Nitrite or Nitrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm confused.... Do plant's suck up Nitrite, or Nitrate? My nitrite is awesome when I tested it, so are the plants suckin it up?

I don't have a test for Nitrates, is that a must? I want to make sure the tank is cycled. Thanks...

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 05:25 AM
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yes the plants do suck up the nitrites and ammonia......but they "perfer" ammonia over nitrites (that might be backwards)...but since it turned out great for you, your doing something right =)
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 04:34 PM
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wait wait wait.... Plants use all forms of nitrogen in the aquaria, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. But...this is how the cycle works (without plants). First, fish produce ammonia (toxic to fish). Then, bacteria process the ammonia into nitrite (VERY toxic to fish). Then, another bacteria processes the nitrite into nitrate (harmless to fish if in small amounts). Then, you do water changes to make sure there aren't too many nitrates.

In a planted tank, there are still some bacteria which do the same as above, but there are much less of them.

Why? Because plants prefer to use ammonia as their source of nitrogen. So, there is less "food" for the first bacteria, which means there is less food for the second bacteria. But, any ammonia that the first bacteria gets will get processed into nitrite, which plants will also use. So, now there are even less nitrites for the second bacteria. So in a planted tank, you have a LOT less bacteria than in a normal tank.

So...if your tank has lots of nitrites, it is NOT cycled. You need to have 0 nitrites before it is cycled. Hope this clears things up!

-Tim
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 07:37 PM
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Thankyou Piccolo for explaining that in full, i wasnt sure on the exacts myself as you could tell so i figured i'd tell him what i knew......
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 08:50 PM
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This is actually one of the big benefits to a planted tank...they can take care of the nitrogen cycle as well as make oxygen and remove toxins from your water. Plants are the best thing you can do for you tank!

-Tim
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