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Re: NFC: plant filtering capabilities

thanks, the O2 drop at night was actually why I was planning on having the lights on the filter plants on the opposite schedule that I've got the lights for the tank plants on...try to even it out. I'm used to caring for aquarium plants as most of my tanks at home end up being more plant than fish tanks anyway.

>From: Joshua L Wiegert

>Reply-To: nfc at actwin_com
>To: nfc at actwin_com
>Subject: Re: NFC: plant filtering capabilities
>Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 21:10:09 -0700 (MST)
>Hi Kris
>Sounds like a modified version of an algae scrubber -- basically, the
>algae (or in your case, plants) grow in an "ideal" environment (good
>light) and feed off the nutrients in the tank. They remove nitrate, which
>modern filters don't (for the most part). In exchange, they make more
>plant. You harvest some of the plant, and remove the nitrate.
>Works great with algae (your friend is undoubtably using a macro-algae,
>such as caulerpa, as there are no marine plants commercially available,
>with the possible exception of turtle-grass, which would be unsuitable
>anyhow. :) However, since "real plants" have more stringent demands for
>micronutrients (iron and potassium being two very important onees) you'll
>often wind up with limited growth, and therefore little filtration by it.
>However, if you add micronutrients, or use water changes to maintain
>levels (should you be blessed to have water high in these), you can be
>quite successful.
>Rooted plants in such a set up seldom work very well. ALgae like plants,
>such as Java Moss, Nitella, Azoala, etc, seem to be the best bet.
>By the by -- the reason why this ingenious set up isn't seen too often is
>due to a number of large shortcomings. Many of the plants and algaes used
>release various water colouring compounds (tanins most notably) into the
>water, some of which are harmful to corals, inverts, and fish (including
>sweetwater fish). pH shifts can also be expected, as well as low O2.
>Yes, thats right, low O2. Plants need to breath, too, and when the tank
>lights go out, they stop producing O2, and there is a net loss of it.
>Plants do not "breath" Co2 and exhale O2, they breath in O2, exhale CO2.
>They "eat" CO2, and O2 is the waste product of that. During an average
>day, there is a net output of O2 -- they eat more than breath. However,
>in a small aquarium, where O2 levels can be easily depleted, this can
>lead to all sorts of problems.
> ____^__
> ><,Darwin,>
>Joshua L. Wiegert
>NFC Lists Administrator JLW at pi_dune.net
>www.geocities.com/RainForest/Jungle/1680/ owner-nfc at actwin_com
>ICQ 69551951 AIM UID: Etheosoma
>Feel free to contact me by any of the above means for any reason.
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