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TOPIC: Plant filter

Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63129

  • hmt321
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I keep a 125 gal tank at my office. 2 fulval 404, and a eheim 2028. I pay a guy to clean the tank every other week, 50% water change, gravel vac, clean filter pads, ect ( i typical help him, and sometimes do a wc in between). Pretty light fish load, 5" bluegill, and 5" long ear. lots of sword plants. i have on going issues with algae, that i seem to be on the winning side of since i installed my LED lights that are adjustable.

The nitrates are about at 20 ppm when we wait two weeks between water changes. As the fish get larger this will only get worse, so i am going to try and grow some Peace lilies, and Golden Pothos. To help suck some of the Nitrates out of the tank. my lids are glass with a 2" plastic section at the back. i made this today:







im going to fill it with large rocks and put the plants in to, the roots will grow down and into the tank.



It is not exactly what i am looking for though, i really want a wire shelf that is about 2" wide 21" long and about 1.5" deep.

I tried to make one out of a wire shelf, to say it came out badly is an understatement (my wife thinks i need stitches)

anyway this is attempt # 1

ill try and make some notes on nitrate levels as the experiment goes on. unless the plants really suck the nitrates up then it may be hard to get accurate measurements (fish are getting larger, plants will be growing, not a lot of static variables to get good data from)
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63130

  • Tarheel96
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Over the last year, I've tested well over a dozen plants including peace lilly and pothos in order to find which plant(s) reduced nitrate levels the most. I discovered that pothos (epipremnum aureum, NOT philodendrun) and arrowhead (syngonium podophyllum, 'arrowhead vine' or 'nephthytis', not broaf-leaf arrowhead) both outperformed all others by a very large margin with pothos outperforming arrowhead. Pothos had signigicantly more root and plant growth in addition to mass. I didn't try monstera delicioso which would have likely performed well.

Peace lilly lagged far behind. I'd stick with pothos. Usually, the fastest growing pothos will have solid dark-green leaves . 'Golden Pothos' is also a good variety. Stay away from 'Marbled Queen' as it is very slow growing.

Be sure that you can tell the difference between pothos and philodendrun. Most people can't and many stores have one labeled as the other and visa versa. Philodenrun is slow growing with poor root growth in water.

Here's one sure way to tell the difference. The label at the store has about a 50% chance of being wrong.

If the petioles (stems) have grooves it's pothos. If there are no grooves and the stems are round everywhere it's philidendrun.

www.plantsarethestrangestpeople.com

I wouldn't use rocks or a substrate. That will impede water flow to the roots. Slow moving water is lower in oxygen and higher oxygen levels is one way to increase the growth rate. It will also help to have a fan blowing on the leaves.

Do you know the GH and/or TDS level of your water?

Here's my plant filter. I decided to switch it off because my oscar occasionally shakes the left drain pipe like it's a bottle of nitrate solution #2, and I worried he might disconnect it. (I never actually glued it.) The pothos and arrowhead still grows, but I have to add KNO3, KH2PO4, and CSM+B trace elements without water from the tank.

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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63131

  • kmuda
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What Tarheel had going is how it needs to be done.

One thing you absolutely have to account for is air..... in that terrestrial plants hate their roots being exposed to atmosphere. Which is the problem with the wire basket. With each water change the roots are exposed so the plants just do not do well, eventually dying within a few months. If you are going to have a hang in the tank basket, that's great, you'll just want it enclosed so the roots don't get exposed, but the better option is more along the lines of what Tarheel demonstrated.
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63134

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i did not realize that water changes would kill the plants
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63138

  • AquaticToast
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@Tarheel96 How did you build this? It seems like a good idea in my situation to build a plant filter. I'm guessing you would still have to do water changes, but less of a quantity and less frequent?
75gallon- Tiger Oscar
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63140

  • bloodmourn
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AquaticToast wrote:
@Tarheel96 How did you build this? It seems like a good idea in my situation to build a plant filter. I'm guessing you would still have to do water changes, but less of a quantity and less frequent?

For $10 plus and an airpump or water pump, you can just purchase the same thing


www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/fish-...eding-box-large.html
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63147

  • Reywas
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You could try using plastic planter-type things and using a power head/small cheap filter to run water over the roots. That way, when the tank was full, water would be flowing, but when you drained it the planter would stay full of water and the roots would do fine. Good luck on your nitrate wars! If you ever feel that you are going too extreme, go read this thread from the old forums where Kmuda managed to eliminate nitrates, if only briefly. I believe there's more to the story, but I couldn't find it. Now, he is focused on helping fish deal with nitrates, and his research is described in this thread.
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63154

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bloodmourn wrote:
AquaticToast wrote:
@Tarheel96 How did you build this? It seems like a good idea in my situation to build a plant filter. I'm guessing you would still have to do water changes, but less of a quantity and less frequent?

For $10 plus and an airpump or water pump, you can just purchase the same thing


www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/fish-...eding-box-large.html

The only problem with these would be with fitment on larger tanks. I believe they come in 3 sizes, so maybe the "large" size would fit over the rim of a 125g?

I recently bought one of these to hang off the back of my goldfish 55g to throw some red cherry shrimp and plants into. It really is a cool little thing. It stays full during water changes and moves just enough water to keep itself refreshed. It's got a bubble powered lift tube that supplies it, and the excess spills back into the tank HOB style. Mine I believe is the "medium" size. It probably holds a quart or so of water. The only problem is it barely fits over the side of a standard 55g. Anything bigger would be a no-go.

Regardless, I've got a bunch of happy little shrimp in mine and the window right above it grows the java moss and java fern in it.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63156

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So, you would buy this little thing, set some certain plants in and it would work as a biological filter?
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Plant filter 2 years 8 months ago #63157

  • FreshyFesh
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It wouldn't be a biological filter in a sense of converting ammonia to nitrate, but it will consume some ammonia and nitrate.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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