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Re: Nitrates

George wrote:
> > at nitrates.  Aren't the plants supposed to kick in and utilize it and break
> > it down further?
> Only if they really need to. It takes more engery to use nitrates than to use
> ammonium. If the plants can satisfy their need for nitrogen though a less energy
> intensive means, they will not consume nitrate.

But if the plants are using the ammonium, then it shouldn't get turned into
nitrates, thus the nitrate level will be lower anyway. 

> > after I have reached the noble heights of ammonia>nitrite>nitrate?
> That's the end of the oxidation line, nitrogen-wise.
> > What are my options
> Change more water more often.

George, I know you mentioned that your tanks routinely have 10-20mg/l
of nitrate.   

I'm curious as to why, since your tanks have high lighting, and CO2, and
are pretty densely planted (particularly that rainbow tank).   In my 75g,
if I don't add KNO3, within several days, the level will be zero.

Your tanks do have less lighting than mine, and mine is a bit more of an
overgrown jungle, so I'd suspect my plants would use up more nitrate, but
it doesn't seem like it would be that big a difference.

As for feedings, I feed my rainbows like the pigs they are!  Live or frozen
brine several times a week, blackworms occasionally, several different flake
foods (spirulina flakes, brine flakes, normal tetra-min pro flakes).  Normally
at least two feedings a day, sometimes three.

Chuck Gadd