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Ed pretty much already said it. Plants consume ammonia and nitrate (I'm guessing this was a typo in Ed's post) directly and nitrite is such a transient state of nitrogen waste that what little is there will be converted to nitrate by bacteria very quickly. And like Ed said, phosporous is not a problem. It is a macro-nutrient used by plants and it is inherently immobile in soil meaning that it doesn't dissolve and move around easily. The plants and soil chemistry will take care of phophorous. Of course I'm talking about normal levels of these nutrients found in reasonably clean drinking supplies. Beware of rainwater as it can be pretty high in nitrate.

For pH, hardness, and microbes, I use a whole house water softener followed by a whole house UV sterilizer and finally RO filtration. Never use water directly from a water softener. It is laden with salts that will kill plants.

I use to monitor pH, hardness, ammonia and nitrate in a few vivs more from curiousity but the pH and hardness tend to stabilize according to the substrate used in the viv and the nitrogen levels were always undetectable. There's not much point in doing it for a viv like there is for an aquarium.
 

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Ed said:
Hi Brent,
Nope I meant nitrite as in cycling aquaria this stage is usually long enough and high enough to potentially reach lethel levels (but I should have pointed out that it is usually very transitory in soils).

Ed
As I recall, nitrite is also relatively transitory in aquatic systems too compared with ammonia and nitrate. That doesn't stop it from becoming a concern but I thought it was really only a factor in the early stages of aquaria. I guess you already said that. Anyway, plants don't readily take up nitrite directly. They preferentially take up ammonia and readily take up nitrate so they are excellent filters at both the front and tail ends of the nitrogen cycle.
 

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Ed said:
Hi Brent,
In newly setup aquaria, nitrite can reach and maintain dangerous levels for about 10-15 days. (This of course depends on a ton of factors).

Ed
Yep, that's what I was thinking. Sounds like we're on the same page. And in a well matured tank, it is not much of a problem... correct? Just part of building up sufficient pops of the nitrogen reducing bacteria from what I remember.
 
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