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Nitrogen is a very interesting element, and it is used for many purposes. The word "Nitrogen" means, "giving rise to niter." Niter is a substance rich in Nitrogen, and was discovered before Nitrogen was. Nitrogen is the seventh element on the Periodic Table. Its symbol on the Periodic Table is "N". The atomic weight of Nitrogen is 14.0067. Nitrogen has some of the lowest freezing and melting temperatures. Nitrogen melts at negative 209.86 degrees Celsius, and boils at negative 195.8 degrees Celsius. Nitrogen gas makes up 78% of our atmosphere and nitrogen is also a part of many molecules essential to life like proteins, nucleic acids and some vitamins. Nitrogen is found in other biologically important compounds such as alkaloids and urea too. Nitrogen is thus an essential nutrient for all life-forms. Nitrogen has many uses. One of these uses is making light bulbs. Light bulbs are almost always filled with Nitrogen. Another use is explosives. Nitrogen can be used to make four different explosives Ammonium Nitrate Nitroglycerin, Nitrocellulose, and Trinitrotoluene You probably know Trinitrotoluene better by the initials TNT. Yet another use for Nitrogen is that it is used to make Laughing Gas. Nitrogen has been nicknamed The Lifeless Element", because it cannot support life of any kind. Nitrogen makes up more than ¾ of the air around us. thus its an its everlasting existence is an important question to ponder on. The answer Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogen fixation refers to the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) to ammonia (NH3) or nitrate (NO3). A few forms of bacteria, life-forms are not able to convert the comparatively inert nitrogen molecule into forms like nitrates and nitrites which can be taken up and used to make the required molecules. These ‘nitrogen-fixing’ bacteria may be free-living or be associated with some species of dicot plants. Most commonly, the nitrogen-fixing bacteria are found in the roots of legumes in special structures called root nodules. Other than these bacteria, the only other manner in which the nitrogen molecule is converted to nitrates and nitrites is by a physical process. During lightning, the high temperatures and pressures created in the air convert nitrogen into oxides of nitrogen. These oxides dissolve in water to give nitric and nitrous acids and fall on land along with rain. These are then utilized by various life forms.
Nitrogen Cycle in an aquarium
The primary source of ammonia (NH3) is created when fish consume food and oxygen (O2) and create waste and carbon dioxide (CO2). The fish waste then decays into ammonia. Other sources include excess food that is not eaten as well as decaying plants and dead fish. The rise in ammonia triggers the growth of Nitrosomonas which produce nitrites (NO2). The nitrites trigger the growth of Nitrospira to produce nitrates (NO3). The nitrates and carbon dioxide are consumed by plant life which produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Excess nitrates are removed by water changes.