] anaerobic denitrification

You can often get by with just all the plants and the bacteria that grows on all the surfaces in the aquarium. The virtue of biomedia is lots of surface area in a small space. Things like porous gravel or lava rock work fine. In any planted aquaria, a biofilter is mostly just back-up and a way to ensure against excess nitrates from heavy feeding. Some anerobic conditions result in nitrates being converted back to nitrites, such is the variety of the anerobic bacteria.
If your plants cannot use up all the nitrates, then water changes are the simplest way to keep them in check. Unless you have a very slow growing setup, low light, no added CO2, you will probalby want to add nitrogen sources rather than remove them. Having to add them and being to do water changes if you need to moderate them gives you a simple method of controlling nitrate levels.
In principle, if not in deed, with a low gph, the biomedia at the end of the water change will undoubtedly harbor some anerobic bacteria.
That said, if you set up a planted tank with a soil underlayment, expect anerobic condtions deep down in the organically rich substrate, producing, among other things some CO2. Diana Walstad's book is an excellent source of info on soil underlayment planted tanks.
  You can find it through most on-line book vendors and at the aga's bookstore:
* * * * * * * * * * * 
The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC) celebrates its 50th year of service at its 31st annual convention, April 7-9, 2006 -- including *An Evening with Aquarium Legends*.
Read the speaker list, then download the registration form, and get set to join the fun at what promises to be the year's biggest tropical fish convention.
And while you're there, attend the AGA's annual meeting Friday afternoon (2-4pm). This year's speaker is Claus Christensen, Tropica's Managing Director. 

----- Original Message ----
From: Eli Moss <mossy173 at gmail_com>
To: aquatic plants digest <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Thursday, March 9, 2006 8:16:45 PM
Subject: [APD] anaerobic denitrification

Would it be at all reasonable to set up a low gph filter for my 40g tank
consisting of: a powerhead sending water through 1/2 tubing to a three
gallon container containing gravel (doubling as a co2 reactor) and then from
that to another 3 gallon container containing coarse sand.  The idea is to
create anaerobic conditions in which denitrifying bacteria could convert
nitrate to oxygen and nitrogen.  I've heard of special media for this
purpose; is this necessary to support the necessary bacteria?

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