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Re: Plant filters
Typically any external filter that has a plant stuck in it I
would define as a plant filter. The planted tanks themselves
also function as a plant filter in and of themselves. If you
need more nutrients removed than what your plants are able to
achieve this is a good option. But I should also say that it
will not completey substitute for problems etc for helping your
submersed plants. It will use up nutrients though, better than
algae scrubbers and most other filters. Think it is a great
filter for a planted tank but you still have to deal with
getting things below the water growing healthy too. This is a
much harder challenge below the water.
PF's don't have to worry about enough CO2 and don't place a CO2
demand on the tank. So if your CO2 goes sour....these still keep
Much of the ambient light from tank light overspray and house
windows etc is enough to grow most plants so extra light is
often not needed.
They are easy to build. Any tube or box etc will do. I use a
wet/dry design and just place the plant into the wet/dry section
fiilling the section back up with the bio balls or hydroponic
media. A 3 inch ABS/PVC tube sealed at one end filled with a
plant(most tropical foliage and many other plants will work) and
then add some small crushed lava or 3/8 inch lava gravel or bio
balls or hydroponics media(best) which looks like Co-Co pebbles.
A small flow is all that is needed and often a pump of some sort
is already in use on the tank so a simple splice of that line of
flow is all that's needed for the plant filter. These tubes can
be easily hung off the back of your tank or placed in a sump or
make your whole wet/dry sump a plant filter.
Cool thing is......these filters work on every type of fish tank
there is. Plant tanks, Arrowana tanks, any plant eater tank,
brackish and salt tanks also. You need no CO2 or expensive
lighting to get the benefits of plants.
Some folk might be distrubed by this notion. But it's here to
I don't keep plants submersed to filter my water: a plant
filter would be a much better choice if that was the goal.
If this is what your looking for, don't mess with the submersed
plants, use a plant filter instead.
Many folks have a tank or two that they don't really want to
have all planted or can't due to the fish/work involved etc and
the plant filter can be a great use to these tanks.
I have some jpegs (but it might be a little while till I get
them up) that I took of my little filters. Other cool thing is
you can build them quite small or very large with little money
and they need little water flow to be effective saving you money
in electric cost and intial purchase for a big pump.
Looks cool too:)
Basically it's an easy DIY project to make one. If you have a
sump and it's dark under there try putting a 15 watt 6-7 $ under
counter light in there for extra light. All you need to do is
plug one end of a PVC tube and drill some small holes at the
bittom and fill it with a plant and the hydroponic media or lava
etc. Trickle a small amount of water over this(5-50GPH) and you
now will have a plant filter. These can be run in series or
parallel depending on the purification you need. Most are run in
parallel. Series require a bit thinking and planning but can
achieve some great extremely clean water.
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