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Old 11-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #1 
Aqua Aurora
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Question Question about no tech planted tanks

First off:This is not a discussion about [some] tech vs no tech please don't come in saying "it should be in a [__] tank with heater/filter" its not the issue here. This is also not my tank situation, its simply a question out of curiosity.

I've seen several lovely planted cubes/vases/bowls etc shown here and a few other fish forums where people keep bettas in no tech environments with plenty of plants. I'm still a bit new to planted tanks myself but I thought plants need nitrates in their diet (along with phosphates and some other nutrients and of course light). SO if a betta lives in a no tech aquarium that has water changes done frequently rather than the tank being cycled... where do the plants get their nitrates? Do they simply supplement their diet with the ammonia in place of the nitrates?
I know people will plant [some] tech tanks and cycle them (some quicker than others) and plants live through that just fine (doing that right now on a "55" gallon which its already producing nitrates), but I'm curious if it has any ill effect on plants long term living in a nitrate-less environment?

Thanks for reading and giving your thoughts/experiences/feedback ^^
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #2 
Hallyx
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It is a common misconception that plants prefer nitrate. While some do, most plants prefer ammonia for their energy. Actually, they convert it to ammonium before processing. Essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium etc, are usually replenished with water changes.

The balance of chemical and energy inputs and processes necessary to run a maintenance-free, tank is beyond my imagining. Check on the "Planted Betta Tank" section of this forum for deeper insight.
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