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avoiding denitrification ?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ibanezfrelon, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    How much denitrification is going on in filters?
    Is ceramic media suitable ground for anaerobic bacteria after it's clogged and dirty?
    Is it fair to say that when we measure the NO3 uptake in our tanks we not only measure the plant uptake but denitrification uptake also , right?

    Maybe coarse spunge , being more aerobic ground, would be more suitable for planted tanks? ...not taking the no3..:confused:
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Apologies If I Missed The Point

    Hi,

    By definition any place in our systems that oxygen doesn't get too is anaerobic. :confused:

    So yes, it would be possible for any filter to become so clogged that it becomes oxygen starved. The downside of many do-it-yourself or poorly designed filters is channeling that means much of the water is not actually filtered and areas where nasty bugs can get a foot hold exist. :eek:

    A sponge generally provides far less surface area then ceramic media or for that matter my favorite, pot-scrubbers, nylon providing less than stainless steel but still less than ceramic media. :)

    Yes it is a fair statement that any system measurement, measures all parts of the system. :p;)

    There is a fair debate regarding the colonization of bacteria, bio-films in filter media competing with our plants and critters for a variety of resources, as in all things we strive to strike a balance.

    Our aquariums are not “natural,” they are contrivances... We must allocate resources based on our goals and our best understanding.:cool:

    Biollante
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think anyone really knows.
    You could remove the plants and add KNO3 and then see how long it takes to drop.

    But.........you also have an issue with plant roots effecting the sediments and adding O2, this reduces and prevents lowe rRedox levels that are required for denitrification.
    Plants also remove NO3 as well as NH4.

    So most test will be "artificial" that aquarist can do.

    Researchers use the N2O relationship in denitrification or some use labeled N15 stable isotopes of NH4 or NO3.
    This way they can track where the % of NO3 goes in a real system or how much is from denitrification.

    I think it can vary widely in aquariums. Soem tanks none at all, others, like soil based tanks, quite strong for a few months, then very very klittle there after(all the N is gone in most soils/ADA etc after a few months, 1-2 year range anyway)

    The lower redox values provided by such soils are excellent for plants, but weak roots and weak growth will be hampered by lower Redox as well, it's a 2 edged sword.

    ADA got around this somewhat using Aqua soil, which are larger clay soil that allows lots of flow through, but each grain is a functional unit and internally has the lower Redox values, this is the best of both worlds.
    Over time, this breaks down and the grains decay and fine mulm forms and seals the sediment. But.........by then.......the plant roots are well established and pump plenty of O2 down there.

    We measure the total uptake, production and decomposition of NO3 from all metabolic processes.

    A filter should be cleaned often, lower flow/current etc=> less flow, less CO2 mixing and also, importantly, less O2!!
    Less O2= more fish stress. Clogged filter= overloaded polluted organic matter that sucks out O2 as it decomposes that the fish can use and need.

    The same can be said for the sediment if there's no good plant growth or roots.
    The sediment will sour after a time from organic matter loading.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr




    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Thnx guys!

    I guess, denitrification could cause problems in tanks that use some of the lean dosing methods like MCI or PPS.. ..if over time denitrification would start consuming too much no3?

    So, would it be safe to say that spunge and ceramic are a good combination of filter media for planted tanks , as long as it is cleaned often and not alowed to get clogged (anaerobic)?
     
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