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[APD] Re: ecosystem in aquarium

Hello everyone,


                        As everyone knows, one of the roles of plants for
the well being of an aquarium is to absorb those 'harmful' substances from
the water column, namely ammonia (NH3), Nitrite (NO2) and even Nitrate
(though the least preferred source of Nitrogen). This has led to discussions
whether it possible to run a planted aquarium without filtration since the
plants are substituting the roles of the nitrobacter and nitrosotomas
bacteria in a biological filter. In fact, in aquariums which are heavily
planted and with a minimal stocking of fish, such colonies of bacteria are
minimal. However, this is just an ideal view and very few aquarists suggest
not using biological filtration at all.


                        However such a claim may be extended to the partial
water changes in an aquarium. Hobbyists encounter the problem of maintaining
water parameters at an optimum level suggested by the experts. I.e. General
hardness 2- 5 dh and KH 3 - 5

Tap water may contain very high GH and it is really frustrating to lower
such values using appropriate resins especially where relatively large
aquaria are concerned. So, assuming that the aquarium is decently planted
with the minimal stock of fish (just algae eaters and corys for example)
that it is also needed to fertilise with NPK; does it make sense to change
one third of the tank volume fortnightly? Remember that there will not be
excessive ammonia, nitrites and nitrates due to fish excretions? Can anyone
limit himself to just add the evaporated water with reverse osmosis or
distilled water and say make a partial water change occasionally?  Some
people talk about 'aged' water. Do they mean water which has accumulated
substances not used by plants and not absorbed by filtration?




                                    R. Vella

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