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Re: NO3 adding

>I used to be very careful about adding NO3 only to the substrate.  But in
>the past year or so, I have become more daring, and add it directly to my
>water as needed.  I certainly don't add it daily, and I _only_ add it to
>strongly lit CO2 supplemented tanks with very fast growth.  
Exactly like mines! The idea to add nitrate directly to the substrate is
because I thought algae can have a big disavantage not finding any
available nitrogen in the water while plants can still rely on the NO3 that
I put into the substrate. But I don't have any idea if aquatic plants can
uptake NO3 from the roots, even if my experience should drive me to tell
they are able to.

I don't depend
>only a test kit to tell me when nitrogen is needed.  I _only_ add it when I
>see signs of nitrogen deficiency in the plants _and_ I test and find no
>measurable nitrate in the water.  When I _do_ add it, I still keep the
>levels below 5 mg/L.

I disagree partially on this but it really depends on how _fast_ is the
plant growth. In both my tanks I measured that NO3 will go to zero in just
in about a couple of days if I don't add some NO3. So I'm adding it on
daily basis just to keep the level to about 5ppm NO3. There is no point in
waiting for a nitrogen deficiency symptom in this case, because I can
always see less photosinthesys (oxygen bubbles) when NO3 level is under
I also think that waiting for a nitrogen deficiency could possibly cause a
stop in plant's growth (if this is really _fast_ ) that'd eventually arise
phosphates and trace elements levels. These could cause an algae spread. 

Luca Specchio