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Old 10/21/2008, 04:55 PM   #288
WaterKeeper
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SW Ohio
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Randy and I have had several discussions on that very subject. In the rules of chemistry we need to have a mass balance,that is, nitrogen introduced to the tank equal nitrogen compounds found in the water column.

In other words, you don't create more nitrate than the amount of nitrogen containing substances introduced into the tank. The introduction is mainly from the protein in the food we feed the inhabitants. That protein is hydrolyzed into ammonia, then nitrite and finally nitrate.

This begs the question on how a fixed film media, something like a UGF or bioballs could create more nitrate than the proteins added to form it. I proposed a theory that perhaps the air plentiful media also encouraged the nitrogen fixing cyanobacter. They could therefore take nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it to ammonia or nitrate.

Randy feels it is more a problem in proximity. In a LR system both nitrate production and reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas occur within centimeters of each other. When using a mechanical filter condition,without low oxygen content, it is not conducive to nitrate to nitrogen as the low oxygen areas are further down the system, ie. sand bed and rock.

Both are plausible theories but neither is proven by data.

A good theory to explore for the next science fair.


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Last edited by WaterKeeper; 10/21/2008 at 05:01 PM.
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