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Old 12-19-2006, 11:26 PM   #1
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Question About Bioload Cycle

Bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite. Bacteria convert nitrite to nitrate. Are nitrates what are used by plants? How does it work in nature? If so, how much do plants use up the nitrates?
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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plants can actually use ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. in fact, they prefer ammonia as the nitrogen is easier to use.

and it works exactly like that in nature. we didn't invent nitrifying bacteria for fish tanks they are everywhere.

and just as in our tanks, there will be a limiting factor that will be different in different environments. plants which do well with that particular limiting factor (whether it be N, P, K or even C) will thrive in that particular environment.
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:37 AM   #3
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It does work like that in nature, I'll agree. However, let's remember the important difference between aquaria and nature- closed systems vs. open systems. Even heavily planted tanks require water changes to remove dissolved organic compounds. Of course, there are some schools of thought that disagree with this, but I'll always be a water changer myself.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:25 AM   #4
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Right, PWCs are still definitely in my future. My tank is not at all heavily planted.

I'm just wondering how well plants filter out waste. I mean I've seen a single Betta in a bowl with lots of bamboo. Is the bamboo enough to filter the waste for that one fish?
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:20 AM   #5
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IMO, those bettas need a real tank and I disagree with that practice. The bowl/vase will likely have no filter, and will never complete the nitrogen cycle, and will rely on pwc's. JMO- my betta is the boss of a heated, filtered 10 gallon.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:17 AM   #6
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I agree on the Betta issue. Betta's like plants to hide behind. A plant on top of a vase is cruel. It is soley for decoration for humans. 1) The plant takes up the surface of the vase that is already small that the Betta needs for air. Betta's come to the surface for air. 2) The bowl or vase is not cycled and the toxins build up rather fast in the water, the roots of the plant put out toxins from decay. PWC are vital, and complete water changes every other day to 3 days tops. Betta websites will echo this information on that.

People are even told not to feed their Betta they will just eat the plant roots. Umm Plant roots are not a normal Betta diet they eat them out of starvation.

My Betta is in a cycled, filtered, heater 10gl tank as well by himself loving life.

My sister had a Betta in a vase with a plant. He is now in a 1gl tank with a airstone and much happier. I had to keep pushing my sister to put him in the 1gl tank. I gave the tank to her and told her there was no excuse. His finrot finally went away! He (Fuzz) is happy as can be in that 1gl and she does water changes often.
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Old 12-24-2006, 11:44 AM   #7
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I think any tank that has enough fish in it to satisfy someone who prefers fish over plants will likely have nitrate production exceed the nitrate uptake by the plants. Thus, water changes will be needed to keep the nitrate down in the range that is suitable for both plants and fish.
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, that's what I figured. I was just curious as to how much of a load a plant can handle. I have an HOB filter in a 10-gallon with 5 fry in it currently. There are two bamboo sticks and a small little plant. I was just wondering how much of the waste they're taking care of, but apparently not much.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:01 PM   #9
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bamboo is not really the right plant to be in aquaria. you'd be better off with some java fern imo.
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