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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking more and more for sometime now about setting up an Emersed Plant Filter--So I finally did! :thumbsup:

As You can see in the pix below, I chose Peace Lillies. They are basically very low light bog plants which fit in well with the low light nature of my A. javanicus' setup. The low light nature isn't just in the Tanks--its in the room also. They should receive plenty of light through the cracked blind--without flooding the room and/or tanks with light. My only question at this point is the regular aquarium gravel that I used in the pots with the plants. If it seems to be a problem I will switch it out with AS, Flourite or something more plant "Compatible".

The water is pumped up from my current aquatic plant filter into the emersed plant filter and then drains back into the APF. I just tested nitrates and they showed about 10ppm. I will test them again in about a week to see what happens.









 

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very cool, but do you have a way to completely drain the reservoir so that the plants roots aren't completely submerged all the time? plant growth will be much healthier, and they will use more nutrients. or, you could put an air stone in the reservoir to aerate the water and keep things fresher, it will help A LOT.

also, maybe use some hornwort or java moss in the filter as well... something that will grow really fast without roots...

looks cool, let us know what happens!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Aquanut,

Honestly, I don't know much about hydroponics, so: Anybody have a Good Link handy that will give me the basics? :)

The base of the plants are about 2" above the water line and there is about 1 1/2" of roots submerged in the water. I don't know if that is Good or not, but that's how its currently setup. I can very easily lower the water level probably 1", but right now I'm not sure what to do. Beyond that, about the only thing I could do is put the pots on some bricks/rocks and put the pump on a timer. An airstone would not be a problem.

Best I can tell the reservoir adds ~8g to the overall system and setup as is the pump seems to be pumping about 1gpm. So, that's 60gph running through the plant filter.

Guess its time to start doing a little hydroponic research! Links Anybody? :thumbsup:
 

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Looks good Naja. Hydroponic setups can be done both ways, with constant water levels, or Ebb/Flow type systems. Some plants (cacti, orchids come to mind) wouldn't like constant water exposure, but since you are dealing with bog plants, I don't see a big problem leaving their roots dangling in water all the time.

Another plant you should try is Pothos (Epipremnum aureum, Scindapsus pictus etc) which looks good, grows fast and is very undemanding as well. Easy to propagate, just cut the long vines into pieces and put into water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hey Wasserpest,

Thanx for the info. Currently there is 1 1/2-2" of roots that are not in the water and about 1 1/2" of roots in the water. With the aquarium gravel for media there should be little to no upward osmosis. So, my question would be: Should I leave it the way it is, or drop the water level down ~1"?
 

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The EFT hydroponic designs we made used simple whiteplastic gutters that are 6" wide and similar, but more narrow and can simply sit on the back lip on the tank behind the lights.

You drill holes into the top for the plants(these can be potted or fill the entire thing with the clay balls and plant wherever), add a powerhead or cansiter outflow and drains back into the tank.

It can act like a wet/dry filter with spray bar or drip or a flow through, your choice there.

You glue some plastic lips to make sure the gutter is stable and secure on the back and you can make a simple hanger if you do not want it on the top of the tank so it hangs above the back more.

If you want to use a sump design, adding some egg crate to keep the pots in place can help or use black plastic ties etc and deeper pots(so the balls and plants do not move around due to water level changes in the sump, taller is better)

A small 15w under the counter light is all that's needed for a 1x2ft area for these plants.

While these plants will grow with very little light, adding more than this etc, will help a lot.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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So, my question would be: Should I leave it the way it is, or drop the water level down ~1"?
For plants like your peace lilies, it probably doesn't matter. If the pots are pretty well rooted, I would drop it down a bit. If you just potted them up, I'd leave the water at the current level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I just took them out of their soil and put them in these pots w/ the Aquarium gravel today. But they were pretty root bound in their original pots and I didn't trim any of the roots--just left them the way they were.

So, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Probably leave it the way it is and just keep an eye on the plants for a few days---plus add an air stone. :thumbsup:
 

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Hi Aquanut,

Honestly, I don't know much about hydroponics, so: Anybody have a Good Link handy that will give me the basics? :)

The base of the plants are about 2" above the water line and there is about 1 1/2" of roots submerged in the water. I don't know if that is Good or not, but that's how its currently setup. I can very easily lower the water level probably 1", but right now I'm not sure what to do. Beyond that, about the only thing I could do is put the pots on some bricks/rocks and put the pump on a timer. An airstone would not be a problem.

Best I can tell the reservoir adds ~8g to the overall system and setup as is the pump seems to be pumping about 1gpm. So, that's 60gph running through the plant filter.

Guess its time to start doing a little hydroponic research! Links Anybody? :thumbsup:
your setup looks like it will work without a doubt. i was mentioning that MOST plants grown hydroponically will benefit from having thier roots exposed to air for short durations, including plants generally considered to be "bog plants". the easiest way to pull this off (and most likely the least effective method) after looking at your setup would be to aerate the reservoir via an air pump. A better way would be to completely empty the reservoir periodically, maybe 6 times a day for ~5 minutes, if it were possible.

i was also suggesting to put a plant into the reservoir that will add oxygen back into the water like a moss, or a rootless floater, that will also tolerate the periodic drying should you choose to go that route.

as far as links are concerned, you probably have more understanding of plant needs than your average hydrogardener. planted tank keeping is about 100x harder than growing plants hydroponically.

the only problem i can see would be if the filter plants began to die, your water quality is gonna take a dive, get smelly, and screw with everything else. so you have to be committed to keeping them alive.

here is a runon sentence which WAY over simplifies hydroponics, however will serve you well - keep the roots wet, pH near neutral (5.5-8 would be fine), and keep oxygen around the roots as best you can and you will see root growth developing at alarming rates (which is good).

good luck! and look into aeration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Aquanut,

Thanx for the info! I was adding 2 airstones as You were posting I would guess. I lowered the water--it went down about 3/4", so now I am going to watch the plants and go from there. If worst comes to worst--I have another tub identical to this one, so I will just do the drainage differently and add a timer.

Thanx for the Heads-ups everybody! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Simple enough fix:

The pump that pumps up to the EPF creates a reverse siphon when turned off. It drains all except maybe a quart of water before the siphon breaks. I have a 4on/4off 7-days/wk timer, so I just set the pump to go off for 20 mins every 6 hrs. Takes 2.5 mins to drain past the pot bottoms and about 5 to fill up to them, so they will get 20-22 mins of air every 6 hrs--plus the dual airstones running 24/7.

I also have the timer set to coincide with the timer/pump for the auto drain cycle of the Auto WC System, so now I can drain an extra 6-7g from the system too.



:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
this is pretty sweet once i finish the basement i might try to set something like this up. grow tomatoes, and cucumbers and other plants all year round!
This is what I hate about the internet: I do A which leads me into B which requires research and causes me to stumble across C which leads to new, more and exciting projects. Enter: Upside Down Tomatoes!

They may not be anything new to many of you, but they are new to me and something, Yes, that I am going to have to try. :biggrin: Guess I am just being controlled by novelty in my old age--but it makes life Fun! :proud: How people think this stuff up--I'll never know.....:icon_eek:

Sadly, for me--now is the perfect time: I think we've just had our last frost for the year.......more projects......I'm gunna die of exhaustion, and don't forget poverty. :tongue:
 

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This is what I hate about the internet: I do A which leads me into B which requires research and causes me to stumble across C which leads to new, more and exciting projects. Enter: Upside Down Tomatoes!
Hahaha the internet's great, I just started my first upside down tomatoes this year, :)


I can't wait to see how this emersed filter works out. as for the aquarium gravel I think it is great, I would think you will want the substrate completely inert so the plants pull the maximum amount of nutrients out of the water, if they are pulling their nutrients out of the soil your water quality isn't benefiting.
 

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A little off topic, but I heard that pothos plants (is it the same as philodendron?) have toxic sap and that you must be careful to never cut the roots that are exposed to the tank water. Anybody know anything about this? I would love to grow philo's in my tank.

kara
 

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Pothos (Epipremnum/Scindapsus) is related to Philodendrons which contain oxalic acid/calcium oxalate which is poisonous if you eat a lot of them. Not sure how dangerous this is going to be for aquatic inhabitants...

FWIW, I used Monstera deliciosa roots as a plant filter in an aquarium years ago. That plant is considered somewhat poisonous. The roots took over a big part of the tank, making it look like some mangrove setup. Don't remember if it was causing any problems (I was a kiddo then) besides when removing it the entire substrate came out along with it.
 

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this is pretty sweet once i finish the basement i might try to set something like this up. grow tomatoes, and cucumbers and other plants all year round!
I've been growing chives on top of my plant tank, now I have fresh chives year round for my baked potatos. I've been growing them all winter. I just have them in a pot sitting on top of my tank below the hanging light fixture. I don't circulate the water thru the pot, just scoop some out of the tank with a cup and water them while I feed the fish.

This thread is giving me even more ideas for future projects!
 
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