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To infer that plants decrease the efficacy of your bacterial colony is a bit hasty. The plants will die off long before there are not enough nutrients to sustain bacteria.

Even if you are running a healthy planted aquarium, by no means does this imply that you have no bacteria growing in your tank. As Dennis pointed out, the substrate is an area where nutrients aren't always reached by the plants, as are your filter media and the walls of your tank. Bacteria even grow on the plants themselves.

Certainly plants and bacteria consume some of the same food, but their habitats are typically very different. Where one can access a given substance, the other cannot.

These things tend to work themselves out. I have had massive plant die-outs due to neglect that didn't create either ammonia or nitrite spikes in the water. The bacteria (presumably) handled the problem without a hiccup.
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