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N cycling in planted tanks

>It was mentioned recently that planted tanks do not nitrogen
>cycle. When it comes to microorganisms I would say that the
>former statement would have to be false.
>It is probably more correct to say that the nitrophilic bugs and
>the plants would be in an equilibrium with respect to nitrogenous
>Even in a heavily planted aquarium one could find small pockets
>of nitrifing bacteria. Since the establishment of these colonies
>is usually what we mean by the term "cycled", planted tanks must therfore
>still cycle.

I think it might be most accurate to say that the tank is _pre-cycled_ in
the that way that if you put a fully functional bacterial filter on a brand
new "fish" tank, you won't see much of a detectable cycle.  The difference
is that in a fish tank, even with a fully functional bacterial filter
brought on line, you will still be able to track rising nitrate levels.

Since, in a planted tank, the ammonium is hopefully all being used by the
plants, and never getting a chance to make its way to nitrate, you can't
even see that.

But you are right, to say that there is "no cycle" in a planted tank is a
little misleading, or at least incomplete.  There's a cycle, it's just
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association