Refuguim on water butt? Advice needed
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:57 PM   #1
Fz1ben
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Refuguim on water butt? Advice needed


Hello all

I'm after help/advice with a project I have in mind, my tap water nitrates are very high around 40ppm.Im keeping wild caught tanganyika cichlids so need to reduce this but don't want to go down the ro route due to waste/cost

I prepare 220l of water for weekly changes in a water butt in my garage I was thinking of running a refuguim on my water butt and filling both with floating plants and hanging some bright lights above them.

Do you think this could reduce my nitrates by much in a week?
If yes what plants and lights would you recomend?

Any more ideas or input would be great;-)
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:12 AM   #2
ckraft
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If you have enough light, water hyacinths. My pond reads zero nitrates.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:17 AM   #3
Fz1ben
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How much is enough? I haven't brought the light fitting yet?
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:43 AM   #4
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I've heard frogbit and duckweed are good nitrate sponges. They're good because they're floaters and will always be getting enough light.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
Fz1ben
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But I'm guessing they'll grow much faster with strong light above them, I need them to grow as fast as possible as they'll only have a week to remove the nitrates
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fz1ben View Post
How much is enough? I haven't brought the light fitting yet?
actually, a lot. I was thinking of something set up outdoors.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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No mate, will be in my garage
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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I would say that over the long haul, the cost in electricity to run a lighting fixture would cost you more than just getting an RO unit. Also, keep in mind that you don't need to discard the "waste" water from an RO unit. You can still use that water around the house.

How if you were talking about something outside, using sunlight, it would be a different story.

Sometimes your better off just using the obvious solution, even though you need to get involved spending yet even more money on the hobby.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
Fz1ben
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I've seriously considered ro mate, but struggling to find out the best recipe for re mineralising it.

With a good light do you think the floating plants would use the nitrates?
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:58 AM   #10
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Adding minerals back to RO water is rather easy. There are many commercial products available to adjust GH, both dry and liquid. You can use baking soda to adjust KH. A couple of test kits and your all set.

You can also a mix of tap water and RO water. For example, your tap water is 40 ppm, lets say you want the water to be 10 ppm. Use a mix of 1/4 tap water and 3/4 ro water.

BTW, I use RO water as a base in my planted tank. I was sort of lucky because I already had the RO unit because I also have a reef tank. I found that using the RO water and building it back up gave me better results. I think this was because the salts used were in better proportion to what was coming out of the tap.

If I was picking the plants I think I'd use pennywort or watersprite. Both grow fast along the surface, and are big enough to easily remove them if you don't want them. Plants like duckweed are almost impossible to get rid of once it gets into a tank.

BTW, because these plants do grow fast, they are often considered a "noxious weed". If you live in a warm climate, make sure it's legal to own the plant, and always dispose of any plant removed properly.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:05 AM   #11
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Thanks for the reply, I already buffer with bi carb of soda to raise my kh to 14, this holds my ph solid at 8.2.
I can raise gh with epson salts but its the trace minerals that I'm unsure of
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
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I did come across this recipe for rift lake Cichlid Salt (offsite) - http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php Note that they use marine salt, which should resolve any possible trace element issues.

I can not vouch for it because I've never used it, and it's been many years since I've kept African Cichlids. There are also commercial products available.
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