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RE wet/dry filter and nitrate use by plants

To: <A HREF="mailto:Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com";>Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com</A> 
Subject: Nitrate use by aquatic plants (again) 
From: <A HREF="mailto:krandall at world_std.com";>krandall at world_std.com</A> 
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 08:52:37 -0400 Gerry Skau wrote:>        But my 
question is-from time to time I have seen statements that>aquarium plants 
won't utilize nitrates, that they will only utilize>various forms of ammonia. 
Can anyone say definitively that aquatic plants>will use nitrate? The only 
way to keep it under control in my tanks seems>to be water changes, even in 
my heavily planted tanks. I guess the>definitive experiment would be to set 
up a tank with X ammount of>nitrates, no fish or water changes, and then 
measure to see if they>disappear. I can definitively tell you that aquatic 
plants DO use nitrate.  Anyone whosays otherwise has not done their homework. 
 It _is_ true that plants willpreferentially use ammonium, but if there is 
not enough the plants willhappily turn to nitrate to meet thier nitrogen 
needs.  If your plants are not preventing nitrate buildup in your tank, it 
isbecause their mass and growthrate is not adequate to keep up with the 
inputfrom bioload and feeding or improper fertilization. (or water changes 
ifthere are high levels of nitrate in the tap water)Karen

Hi gang, 
To everyone that posted after my comment about the bacteria in a biowheel 
outcompeting plants for ammonia, please read this quote by esteemed author 
Karen Randall. Also note that nowhere in my post did I state that plants 
would not use nitrate. 

Plants using ammonia in the first place instead of nitrate would avoid some 
end nitrate buildup by bacteria as an additional benefit, if this is a 

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