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Vermiculite - Nitrogen Regulator?

Hi All,

A few weeks ago I added some clay/vermiculite balls to the substrate of a
planted tank with a plenum and using PMDD.  I am now getting rapid growth and
have to add ten times the recommended KNO3 to keep N in the 3-5ppm range.  The
bag of vermiculite says that it enhances fertilizers by "regulating the amount
of notrogen available to plants."  What would that mean?  Is the vermiculite
pulling the N out of the water and holding it?  Anyway, the tank is finally
looking like I want and I can start trading cuttings to the LFS.  BTW, the R.
macranda is nice and red and I don't add anything but the PMDD and some
occassional baking soda.  After a week or so of a blueish look, the lighting
from the 175 watt 10K metal halide is beautiful.  Either the bulb shifted or
the plants adjusted their chlorophyl to the blue end and are reflecting more