Re: Biowheel Question

>From: williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil (Williams, Rochelle - DCSPIM)
>Someone posted a week or so ago, that they took out their biowheel so the 
>plants would get all the nutrients.  Please, correct me if I'm wrong but I 
>thought the purpose of a biowheel was to provide increased area for 
>nitrifying bacteria.  They then convert  ammonia and nitrite into nitrates. 
> And that the nitrifying bacteria did nothing with the nitrates, that they 
>couldn't use them.  Therefore, all the nitrates are available to the plants. 
>  Please, comment.

I personally believe that any type of bacterial nitrification system is
basically useless if not detrimental in a heavily planted tank.  My reasoning
follows:  (Please note that if the tank is not heavily planted, this reasoning
needs adjustment)

Ammonium is consumed directly by the plants long before it reaches levels that
are remotely toxic to the fish.  

Ammonium is easier for plants to consume than nitrates.  Some plants are
considered unable to process nitrates at all.

Increasing the surface-air interaction in a CO2-injected tank will lower the
CO2 content of the water, decreasing the plants' ability to photosynthesize.
Since most popular filtration systems work to mix the water with air in
addition to providing bacterial filtration, many of these systems require
modification or "improper" use to avoid driving off your CO2 (and decreasing O2
levels as well).

David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc. Dallas, TX USA
(214) 575-3443 (voice)  MSGID:       DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax)    Internet:    dwebb at ti_com
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