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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't had a fish die on me yet... but as I was thinking about my plant's root nutrient uptake I pondered if a fish did die in my tank,
maybe I could bury it deep in the substrate next to a hardy plant. :eek: I would monitor ammonia closely if I ever tried this. As the deceased fish broke down it could provide a slow, steady stream of nutrients to the root structure. Anyone think this is a crazy, flawed idea?
I sometimes use salmon scraps and cat food for fertilizing my tomatoes... so I dunno...?
There's gotta be something better than throwing the fish in the toilet/compost.
 

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I would advise against this. You will end up with a huge ammonia, nitrite spike. I would stick to root tabs and avoid what could and probably will happen with this idea.
 

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I ♥ BBA!
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Since you are planning to monitor the tank, you could try it. Just remember not to disturb that area, or you may release harmful ammonia into the water column. There are fish that die naturally in my tank I never find with no ill effects. I wouldn't do it with an obviously sick fish, though. As an alternative, I bury dead fish in potted plants at times.
 

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My tomato plants love it.

Usually when something in my tank does die (not very often thankfully) the shrimps usually get to it before I even discover it.

Try your experiment out. And yes, I wouldn't disturb the area in fear of ammonia spikes.
 

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interesting theory
 

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Since you are planning to monitor the tank, you could try it. Just remember not to disturb that area, or you may release harmful ammonia into the water column. There are fish that die naturally in my tank I never find with no ill effects. I wouldn't do it with an obviously sick fish, though. As an alternative, I bury dead fish in potted plants at times.
I too prefer this approach. Now though they go outside in my garden, since I have no potted plants...
 

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If your tank is very large with a lot of plants, and the fish is very small, you could do without an ammonia / nitrite spike, provided that your filter has a very large bioload capacity. It happened to me by accident. One of my zebra danios died (over-breeding probably, since they are all healthy) and I didn´t realized it until I found a very decomposed remaining of the fish very well hidden beneath my amazon swords. I immediately tested parameters and everything was fine. I do bi-weekly wcs of around 20% anyway.

Again, I honestly wouldn´t do it on purpose, I´d rather not risk my water parameters, this happened by accident
 

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I would think it would work ok in a large tank if it was a very small fish. You could try it and just monitor your water parameters. I've had some small fish die in my 55 when it was heavily planted and I didn't know they were dead until I realized they hadn't come out for food in a week; and I never noticed any water quality issues. But anything dead in my tank gets rapidly devoured by the other fish, usually before I can get it netted out. If you have cories or loaches they might dig up a buried dead fish to eat.
 

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Children Boogie
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i'd do it out in your garden but not in your tank. Another thing that was not brought up is that your substrate at the burial site might go anaerobic. It's usually not a good thing.

In nature, there are worms and bugs that help break down the carcass but not in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doh! Just realized I have an aquatic composter for all my plant trimmings and whatnot. I could just throw deceased fish in there not really worrying if the carcass was diseased or not. The plants will still get the nutrients in the end (usually use the compost to boost plants or cycle new tanks) without the possible ammonia spike and pathological effects. Thanks for all the input my planted peeps ya'll are so smart! :smile:

Still might try it someday but my plants look too happy. I don't feel like changing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My Roses love the waste tank water and the rare dead fish. I use a sump pump to send the water outside to a 55gal holding barrel and then spray it onto them with a garden hose.

- Brad
Just a few steps away from aquaponics! Little waste, I like! :icon_smil
 
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