Re: Plants and Ammonia

>Plants do use ammonium in preference to nitrate.  Also, just 
>because you don't set up a dedicated biological filter, there is 
>_still_ lots of biological filtration going on in the average 
>mature aquarium.  Nitrifying bacteria attach to every surface in 
>the tank.  I run my heavily planted, lightly stocked 70G tank on a 
>single 350 Magnum filter, and have for years without problems.

From my understanding if the pH is below 7.0 ammonium is produced and if it
is above 7.0 ammonia is produced. If the pH of the tank is say 7.2 and
ammonia is produced will the plants still use it?

>Many people set up filterless planted aquariums, but remember that 
>these people also usually have a very low fish load.  You might 
>want to start with 20 neons and your algae eaters to start with.  
>Also, I have found that the center of a Magnum filter collapses if 
>you don'r fill it with somethingm so it probably is not the best 
>choice if you are truly after a set up with _no_ additional 
>biological filtration.  I just keep my Magnums filled with coarse 
>gravel.  This gives them some biological capacity, and also keeps 
>the basket from collapsing.
I have no intentions of setting up a tank without any filtration at all. I
intended to use my Magnuim 350 for mechanical filtration. I did not realize
that the basket would collapse if it was not filled, thanks for the tip. 

Currently I have a 29g with the Magnium 350 and a Bio-Wheel 30 on it. A
couple of weeks ago I turned the Bio-Wheel off to see what would happen.
Checked the ammonia, nitrite, & nitrate levels yesterday, they were all
undetectable. My intentions was not to have no bio filtration at all, just
not to have any extra like bio-wheels etc. 

My plants are doing pretty well in the 29g the way I have it setup now, 60w
of lighting, no substrate heating, & no CO2 injection. I will be moving all
the livestock from the 29g to the 45g. I plan on putting 4 20w bulbs on it
for lighting so hopefully I can duplicate the sucess of the 29g in the 45g.