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Stirring up substrate

>Well one reason that comes to mind for me is I had a high nitrate level
>and there was alot of organic material in the substrate.  so I up rooted
>all the plants cept the crypts and stirred up the substrate while
>running a filter.  No3 was reduced from 100ppm to 50ppm.  Under normal
>cleaning conditions I would not stir up the substrate cept for top layer

Even 50 ppm is way high, IMO.  I think this is a sign of other imbalance in
the tank, over feeding, insufficient plant growth, there are some other
possibilities as well.  While I believe you that this halped you lower the
nitrate level somewhat, I don't think I'd design a substrate based on the
need to stir up the substrate for that reason.  I'd be looking for the
reason my nitrate rose so high to start with.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association