Anyone have tried a plant filter for fish only tank to fight nitrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have tried a plant filter for fish only tank to fight nitrate?

Just wondering if anyone have experience to share in building an external plant filter to keep nitrate under control?

It is a 125g tank with lots of cichlids. Nitrate is high 80 -100 ppm with frequent water changes. I am thinking of putting a couple of peace lillies on top of the tank with left over shultz profile subrate and have water pump to the flower pots by a small powerhead.

Question:

1. Will profile be good as a hydroponic media?
2. How many plants do I need to be effective?
3. Being a darker corner, any other plants suggestions other than peace lilly?

thanks for helping?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 12:07 AM
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Tropical Resources - View topic - Magnavore PRA NitrateLock filter media


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 06:09 AM
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All I've personally heard of are algae scrubbers, that is, using algae to remove nitrates, heavy metals, organics, etc. which would require you to set up another bank of light.

Dark corners of rooms generally don't tend to influence the growth of any plant in a positive fashion, either. You want thriving plants, not surviving plants.

Anaerobic bacterial denitrifiers might be a better option for you:
DIY Do It Yourself Coil Denitrator Plans for Saltwater Aquariums (they will work for FW).
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 10:54 AM
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Here's Betty's:

The Plant Filter

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 01:22 PM
 
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So Basically you will be building a planted Sump. I think it would look good that have it. Let us know what you are going to do

MAHA
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahamotorworks View Post
So Basically you will be building a planted Sump. I think it would look good that have it. Let us know what you are going to do

MAHA
not really a planted sump, I am planning to have the plants on top of the cabinet and have water pumped to the plants then return to tank by gravity. The set up shouldn't be hard. Have brought a few decorative pots .... still deciding on plants, leaning towards peace lillies ....
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-25-2006, 09:24 PM
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We have a 210g set up with a 40g breeder under the cabinet as a refugium. We have 11 very messy & large fancy goldies all over 6" and two twelve inch comets in the display tank and after a month with no water changes it barely registers 40 in nitrates. We need to leave the lights on 24/7 in the fuge or we get PH swings. It is loaded with anacharis and cabomba. When it gets too overgrown we feed some to the fish and put the nibbled stems back in the fuge to heal. We have two cannisters also, a pro III and a 2028 mostly for mechanical filtration and additional circulation. We use an eheim 1250 hobby filter to recirculate the fuge,mebbe this is too much flow but it seems to work well.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-26-2006, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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I guess the houseplants to fishes ratio would have to have trial and error thing. I am starting with 2 peace lillies, 2 ferns and a potho, hoping that they will help some with the nitrate. Water change helps but not much as tap nitrate=20-40ppm.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2007, 12:35 PM
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Nice thing about a Plant Filter is that they remove all the various TDSs--not just nitrates. Even Gold.....


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2007, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does it reduce the frequency of water changes?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 02:21 AM
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Not in my case, but I'm not doing the standard plant/fish thing. I'm in a different ball park all together and I need to keep my water quality as high as possible.

My point though was that things like denitrators just really remove nitrates. Nitrates are just one of the many TDSs (Total Dissolved Solids) in our water. And its pretty easy to test for. There are many others though and that's why WCs remain important. An Added benefit of using a Plant Filter is that the plants actually absorb all the various types of TDSs including Gold, silver, You-Name-It. They are True filters.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just placed 2 peace lillies in hydroponic media on top of the aquarium. Water pump from the tank to the lillies by a small powerhead then return to tank by gravity. The peace lillies are doing ok, I have seen a few new leaves, looks like they have over come the shock of transforming from soil to hydroponic.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 11:19 AM
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Now this is what people call refugium.
It is basically a secondary planted tank connected to the main tank, which is usually not planted or just lightly planted.

Why people want to do this? several reasons:
- saltwater/reef system
- nasty fish system
- fish only tank - usually breeder/fish trader folks

A popular and great plant to place on your FW refugium is pistia. The plant does not need any substrat to grow on to, absorb a great deal of nitrate out of the water, and the very long elaborate fine roots dangling acts as extra mechanical filtration. Being floating, you can give them more than 12 hours a day of photoperiod for extended duty and never worry if they ever get algae problem. Dont mind about algae on your water either, the thing will cover all of your water surface that there is hardly any light goes into the water.

The way to set up a refugium is the sump method. Your refugium acts as filter/refugium. You add just enough strip of light to let the plant grow.

If you insist of using terrestrial plant because of certain reason (no sump, no refugium, etc) a good option which can thrife on lower lighting might be dracena (Chinese water bamboo, Friendship bamboo, Lucky bamboo). It too can live with the base submersed.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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You got it Medicineman. Fish only tank, lots of fish, enjoy feeding them, no sump ....
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 12:05 AM
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We set up our sump as a refugium since the plants won't last long with the fish in our display tank for very long. We are able to go three to four weeks between water changes and then only because we feel like we are neglecting the fish. We have never recorded nitrates above 40 once the plants took over in the fuge, it actually stays around 30ish after three weeks using a 40g breeder with one strip light on 24/7. I don't see green algae but do get BBA on the leaves of the large amazon sword we have in there.
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