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Re: [Killietalk] Plants, nitrates & shyness was ; Less KT, more breeding
On 4/10/07, Ken <ken_combs at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> > In short: I'm just about sold on "natural systems" & plants in general...and
> actively growing plants just don't mitigate shyness/nervousness via "cover",
> but also in tandem greatly reduce nitrates/improve water quality and I'm
> thinking that side effect is altering the fishes behavior...
I agree but I'm not sure it is lowered nitrates that is the crucial
factor - I believe it is higher oxygen levels and extremely low
ammonia. I actually add potassium nitrate to most of my tanks to keep
the nitrates around 20ppm, a level that plants prefer, and my fish are
doing great. I suspect fish can acually thrive in nitrate levels much
higher than that. (Not willing to personally test that out in my
modest fishroom however).
> I know the skeptic/old timers are thinking "ditch fish", I change my water
> 2X mo and the fish are fine, blah blah blah...but I'm personally witnessing
> (in some species profound) change in behavior as I crank up the lights,
> ferts and plant cover and pay close attention to water quality...basically
> I'm shooting for zero nitrates, pristine water and I can noticeably observe
> a positive change in my fish (sounds obvious, but I'm stressing "pristine"
> not just "good/acceptable")
Again, you'll find that your plants do much better if there is some
nitrate in the water. 0 nitrates under medium-to-high light situations
is a recipe for disaster, actually. Actively photosynthesising plants
provide lots of oxygen and strip ammonia very quickly, but they
require a source of N, more than the trace levels of ammonia provide
in most cases - nitrate is the best source for it because of it's
relative non-toxicity to animals. P, K, Ca, Mg, and trace elements
also have to be provided in sufficient amounts.
Anyway, I agree with your basic approach entirely. My fish have never
been as happy, healthy, or horny as they are now that plants have
become my primary preoccupation.
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