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Re: Plants do NOT use NO2

Hello again all!

Thank you Mr. Barr for responding to my post and clarifying the
nitrogen usage issues.

* Thus spake Thomas Barr [011116 01:50]:
> Well it does cycle you just don't see it(able to measure 
> it). With the plants the cycling goes unnoticed from their 
> uptake. Plant tanks will eat all the ammonium up if 
> heavily planted from the start. No NO2. Too many people 
> are cheap, do not get enough healthy plants when they set 
> a plant tank up and think it will simply "grow in". It can 
> but it is so much better to add plants than remove algae 
> later. An extra few dollars spent on plants is well worth 
> it when starting a tank out. Perhaps some of the best 
> invested dollars in the hobby is buying enough plants. 

Ok, will do. I assume I should start out with some fast
growing plants like water sprite or water wisteria. These are
relatively inexpensive, and so I can get lots.

How do you know when you can remove these starter plants and add
some slower growing ones?

> Adding the old filthy mulm from another established tank 
> is one of the best ways or an old mature filter. I add old 
> mulm when I set up a new tank. I vacuum out about 5-10 
> gallons of gravel vacuumed water and let it settle for a 
> hour then decant off the clear water saving the mulm on 
> the bottom. I add this and some ground peat to very bottom 
> of the gravel layer. I add SeaChem's onyx over this. I 
> save a touch of the mulm and seed the filter with it. Do 
> that with heavy planting from the start and you'll be very 
> happy. Add algae eaters (SAE's then shrimp) after that(one 
> two days). 

I've vacuumed out my larger, marginally planted tank, and now
have a bucket full of mulmy water with some muck on the bottom.

Is the mulm for 
  - quickly cycling the tank so that I can add more fish
  - quickly cycling the tank so that the NO2 is converted to NO3
  - fertilizer for the plants?

Also, at this time I can't afford Onyx, and so I would like to
use Turface (a 'poor man's' flourite?) mixed with gravel. Will
what you've prescribed still work with this? I can afford peat
but had read that stuff like that or soil would make a mess when 
I uproot plants. Is the peat necessary, or am I being overly 
concerned about the mess?

> Hope this helps!

Indeed, it does; thanks again for all your help!

T.  =8)
Titus Mathews Jr