DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

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Kaiser replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

It's really a bummer. I was hoping this would help keep my nitrates down but ah well. Is it possible that maybe I did something wrong or should I re-try setting up a new batch of plants? Also should it affect my pH? I never heard of that happening before but that's what I'm seeing on my tank.

And yeah, I do go through Prime fairly quickly. I have 2 55 gallon tanks which are cleaned every week and on my Oscar tank sometimes I have to do 2 water changes a week to keep my nitrates down.
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thinkrevolutionx replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

I'm cross posting this from mfk, as I posted there and learned of this idea here. This is 6 months of growth and testing. I hope the following is informative.

I'm not the average person that has attempted this. I don't mind water changes (I do 70% bi - weekly on all my tanks) and i'm not under filtered (Most of my tanks have 4-10x overturn an hour) I just want my fish to be super healthy. I'm going to give you my experience.

First and foremost. My tanks never have any nitrate. Ever. Zero. None. One week, two weeks, five months. None. My tanks are heavily planted. I will provide photos.

All I do? Golden pothos. Lots of it. Roots sit in the output of the filters, lights are pushed back to hit the leaves. At first the roots really bothered me visually, now it bothers me if they are not there. Quite natural, and the fish love it, and it smooths out the current and diffuses it nicely.

90 Gallon. 9" oscar, 4" blue acara, 5" l202 pleco. Most would say understocked. 0/0/0 readings. Excuse the sparse / scattered nature of the tank. I'm in the midst of redoing it, and I plundered this to redo my other tanks.






This is a closeup of the roots (excuse the reflection) what I have noticed is that these plants, when buried in dirt have very thick roots that are a dark brown in nature. In the aquarium, as you can see - they are very thin, shoot out in all directions, and are very white. I'm unsure the significance, just an observation.






How the plants are setup on the top of the tank. Notice the rich healthy growth.





Next up, 29 gallon betta tank. 9 bettas, 2 otos. Understocked for a certainty. 0/0/0 Notice something here though; the roots are not nearly as developed, neither is the top growth. What does this tell me? Between the other plants and the low waste output of the tank, there isn't as much for the plant to soak up - compared to the very dirty oscar, who has the richest plant growth. the plant is living and the tank has perfect readings. works for me. Once again just an observation.





And finally, my 75 gallon growout tank. This tank is most definitely overstocked, although most of the following are juvi's. 3x blue phantom pleco, 1x golden bristlenose, 1x firemouth, 2x angel fish, 8x roseline shark, 8x clown loach, 1x blue acara , 1x green severum, 1x EBJD. This tank is also the most heavily planted. 0/0/0. always. Another observation; once I added the pythos, my other plant growth suffered. This, combined with 0/0/0 and root growth that is better then the betta tank, but not quite the oscar tank (which is not as heavily planted) tells me these plants are competing for LIMITED resource (ammonia, nitrate) otherwise plant growth would continue unchecked (if these wastes were still present in system)







to sum it up:
- Plants can , in significant quantity completely neutralize all ammonia / nitrate / nitrite in a system.
- Greater amounts of these wastes will result in greater plant growth. Just anecdotal evidence that they are doing what they are supposed to. Absorbing bad things.
- Root and leaf growth indicates the plants will greedily absorb and grow to fit whatever you can throw at them. Like establishing a bacteria colony, you can't expect a stem to absorb an oscars waste - however, given enough time, light, and space golden pothos (what I used) WILL reach an equilibrium.
- Roots develop different when submerged. I am not a botanist so I don't know the significance, but when planted the roots are tangled and thick and dark in nature. When submerged they branch like lightning in all directions, are very light in nature, and considerably thinner
- These plants do such a good job that they can and will compete with other plants for nutrients. I noticed a considerable slowing of other plant growth after pothos was added.


I want to say that this is about 6-7 months of growth. I did not always have 0 readings. Eventually it reached a balance. I also want to reinforce that I have overkill filtration as well, as if the plants fall behind, it gives them time to catch up as the natural cycle takes place. I don't want people thinking they can just plop plants in and wipe their hands of things. I still advocate water changes and do them myself, for a number of reasons - however for overall fish health (and even personal health since supposedly golden pothos is one of the healthiest plants for air quality) I heartily recommend it. Just be aware you'll have those roots hanging out.

Sorry for the essay, I hope my contribution helps.
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DRACO replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

the plants on top are pothos or what they call devil's ivy... if not careful, can trigger itchiness and allergic reaction... i had tried that set up but my oscars will not allow them to stay in place in one day.... so i do it differently using a DIY canister...


just dismantled this morning the oldest canister and this is how it look like:
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cebosound replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

good idea paul. i want to try that one of these days. :)

My YouTube Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/cebosound1?blend=1&ob=0
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WylDe Billy replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

thinkrevolutionx wrote: I'm cross posting this from mfk, as I posted there and learned of this idea here. This is 6 months of growth and testing. I hope the following is informative.

I'm not the average person that has attempted this. I don't mind water changes (I do 70% bi - weekly on all my tanks) and i'm not under filtered (Most of my tanks have 4-10x overturn an hour) I just want my fish to be super healthy. I'm going to give you my experience.

First and foremost. My tanks never have any nitrate. Ever. Zero. None. One week, two weeks, five months. None. My tanks are heavily planted. I will provide photos.

All I do? Golden pothos. Lots of it. Roots sit in the output of the filters, lights are pushed back to hit the leaves. At first the roots really bothered me visually, now it bothers me if they are not there. Quite natural, and the fish love it, and it smooths out the current and diffuses it nicely.

90 Gallon. 9" oscar, 4" blue acara, 5" l202 pleco. Most would say understocked. 0/0/0 readings. Excuse the sparse / scattered nature of the tank. I'm in the midst of redoing it, and I plundered this to redo my other tanks.






This is a closeup of the roots (excuse the reflection) what I have noticed is that these plants, when buried in dirt have very thick roots that are a dark brown in nature. In the aquarium, as you can see - they are very thin, shoot out in all directions, and are very white. I'm unsure the significance, just an observation.






How the plants are setup on the top of the tank. Notice the rich healthy growth.





Next up, 29 gallon betta tank. 9 bettas, 2 otos. Understocked for a certainty. 0/0/0 Notice something here though; the roots are not nearly as developed, neither is the top growth. What does this tell me? Between the other plants and the low waste output of the tank, there isn't as much for the plant to soak up - compared to the very dirty oscar, who has the richest plant growth. the plant is living and the tank has perfect readings. works for me. Once again just an observation.





And finally, my 75 gallon growout tank. This tank is most definitely overstocked, although most of the following are juvi's. 3x blue phantom pleco, 1x golden bristlenose, 1x firemouth, 2x angel fish, 8x roseline shark, 8x clown loach, 1x blue acara , 1x green severum, 1x EBJD. This tank is also the most heavily planted. 0/0/0. always. Another observation; once I added the pythos, my other plant growth suffered. This, combined with 0/0/0 and root growth that is better then the betta tank, but not quite the oscar tank (which is not as heavily planted) tells me these plants are competing for LIMITED resource (ammonia, nitrate) otherwise plant growth would continue unchecked (if these wastes were still present in system)







to sum it up:
- Plants can , in significant quantity completely neutralize all ammonia / nitrate / nitrite in a system.
- Greater amounts of these wastes will result in greater plant growth. Just anecdotal evidence that they are doing what they are supposed to. Absorbing bad things.
- Root and leaf growth indicates the plants will greedily absorb and grow to fit whatever you can throw at them. Like establishing a bacteria colony, you can't expect a stem to absorb an oscars waste - however, given enough time, light, and space golden pothos (what I used) WILL reach an equilibrium.
- Roots develop different when submerged. I am not a botanist so I don't know the significance, but when planted the roots are tangled and thick and dark in nature. When submerged they branch like lightning in all directions, are very light in nature, and considerably thinner
- These plants do such a good job that they can and will compete with other plants for nutrients. I noticed a considerable slowing of other plant growth after pothos was added.


I want to say that this is about 6-7 months of growth. I did not always have 0 readings. Eventually it reached a balance. I also want to reinforce that I have overkill filtration as well, as if the plants fall behind, it gives them time to catch up as the natural cycle takes place. I don't want people thinking they can just plop plants in and wipe their hands of things. I still advocate water changes and do them myself, for a number of reasons - however for overall fish health (and even personal health since supposedly golden pothos is one of the healthiest plants for air quality) I heartily recommend it. Just be aware you'll have those roots hanging out.

Sorry for the essay, I hope my contribution helps.


that is a great post.. i really enjoyed reading it
i think it should be its own thread as to not get buried on page 16
thats why i quoted the whole thing here :)
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javi404 replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

I read through this topic and thought i would share some of my experience with Pothos as a nitrate remover.

I currently am using it in 3 tanks. an overstocked 20, a 30 community, and a 10 with a beta(recently died of old age) and guppies.

My 30 community tank currently has 2 vines growing from it, my 10 betta has 1 long vine and my overstocked 20 has 4 new vines of which 2 are now getting serious.

the 3 long ones growing out of my betta and community tanks consistently keep nitrates low. The vines are about 25 feet long and i have them hooked on a wall where they grew towards a window. nitrates are never higher than 20ppm on my community and 0 on betta. Ive done some experimentation the different tanks and here is what I found over the year.

1. does best with only roots submerged for me.

2. [flow rate/container]

Roots do not like high water flow rate, plant and roots grow faster and take up more nitrates when free hanging in the water. I have tried plastic containers with holes but then too slow of a flow rate causes root rot. My guess is that the plant needs oxygen in the water but doesn't like fast water gushing right at its roots.

3. [Lighting]

Its just that simple. When my first vine reached the window at the end of the wall, it was like night and day. The leaves are 3 times as large, the thickness of the vine became as thick as a Cable TV wire, then got thicker. It will grow and tolerate low light, but will absolutely thrive if it reaches sunlight. I am moving in 2 weeks and now plan to put my tanks close enough for the vine to get sunlight without the tanks getting direct sunlight themselves.

the other thing I plan to do when I move is have more vines per tank. Some of the vines are branching in multiple places but it took a long time for this to happen and I'm curious if it was a sunlight related trigger, or if it was just time.

I recently did some root trimming and put the roots of these vines in small 3 inch plastic pots with some small stones. This gives me something to secure the plant to the tank, and allows the roots to grow out of the pots and into the main tank water freely.

Here is how it has helped.

Tank Maint: every 6 weeks, 20-40 percent, I top off tanks in between changes. Betta tank hasn't had a water change in 1 year. water isn't too hard because of soil / limestone sand mixture substrate.

aquatic plants doing great especially in betta tank (like the soil substrate) my other tanks are only granular limestone and i have a feeling they fight the pothos for nutrients in the water sometimes.

if it weren't winter time, i bet my nitrates would be zero as i definitely see a correlation between plant growth and nutrient reduction in the water column. I can't want to setup tanks again this time where large area of the vines are right in south window getting sun (I'm in NJ)

When the roots get a little crazy and all over the tank, i usually trim them or just bundle them and tie them loosely with some kitchen twine.

I have not had a problem with algae but i do scrape slime off the front glass every other maint cycle. I also have assortments of snails to take care of that.

I don't have any Oscar's right now but I will post a reply to this post with pics in a few. So glad I found this forum. Confirming what I have been working on.

Pics:

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DRACO replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

Roots do not like high water flow rate, plant and roots grow faster and take up more nitrates when free hanging in the water. I have tried plastic containers with holes but then too slow of a flow rate causes root rot. My guess is that the plant needs oxygen in the water but doesn't like fast water gushing right at its roots.

not sure about this.... see previous post and take a look on my canister.
water flows in it at 2200LPH more or less...
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javi404 replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

DRACO wrote:

Roots do not like high water flow rate, plant and roots grow faster and take up more nitrates when free hanging in the water. I have tried plastic containers with holes but then too slow of a flow rate causes root rot. My guess is that the plant needs oxygen in the water but doesn't like fast water gushing right at its roots.

not sure about this.... see previous post and take a look on my canister.
water flows in it at 2200LPH more or less...


Actually now that I think of it, it could of been the container I was using. I noticed thicker roots with offshoots when free in tank, vs thinner roots in a small container that was under outflow of a small 15 HOB filter.

not sure who it was up the tread but someone mentioned white roots vs dark ones in soil. For some reason in my community tank roots are white, and in my 20 overstocked platy tank roots are dark (medium brownish). substrate is different so not sure if its something in the water column or that that plant was originally way closer to the window when it started growing the vine.
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javi404 replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

DRACO wrote: the plants on top are pothos or what they call devil's ivy... if not careful, can trigger itchiness and allergic reaction... i had tried that set up but my oscars will not allow them to stay in place in one day.... so i do it differently using a DIY canister...



just dismantled this morning the oldest canister and this is how it look like:


With roots like that, I would love to see what the plants look like. How long did that take and what did you start with?
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DRACO replied the topic: Re: DIY Nitrate filter --- Solved????

javi404 wrote:

DRACO wrote: the plants on top are pothos or what they call devil's ivy... if not careful, can trigger itchiness and allergic reaction... i had tried that set up but my oscars will not allow them to stay in place in one day.... so i do it differently using a DIY canister... just dismantled this morning the oldest canister and this is how it look like:


With roots like that, I would love to see what the plants look like. How long did that take and what did you start with?

this one take more than 8 months and looks like this before i re-distribute:
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