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Re: NFC: plant filtering capabilities
Typically 'algae scrubbers' are operated on a reverse
photo period, at night when your tank lights are off.
Filtration systems that move the water normally
produce adequate oxygenation over the 24 hr period.
Operating the algae scrubber at night also helps to
alleviate the nightime ph drop that most tanks
I assume you are talking of a freshwater tank is that
correct? If so the floating plants generally provide
the most/fastest growth and therfore utilize the most
waste.On these I suggest that you experiment with a
bit of a number of species to see which one grows best
in your water conditions. Anacharis usually likes much
cooler water then most aquarists keep.
If you are referring to a saltwater tank I suggest
Caulerpa prolifica, or C.mexicana for the best growth.
Numerous other plants are available for aesthetic or
their own value but these two species provide
--- Joshua L Wiegert <jlw at pi_dune.net> wrote:
> Hi Kris
> Sounds like a modified version of an algae scrubber
> -- basically, the
> algae (or in your case, plants) grow in an "ideal"
> environment (good
> light) and feed off the nutrients in the tank. They
> remove nitrate, which
> modern filters don't (for the most part). In
> exchange, they make more
> plant. You harvest some of the plant, and remove
> the nitrate.
> Works great with algae (your friend is undoubtably
> using a macro-algae,
> such as caulerpa, as there are no marine plants
> commercially available,
> with the possible exception of turtle-grass, which
> would be unsuitable
> anyhow. :) However, since "real plants" have more
> stringent demands for
> micronutrients (iron and potassium being two very
> important onees) you'll
> often wind up with limited growth, and therefore
> little filtration by it.
> However, if you add micronutrients, or use water
> changes to maintain
> levels (should you be blessed to have water high in
> these), you can be
> quite successful.
> Rooted plants in such a set up seldom work very
> well. ALgae like plants,
> such as Java Moss, Nitella, Azoala, etc, seem to be
> the best bet.
> By the by -- the reason why this ingenious set up
> isn't seen too often is
> due to a number of large shortcomings. Many of the
> plants and algaes used
> release various water colouring compounds (tanins
> most notably) into the
> water, some of which are harmful to corals, inverts,
> and fish (including
> sweetwater fish). pH shifts can also be expected,
> as well as low O2.
> Yes, thats right, low O2. Plants need to breath,
> too, and when the tank
> lights go out, they stop producing O2, and there is
> a net loss of it.
> Plants do not "breath" Co2 and exhale O2, they
> breath in O2, exhale CO2.
> They "eat" CO2, and O2 is the waste product of that.
> During an average
> day, there is a net output of O2 -- they eat more
> than breath. However,
> in a small aquarium, where O2 levels can be easily
> depleted, this can
> lead to all sorts of problems.
> Joshua L. Wiegert
> NFC Lists Administrator
> JLW at pi_dune.net
> owner-nfc at actwin_com
> ICQ 69551951 AIM
> UID: Etheosoma
> Feel free to contact me by any of the above means
> for any reason.
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> On Fri, 12 Jan 2001, Kristine Weisbrod Massin wrote:
> > Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 09:09:51 -0600
> > From: Kristine Weisbrod Massin
> <kwmprairie at hotmail_com>
> > Reply-To: nfc at actwin_com
> > To: nfc at actwin_com
> > Subject: NFC: plant filtering capabilities
> > Does anyone know the comparitive filtering/water
> cleaning abilities of
> > different aquarium plants?
> > There's a gentleman in town here (Denver) who has
> set up an interesting
> > aquarium filter for his marine aquariums. He uses
> the case & pump from a
> > wet-dry undertank, but instead of using bioballs
> he fills it with
> > plants. It seems to work great, the tanks in the
> shop he had that setup
> > on were much healthier than the ones with the
> traditional set-ups.
> > I'm thinking I would like to combine this idea
> with my current wet-dry.
> > My plan is to leave the bio balls in, but fill the
> resevoir side with
> > plants & leave grow light on them all from 1pm to
> 11am (not quite 24
> > hours & flipped from the plants in the tank).
> I'll have to build a
> > screen filter for the pump, but that's pretty
> > My problem is that the only plant I have an
> abundant amount of is java
> > moss and I'm not sure what kind of filtering
> ability it has. I could get
> > some cabamba for pretty cheap, but I've never had
> really good luck with
> > it. Maybe a mixture of assorted plants would be
> good? My amazon swords
> > from my old tropical tank are sending out babies
> like mad...they need to
> > be seperated anyway...there's no room for the fish
> > Suggestions?
> > thanks,
> > kris
> > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
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