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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #448

> Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 11:27:27 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Anthony Ciarochi <Anthony.Ciarochi at eng_Sun.COM>
> Subject: Plant metabolism question
> A question for any botanists, biologists, or 'smart people' (er, I
> AND/OR :-).
> I recently read (either in this list's archives or on the Nature
> Aquarium page) that biological filtration is much less critical in a
> well-planted tank, as the plants are able to metabolize most any waste
> products produced by the fish.  Does thisreally mean that plants
are able to 
> metabolize ammonia and nitrite, in addition to nitrate?
> I worry about loss of bio-activity, however, as I have some rather
> sensitive fish (discus, etc.).  Should I be worried?  The tank is 
> well established, and I haven't felt a need to test for ammonia or
> nitrite for quite a while (I do test for NO3, CO2, pH, and Fe). 
> I start?
> TIA,
>  - Anthony


If you are having no problems with water quality, then I wouldn't
worry about it.  I would check on at least a monthly basis just in in
case, but you don't actually need too much biological filtration.  If
you have enough plants, with enought nutrients (light, CO2, trace
elements, etc.), the filter can actualy become competition for the
plants.  I am not totally clear on the issue, but I am fairly sure
that some plants can utilize ammonia and nitrite as food.  I currently
have a 5 gallon tank with no filter or circulation and 1 betta in it
that I have some ammonia and nitrite issues in, but it has only been
set up for about two weeks and it is still cycling, and the plants are
still settling in.  I expect that once everything is happy, I won't
have any problems as long as I keep the fish load low.  Hope this

Justin Collins
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