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TOPIC: Pothos In the Aquarium

Pothos In the Aquarium 6 months 5 days ago #72046

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Hello everyone,
I was wondering if anybody has had any real luck with using pothos to control their nitrates. My nitrites and ammonia remain 0 without water changes but the nitrate always creeps up and with it, water changes. I recently read a story where someone with several overstocked tanks added pothos on top of his tank and his nitrates were reduced to 0 in a short time. Obviously, pothos cant remove water changes, but could it possibly drastically reduce the amount of them? Also how much would be needed for 2 Oscars and a Plecostomus in a 120 gallon system. Since I have custom lids I was thinking about having an external (refugium/sump?) which would just be a plastic tub that's filled with pothos and the aquarium water circulate through it.

Thanks for the help!

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Pothos In the Aquarium 6 months 5 days ago #72047

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Yes Pothos, and pretty well any aquatic plant will consume nitrate. In tank or in a sump/refugium, or even growing in a large hob filter. 2 Oscars and a pleco in 120g is a pretty serious overstock imo. That's realistically around 35gals per fish. That's a HUGE bioload when fish get to be adult size. One thing to realize is that water changes manage far more than nitrate. You are correct in assuming that there is no substitute for water changes. Plants MAY extend the timeframe of water changes, but there is no amount of plant, outside of a complete aquaponics system that will control a 2 Oscar, 1 pleco bioload in 120g. You will need a minimum of 2 large volume water changes per week, plants or not
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Pothos In the Aquarium 6 months 4 days ago #72050

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Members of a german cichlid forum and very known keepers like Xaver Hofer did a bit of Research on this into more Detail.
It needed around 13 KG of submerged so free rooting plants that grow outside the tank to reduce 100 mg/Liter of NO3 per week.

Of course it depends on water and electricity prices but because the not more tightly closed lids, evaporation and huminity given into the fish room and heat lose so that his 2 kW of heating units have to compensate was not worth the effect of Nitrate reducing.
Also alot of big cichlids and Plecos like to eat the roots what is also a draw back.

If you want to reduce water changes by lowering Nitrate you have a couple of more options.

You can build your own chemical Nitrate Filter. Seach here for Wodka Filter that i discused a couple of times with Kmuda. This type is by far the most complicated one but also the most effektive long term.

Another more comercial one would be an selective resin reactor that runs in your Sump or with Y Bypass from your Canister. I runned a 10 Liter Version on my 220 Oscar tank and he reduced the Nitrate to 2 to 5 mg/l permanently for around 7 to 8 weeks even with zero water changes in that time frame.
After that you have to recharge the filter with a 1 to 10 salt water bleach for 1 or 2 tmies.

I don't know if the same Systems are avaible in the US but here in germany this Filters can be adjusted to regular Garden hose bajonette connectors for quick access.
This big reactors are the propper way for bigger tanks.

The same resin is also avaible in smaller bags that can be placed in canister filter baskets but of course less resin on a higher stocked tank will need faster and more often recharges.

This resin works with Ion exchange and it absorbs not only No3 but also most likley anything else in your water like tanin. It can make you water look cristal clear but like for Zeolith you can't use any kind of Salt in your tank with that.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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