DIY - Projects & Ideas • Idea: Plant nitrate removal

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Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby johnnymax » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:02 am

I had a few aquaponics tanks about 8 years ago. Aquaponics is a balances system of fish and plants. The fish make waste and the plants consume it. I have been experimentiing with this for my aquariums. I took a common house ivy and suspended the roots into my 20g tank, I protected the roots with fine mesh netting. I did not do a water change for a year. The plants pulled out the nitrates. Eventually I removed the plants and had to start water changes again.
It was just a test.
I will continue to fine tune this concept, because one day (after I build the wife a house) I will set up an 8' tank. Fish will be in the tank with low light tropical plant growing all along the top, fed by the fish waste.
I was thinking about having the plants growing in a 4" black PVC pipe that is 90% submerged along the back with a pump circulating the tank's water through the pipe.
Eventually, the pipe will be full of plant root.
I think it will look nice if done right.
Tropical fish below and tropical garden above.
Anybody doing anything like this.
Plant Nitrate Removal.jpg
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Re: Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby Kipnlilo » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:05 pm

I read about pothos plants helping with nitrates once established on another forum. I put them in on each end of a 125 three or 4 months ago and now they are growing like weeds. It has helped keep my nitrates down by 20ppm over a weeks time for the past 3 weeks. It didn’t do anything for the first couple months that I noticed, took a while to establish.
125G x2 Male Hap Peacock Mbuna
55G Female Hap Peacock
40G Mbuna
10G Hospital
:fish: :fish: :fish:
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Re: Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby johnnymax » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:39 pm

Pothos? I didn't know what they were called. I looked it up, that is the plant I put in mine also. Bought it from Home Depot.
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Re: Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby ironspider » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:00 am

Kipnlilo wrote:I read about pothos plants helping with nitrates once established on another forum. I put them in on each end of a 125 three or 4 months ago and now they are growing like weeds. It has helped keep my nitrates down by 20ppm over a weeks time for the past 3 weeks. It didn’t do anything for the first couple months that I noticed, took a while to establish.


What fish do yo have in there? I put plants in with my mbuna and they tore them apart.
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Re: Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby johnnymax » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:32 pm

ironspider wrote:What fish do yo have in there? I put plants in with my mbuna and they tore them apart.

Mine were two oscars, angels and a placo.
I had the roots inside of very fine netting so they could not get to them unless the roots grew through the netting.
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Re: Idea: Plant nitrate removal

Postby Bobsled » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:13 pm

johnnymax wrote:
ironspider wrote:What fish do yo have in there? I put plants in with my mbuna and they tore them apart.

Mine were two oscars, angels and a placo.
I had the roots inside of very fine netting so they could not get to them unless the roots grew through the netting.


I plan to do this. I realize you wrapped the roots in fine mesh, but were the Oscars tempted to try to get to the roots at all? I have 2 Oscars.

Anybody know if the Pothos roots will harm Oscars?
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