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Old 02/11/2016, 04:58 AM   #3043
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
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Randy, Jonathan -

I've been looking at comparing dinos, cyano, and phyto ...

And there's an interesting concept that I'd like to understand better.

In the Nitrogen cycle, Nitrogen Fixation is converting Nitrogen gas into biologically available Nitrogen - which is an essential part of the food cycle (correct?).

In our tanks, as we feed, we add biologically available nitrogen as our reefs and fish create waste like ammonia. The nitrifying bateria convert this into nitrite and then nitrate.


Why the caps? because I think the N2 is the problem. We've associated sand beds with dinos and cyano... but I think it's the fact that a functioning sand bed will generate nitrogen gas.

The Nitrogen gas, along with any waste, becomes a food source... for nitrogen fixing creatures... DINOS, CYANO, PHYTO.

I'm not blaming Nitrogen, or the sand bed. I think it's all natural - until the normal nitrogen fixing agents die off... leaving a void. Here's where Cyano and Dinos take off.

The introduction of other bacteria, as well as the addition of phyto seems to really help - and it may be that they are simply taking over their normal functions of nitrogen fixing.

Ok - I know it sounds overly simplistic ... but it ties the pieces of data we've experienced into one loop.

and the cures seem to align with the results too.

Randy's theory on a contributing component that's feeding the dinos may be spot on - it's just that the component is essential to life = nitrogen. But it is in the form of nitrogen gas, and high flow could help remove it before it gets pulled back in by the dinos.

This also explains why cyano seems to show up before dinos take over... and usually around sand... just above the nitrogen factory deep below. The presense of the mats of cyano and dino only makes the region even more anaerobic, fueling the nitrogen source.

So - I'm a physicist, not a chemist - so I'm asking the smarter chemistry guys... could it just be a link in the Nitrogen cycle that gets locked up by one species?

If the solution is adding phyto to compete for the nitrogen food source... what does that mean for better application? should we dose it right over the sand bed like a fog where the gas is most available?

What other options are there? better circulation? are there other nitrogen fixers that are beneficial?

I know Dr Tim's has a product that's based on bacteria that attack the cyano bacteria... could it work here?

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