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Flippercon said:
I don't remember who told me but I was told house plants are the best at this. I was told to put the roots in the water and it should do the trick. I have not tried this yet,but will be as soon as I get to my mothers to steal a few plants. I too am trying to find some way to reduce nitrates. Keep us posted on progress with this.
That was me. I got it from Diana Walstad's book 'Ecology of the Planted Aquarium'.
 

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Flippercon said:
Hey Tim can you go in your book and name a couple of these house plants? I was talking to someone at work about this idea and they said to be careful cause some house plants viny ones have poison.
I'll check it out this weekend, but I'm sure they're thinking of the plant being poisonous when eaten, particularly by pets. I really doubt that there are plants that release toxins through their root system.
 

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Jimring said:
If the pothos, or other plants do well on the aquarium water, why not use water change water to water the rest of your houseplants?
Kind of a way to have one hobby help another.
I do that in my office. I have a six gallon tank and change out a bit weekly, rinse the filter pad in that water, then use it to water my office plants. They're growing like weeds.
 

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I really have my doubts that many, if any, terrestrial plants "filter" or "suck" nitrates out of water.
They actually prefer and take up ammonium first and will only go after nitrates once ammoniun is depleted. And terrestrial plants tend to do a better job at it. It has something to do with it being easier to take advantage of CO2 in the atmosphere as opposed to under water. See Diana Walstad's 'Ecology of the Planted Aquarium'. She even wonders in her book why we as aquarists tend to get all concerned about nitrates in freshwater tanks, as they're not toxic. I know it goes against all we're taught, and is just one person's ideas, but she has done a lot of work in this area. Just keep them low with water changes and enjoy your fish.

SantaMonica said:
Yes, it can easily make nitrates = zero.
Why in a freshwater tank? I think we're putting too much effort into something that's just not needed. One of those interesting things to tinker with, but isn't really practical or worthwhile to implement whether it 'works' or not.
 

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Having a plant(s) transpire is not a very affective way to change water!
You don't immerse the plant, of course, just the roots.

But again, I would really suspect that the amount most terrestrial plants use will be equivalent to it's water useage.
I think you should check out Walstad's book. She addresses all of this.
 

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SantaMonica said:
If your water quality is being kept fine by photosynthesis (algae or plants), why would you want to continue to do water changes?
You've got it backwards. If your water is being kept fine by water changes, (which are relatively cheap and easy to do) why do you want build the necessary infrastructure to deal with things via plants and/or algae scrubbers?

'Natural' tanks can be done, and they reduce or even eliminate the need for water changes, but there's more to it than adding plants to an aquarium. Again, see Walstad's book.
 

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I have personal exprience and acadmia since at least 4 yeaers ago, to know I am not talking BS.
I know you have a lot of experience. I've followed your threads on other forums where you've been a strong advocate of these things. So much so that you went into the building and selling of them, yes? But, these have been reefer forums. The freshwater world is a different place. Water changes are cheaper and easier here than building or buying algae scrubbers. I don't think you'll find anything other than a niche following of people that like to tinker with equipment, but that's about it. Denitrators and the like just haven't caught on for freshwater and with good reason.
 

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It's not a bible. I have personal exprience and acadmia since at least 4 yeaers ago, to know I am not talking BS.
So, you thnk that plants don't take up nitrates from the water column because of a one week bucket test using hobbyist test kits? And you discredit Walstad's book and the information within it? Are you saying she's totally wrong? Or just to some degree, and how so? Have you even read the book?
 

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Of course plants take up nitrates. That's what plants do. Algae does too, of course, albeit faster if you have the place for it to grow and harvest.
That's too much of an over-generalization. There are many different types of plants and alga that have differring preferences and abilities.

As for scrubbers not catching on yet, it's because they are not for sale. Not in any real manner anyway.
Again, I think you have it backwards. They're not for sale because there's no demand. I can't imagine any freshwater shops having any interest in carrying these. Have you tried to market yours?
 

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2. It actually harms coral growth as algae can give off substances known to impede coral growth.
Brings up a good point. Some algae gives of allelochemicals that inhibit plant growth as well.
 

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Ok, well good luck to you in your ventures then. But, I just don't envision freshwater folks lining up for these things.
 
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