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Re: Fresh water reef
On Fri, 15 Oct 1999, Ron Bednar wrote:
> There has been some discussion on the list regarding freah water reefs
> and terestrial plants as filters. I have decided to setup a 10gal test
> prior to a 40gal main tank later on.
If I understand you right then this sounds very much like a setup I ran
for about 5 years, but I used a 20 gallon tank for the filter.
> I am thinking of using
> Spathphyllums as the filter plant in the outside container and have
> found a sm grained fired clay product used for growing hydoponic orchids
> to use as the medium. My question is the exchange rate to and from the
> outside container. Should the water trickle in and out like a hydroponics
> system via a lift tube arrangement or pour in and out from a powerhead
> like an outside filter?
My tanks were arranged vertically, main tank on top, filter tank on
bottom. I dropped a line from the main tank to the filter and siphoned
down to the filter through a float valve. I had an UGF plate under the
substrate in the filter. One of the lift tubes was blocked off and I
siphoned through a 1/2" flexible tube from the other lift tube to a small
sump beside the tank. I pumped water up from the sump to the main tank
using a small "minijet" pump. A valve on the line from the pump to the
main tank regulated the flow rate. I kept the flow at a trickle.
> If the latter, can the Spaths tolerate having
> their roots constantly submerged? Or would a bog plant like Marsh
> Marigolds be a better choice as the filter plant.
Spaths (at least mine) just loved that. I also grew C. wendtii, a large
Anubia (congensis or lanceolata) and duckweed along with the Spathiphylum.
You could also grow some of the Echinodorus species in the same setting.
The problem is that most of these plants outgrew a 20 gallon tank, and
certainly they'll get too big for a 10 gallon tank. If you want them to
grow out of an open top tank then this may be only a problem for
the lighting. Some of the possible plants may need very high humidity
to keep from drying out so an open top tank might limit your choices a
little. Spathiphylum will do fine with an open top.
> I would think that you
> would want a plant with a fairly high metabolism as the filter plant.
> Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks much.
Spathiphylum are probably a good choice. If humidity isn't limiting, then
you might get good results with a big bruiser like Echinodorus
Cordifolius. For rapid nutrient consumption and minimal size requirements
it's hard to beat duckweed.