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Re: Random Question

Don writes:

<< <<<<Also, the nitrate levels in natural eco-systems (be it the Amazon River
>> the tropical reef) are near 0 ppm.  A well-balanced ecological system will
>> nearly all of the available nutrients.  Excess nutrients is an indication
>> an out of balanced biological system.  10 ppm of nitrate would only be
>> in polluted waters.>>>>
> is this true?? ive heard some people say that zero nitrates in a planted
> isnt necessarily a good thing and a nitrate level of 10 ppm or less is good
> for the plants. >>

Two things to remember;
1) You're talking aquariums and your friend is talking wild waters.
2) It isn't really a nitrate level that you are trying to offer your plants,
but a useable nitrogen level.  It can be in the form of nitrates, nitrites, or
ammonia.  The plants prefer ammonia, as a by-product of fish metabolism (not
as an introduced fertilizer, as this is VERY hard to do without killing
something), but will use what is avialable.

In the wild, there are enough plants to use the nitrogenous waste in most
healthy waters.  This is what your friend is refering to.  But in an aquarium,
we tend to set the thing up in a manner that is more in keeping with
aesthetics or a breeding program than Mother Nature would.  So we don't
necessarily get a balance between nitrogen production and nitrogen
utilization.  We get a tank favoring of production, and do water changes, or
favoring utilization, and add nitrogen fertilizer.

Bob Dixon