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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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prov356 said:
SantaMonica said:
Again, see Walstad's book.
It's not a bible. I have personal exprience and acadmia since at least 4 yeaers ago, to know I am not talking BS.

A very simple experiment. 2 gal. of water from your tank. Take a NITRATE measurement. Split it in two. Two pales. One with your terresstrial plant of your choice (Pythos?). See in one week if the pale with the plant has lower nitrates then the pail with out. I'm willing to bet money there is no diferance.
 

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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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prov356 said:
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?
That would be SantaMonica.

The quote is my statement. I'm questioning the claim that terrestrial plants will "suck' nitrates out of water rather then simply 'use' water. Not a controlled experiment, but my own experience with aquaponics suggests this. As well, the few academic papers I could find on aquaponics, and a number on plant nutrient uptake....I was quite interested in this area of study for a number of years. I guess i should try out my simple experiment (using Pothos?) and see again, for myself.
 

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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.

FW waterchanges are indeed cheaper and easier, and if it does what you need then it's probably best. A common misconception though is that almost all scrubbers are SW; actually they are equally split between SW and FW.

As for scrubbers not catching on yet, it's because they are not for sale. Not in any real manner anyway. So it's DIY or nothing, and water changes might be easier than DIY. The typical person that goes into a pet store for FW stuff is never going to DIY one of these.
 

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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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Many species of fresh water algae cannot use nitrate. Makes an algae scrubber a bit useless for nitrate removal.

I used to use an algae scrubber on both a freshwater and salt water tank. I quit for both... 1. The smell of the algae was revolting. Like walking along the shore of lake ontario
2. It actually harms coral growth as algae can give off substances known to impede coral growth.

I might use one again for freshwater, if I could correct the smell issue as it does remove ammonia.
 

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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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Well fortunately we have real world results, along with biology studies, to show the opposite.

There are many different types of plants and alga that have differring preferences and abilities.
Yes, and the algae that consume the nutrients that are currently available, are the algae that grow.

They're not for sale because there's no demand.
I wish you knew the demand. No need to tout it here, but since I work with this everyday, I can say for certain that there is a demand.

I can't imagine any freshwater shops having any interest in carrying these.
There isn't anything yet for them to carry. They are not going to carry DIY.

Have you tried to market yours?
No. I just sell the full size hand built acrylic unit to folks who seek it out. The marketing won't start until the FW/nano friendly version come out next year.

Many species of fresh water algae cannot use nitrate. Makes an algae scrubber a bit useless for nitrate removal.
All algae can use nitrate as a source for their nitrogen, if they cannot get the nitrogen from ammonia/ammonium or nitrite. However since tanks are not mono-cultures, other strains of algae which can take up nitrate faster (if in fact nitrate is the dominant nitrogen source) will outcompete.

The smell of the algae was revolting.
You had too little flow. Scrubbers with proper flow smell like... water... because it's covered in water.

It actually harms coral growth as algae can give off substances known to impede coral growth.
It actually helps coral growth, because it remove the things which impede coral growth. More importantly, algae exudate provide the very material that corals live on; this includes all the vitamins and amino acids in the ocean that corals need to grow. These are the same vitamins and amino acids that reefers buy and dose to their tanks. This is how the vitamins and amino acids got in the ocean in the first place. Algae also produce a carbon source to feed the nitrate-and-phosphate-reducing bacteria (in addition to the algae consuming nitrate and phosphate itself). This is the same carbon that many aquarists buy and add to their tanks. In particular, algae produce these vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Beta Carotene, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Biotin, Ascorbate (breaks chloramines into chlorine+ammonia), N5-Methyltetrahydrofolate, Other tetrahydrofolate polyglutamates, Oxidized folate monoglutamates, Nicotinate, Pantothenate; These amino acids: Alanine, Aspartic acid, Leucine, Valine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Methionine, Aspartate, Glutamate, Serine, Proline; These Carbohydrates (sugars): Galactose, Glucose, Maltose, Xylose; These miscellaneous: Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid (breaks chloramines into chlorine+ammonia), Nucleic Acid derivatives, Polypeptides, Proteins, Enzymes, Lipids. You can review the the Journal of Phycology for more.
 

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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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SantaMonica
I took down my salt water algae scrubber a mere 3 weeks ago. I had it for two years. Algae that feed coral grow inside the coral. Algae that grows on the scrubber harm corals and this has been found in the ocean as well as in captive systems. Learn the facts before posting else your lengthy replies about the wrong species of algae weaken your position. As for the odor, all the algae scrubber enthusiasts repeatedly tell me that it was a sign of a healthy scrubber. I had one issue and the advice was to get a smaller pump so interesting that my pump was both too powerful and yet knot powerful enough.

And no... algae scrubbers don't use nitrates up. They use ammonia. Algae scrubber enthusiasts say that ann algae scrubber can be used on planted tanks without harm as the plants can break down nitrates where as the algae cannot. So algae uses up fish wastes and the owner can dose nitrates.

It feels strange that I have to use the opinions of other algae scrubber enthusiasts to counteract the dubious claims of another...
 
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