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Cyanobacteria in the freshwater planted aquarium

This is a discussion on Cyanobacteria in the freshwater planted aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by xfatdannx Went to the LFS where i got my dwarf sag and glosso today...first time back since i got the glosso...Guess ...

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Cyanobacteria in the freshwater planted aquarium
Old 04-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #61
 
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Originally Posted by xfatdannx View Post
Went to the LFS where i got my dwarf sag and glosso today...first time back since i got the glosso...Guess what! They have Cyano in 5 tanks including one that i got my plants from...I bet it piggy backed its way on my plants...I am about 99% sure thats how i got it bc my nitrates never dropped that low for any period of time. My tap water has trace amounts of ammonia, which gets converted to nitrates within a few hours.
It is not surprising to see cyanobacteria in store tanks, due to the very high organic level when so many fish are crowded into relatively small tanks. If the store is regular in their tank cleaning/water changing, cyano won't occur.

Regardless ofhgow it got in your tank, it is only going to be there with high organics and light. As we have previously discussed.

As for nitrates, one should aim to have nitrates as low as possible for the health of the fish. I have tanks with near-zero nitrate and never see cyano.

Byron.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:23 PM   #62
 
I think the nitrate issue is another hi tech lotech difference. In hi tech tanks the plants must use up NO3 so fast that you have to feed it to them (fertilize). Although it is said that plants won't take up NO3 while there is still Nitrite and Ammonia in the water. So they must be really revved up.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:27 PM   #63
 
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I think the nitrate issue is another hi tech lotech difference. In hi tech tanks the plants must use up NO3 so fast that you have to feed it to them (fertilize). Although it is said that plants won't take up NO3 while there is still Nitrite and Ammonia in the water. So they must be really revved up.
if there is ammonia plants wont use nitrate with rites and ammonia in the water? how is this so when there is constantly ammonia being put into water from fish?
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:50 PM   #64
 
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if there is ammonia plants wont use nitrate with rites and ammonia in the water? how is this so when there is constantly ammonia being put into water from fish?
All I know is: Ammonia is preferred because it takes the least energy exerted to convert it to energy. If there is no available Ammonia, Nitrites will be used at a cost of converting it to energy. If neither of those is present, plants will use Nitrates at almost no energy benefit to the energy it takes to convert Nitrates to Nitrites, then to Ammonia. You may have to read this several times. I don't know the details of how this works but those are the facts that I read about.

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:55 PM   #65
 
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Do you have the link to the article
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #66
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It has to do with the need of the plant based on all available nutrients and light. If the concentration is very low in ammonia, even though it is present, the plants in a high light environment will just grab nitrite as needed and the same applies to the nitrate. I have a medium light tank with lots of plants and a decent fish load and yet my nitrates never cross 5 ppm. The nitrogen cycle is mostly bypassed but there are some nitrates produced and, I would say, some nitrates consumed as well.

Also, difference plants may have different "preferences" and be able to assimilate any nitrogen source at different efficiencies. Some floaters do this better than most but probably because their leaves may be semi emmersed and taking advantage of airborne CO2 and direct intense light due to the proximity of the source. They are their own high tech environment at the surface and can use all nitrogen sources more effectively. I know my immersed penny wort is a lot lighter green than the emmersed on the same stem.

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Old 04-12-2013, 11:43 PM   #67
 
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Do you have the link to the article
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Sorry, I looked but I couldn't find one that I could post here. I'm pretty sure this would be an easy one for Byron, either yea or nay or by explaining how plants metabolize nitrogen and why Ammonia is preferred over Nitrites and Nitrates.

I did neglect something important to this whole picture. When a freshwater plant takes up a molecule of Ammonia, it is no longer available to the Nitrogen Cycle (read "nitrifying bacteria"), so it can't be transformed into Nitrite or Nitrates and all the attendent energy is taken by the plant. And plants love ammonia. When the plant dies, it is converted into back to Ammonnia, which goes through the whole process from the beginning.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #68
 
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In her book, Walstad cites the scientific studies that determined the preference of various plant species for nitrogen forms. Most aquatic plants prefer ammonium, and in studies where ammonium, nitrite and nitrate were present the plants took up all ammonium first. Then they turned to nitrite. And last to nitrate. Walstad suggests this is likely because plants have to change nitrite and nitrate back into ammonium before they can use it as nitrogen, and this takes more energy/work by the plant, which has the effect of reducing their energy devoted to photosynthesis (growing and reproducing). Plants inherently want to devote energy into photosynthesis, so they have evolved methods to focus on this.

As I think someone said, in well-planted tanks that use the natural method, nitrite will never be detectable with our test kits (it will be too minimal) and nitrate will usually remain very low. My tanks run < 5 ppm nitrate, which is between zero and 5 with the API kit which may mean nearer zero, and many with similar tanks have zero nitrate continually. Using common sense, I assume this is because the plants are grabbing most of the ammonia/ammonium before bacteria/archaea have the opportunity, which means very little ammonia/ammonium gets changed into nitrite and thus very little nitrite to nitrate. Walstad does cite scientific studies which show that plants out-compete bacteria for ammonia/ammonium.

Now, obviously all other factors must be present for this to work. Meaning adequate light to balance the nutrients, and sufficient nutrients (all 17). If something, say carbon (CO2) is insufficient, plants can't photosynthesize fully so any excess ammonia would then presumably be taken up by the bacteria/arachea. Plants can and do take up ammonia as a toxin as well as a source of nitrogen, so this too enters the equation.

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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 AM   #69
 
One more thing I remembered - When Nitrates are very low in a planted tank, it probably means that the plants are taking up most or all of the Ammonia. I sort of said this already but I wanted to make it clear. When a plant takes up an Ammonia molecule, it is unavailable to nitrifying bacteria and bypasses the nitrifying bacteria. So the nitrifying bacteria, from ammonia to nitrates, misses that ammonia molecule and it does not end up as Nitrates.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #70
 
loads of info here guys. Awesome! I love it. thanks so much for your contributions.
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