Of fish loads and nitrites

Please, someone check my logic and correct as necessary.  Plants need
one of the 3 parts of the nitrogen cycle as a macronutrient.  There are
other macro- and micronutrients (along with light) which must be present
for growth.  The proper balance of macro- and micronutrients will give
maximum growth.  If one or more nutrients are missing, plant growth is
not optimized.  Test kits can read macronutrients and some of the
micronutrients.  So if the test kit reads zero, then the plants are
using all of that nutrient, leaving zero in the water, and have not
reached the optimum level of growth.  If the test kit detects anything,
then a sufficient level of that nutrient is available.

OK, if all of that is right, here's the big questions...Why are planted
tanks maintained at a LOW BIOLOAD?  My tank is nitrogen deficient, the
test kits have read zero for nitrates and nitrites since its creation
over 6 months ago.   The plants are growing but I'm having problems with
red algae.  Yes, I'm a firm believer in Neil Franks' article on
controlling red algae.  The local water is high in Phosphates and I
don't want to use Phos-Zorb or RO water to lower it.  I prefer the
plants use it.  Based on all the postings and web pages on the subject,
I need to optimize the PMDD but many people say DON'T ADD chemical
NITROGEN.  The phosphate and lights are causing the algae problems...but
rather than decreasing the lights or chemically filtering the water, I
want to optimize the other nutrients and have the plants give maximum
growth and use it up that way.  <Die, algae, die!>

So, I want to add more fish to the tank, until I get some kind of
reading on the nitrate or nitrite test kits.  Tank specs:  7 month old
125g planted community discus tank (72"x18"x18"), 2 Magnum 360 canister
filters, temp 86F, peat/vermiculite/soil substrate with heating, 190W of
VHO light, pH 6.8, nitrates and nitrites 0, Fe 0, PO4 3+ppm, KH and GH 2
GDH (all test kits are good - checked that idea already), no CO2 added
to tank.  Bioload:  9 - 4" discus, 2 - cardinals, 4 cory catfish, 4
clown loaches, 2 SAEs, 4 otos for 58" of fish.

How do other people optimize their nitrites/nitrates?

Rochelle Williams
williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil