To filter or not to filter? That is the Question.

Several people have said that they were intrigued by the idea that filters
"compete" with their plants for nutrients. It seems to hark back to the
nineteenth-century idea of "nature red in tooth and claw." Our tanks are a
battleground; plants and nitrifying bacteria fighting it out for supremacy.
Several months ago I had a magnificent outbreak of cyanobacteria. It was
inspired by the unnoticed death of several elderly fish at once. At the time
I only had one Magnum 350 filtering the 75 gal. tank. Pig heaven if you are
a blue-green slime. I suspect that had I had an oversize filtration set-up,
that I would not have had the near disaster (saved ultimately by
erythromycin by the way) that I had. The cost of plants, lighting, and the
entire set up is so much, that spending a little extra to keep your
nitrifying bacteria "well fed" can only be measured in micro-dollars.
Consider the volume of water to fish in the Amazon. Based upon pure,
unadulturated ignorance, I imagine it to be enormous. Lots of water and
"buffering capacity" for comparatively few fish (compared to our tanks that
is). Why not spend the extra to keep a healthy, way oversized filtration
system at the ready for the next unnoticed fish fatality or what ever
stressor happens to strike?
Justin Healy in Sunny, dry, temperate (for the moment) Savannah, Ga.