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Old 10-19-2006, 09:12 PM   #1
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maximum amount of bacteria present in water

is there like a limiting factor on the amount of bacteria? with a constant (increasing) ammonia supply? can bacteria crowd itself out? (as in nitrogen cycle)

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Old 10-19-2006, 09:28 PM   #2
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It is the natural thing for any population to max out in its environment (provided that there are enough resources). The population will (theoretically, if enough resources are present) go above what is called the carrying capacitay, or what biologists call "K". The carrying capacity is the number of a certain organism that an area, an aquarium in this case, is capable of SUSTAINING. This is the key word. The population will increase beyond this threshold level and then organisms, bacteria, will die off due to competition for resources and approach "K" where the population levels off and becomes stable.

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:05 PM   #3
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If all other factors are eliminated, size of aquarium, waste accumulation to a point of negative effects, and any other limitting factor then theroetically the population could grow unhindered to match the ever increasing amounts of ammonia. With any of the above factors in play, the population has to stop growing because it will reach the maximum amount that can fit in the container or the entire system will crash and all the bacteria will simply die.

The only thing that truely limits anything is resources, in this case food, heat, light and most important, space. Unlimited amounts of resources could mean unlimited amounts of bacteria but in our aquariums the space factor will always limit the population of bacteria.

I hope so anyway. 8O
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