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Old 12-10-2017, 11:32 PM   #1
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Could Pothos outcompete beneficial bacteria (sponge filter) in a shrimp only tank?

Could Pothos outcompete beneficial bacteria (sponge filter) in a shrimp only tank and cause a potential mini-cycle in the future?







Initial reasoning for adding Pothos:
(1) Aesthetics
(2) Soak up specifically nitrates ((The more I think about it, Pothos could potentially cause other issues listed below)).


Main Concern:
(A) Beneficial Bacteria - Would they starve with Pothos present? If Pothos is such a nutrient hog, could Pothos potentially be detrimental to a shrimp only tank given the fact that shrimps have a low bioload. Could Pothos starve the beneficial bacteria? I have read plants do have a potential preference for ammonia/ammonium, which in turn would decrease the amount of food source for my beneficial bacteria in my sponge filter.

(B) Biofilm - Would Pothos potentially decrease the amount of biofilm present for my shrimps? Background. I did read about biofilm being a collection build up of bacteria and organic matter or something to that effect. If Pothos have the potential to "starve" the bacteria of nutrient, hypothetically, could the beneficial biofilm also decrease?

(C) Algae - I have also seen the effects of Pothos outcompeting algae for nutrients (youtube videos). Rachel O'leary had her algae completely eliminated in her Gar tank by adding Pothos. Could Pothos eventually also outcompete (not only the beneficial bacteria) but algae as well? .... thus decreasing the amount of algae as a food source for shrimps?

(D) Could the removal of all Pothos (after it's been part of the tank for several months) result in a mini-cycle in the future?

I'm at a crossroad. Should keep the pothos or completely remove the pothos?


Regime: Feedings once per week on football Sundays (veggie calcium pellet the size of two or three small sand grain). And absolutely nothing on Monday through Saturday. Replenish evaporated water on Sunday with Prime treated tap water. 20% water change 1st of the month.

Tank: Approximately 7 gallon cube (12x12x15(height). Java Moss (or whatever type moss it is). Petco black gravel substrate 1-2 centimeter, barely covering the bottom of the tank. Didn't want too much, gas pocket prevention. Photoperiod of only approximately 3 hours. 13 watt CFL 6500k. Energy bill was high at around 10 hours per day, so I'm dropping it to 1-2hr per day. Also thinking about going LED with a lower wattage, potentially. Red Cherry Shrimp Tank has been up and running for about a year. I haven't actually tested the water parameter. I still need to get me some of those test strips. TDS: 250 approximate. Yes, I know I probably should get some immediately.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:53 AM   #2
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Bacteria forms and lives on all surfaces.
I would not worry if plants and shrimp look healthy and happy.
If you pull the plants I would advise having a test ready or just making water changes more often after the switch in case of spike.
20% water changes and tap water combined I can't believe your TDS is that low as when water evaps it leaves behind all solids so they add up over time....
I use my TDS meter way more then my liquid test kit.
If you are concerned just step up water changes .Many shrimp keepers do little maintenance ,most just follow a water change schedule for their plant ferts...
I keep pothos on a couple of my tanks and they are stocked in such a way it could never replace my filters or water changes...
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #3
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Hello straw...

A couple of things: First, the root system of the Pothos doesn't get large enough to use up a lot of nutrients. Second, once the lights go out, the plant essentially rests and the bacteria takes over most of the job of using the nitrogen produced by the fish. I don't see a problem.

Just keep the tank water fresh with large, regular water changes and your fish will be fine.

B
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:30 PM   #4
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Looking over my initial post, a couple tidbits that I forgotten to mention that may be of importance.

The tank has been up and running for about 1 year without Pothos. Pothos was introduced just last week, and I am debating if their presence would somehow affect my existing beneficial bacterial colony. I'm sure it will, but how strong of an effect will the Pothos have on the health of my beneficial bacteria. Will the presence of Pothos cause a subtle or massive dip in their population?

TDS meter of approximately 250 was after a 20% monthly water change. After about a month with simply water top off, it shoots up to around 300 to 325 or maybe 350, somewhere. Don't recall the exact value.



Quote:
Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
Bacteria forms and lives on all surfaces.
I would not worry if plants and shrimp look healthy and happy.
If you pull the plants I would advise having a test ready or just making water changes more often after the switch in case of spike.
20% water changes and tap water combined I can't believe your TDS is that low as when water evaps it leaves behind all solids so they add up over time....
I use my TDS meter way more then my liquid test kit.
If you are concerned just step up water changes .Many shrimp keepers do little maintenance ,most just follow a water change schedule for their plant ferts...
I keep pothos on a couple of my tanks and they are stocked in such a way it could never replace my filters or water changes...




Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello straw...

A couple of things: First, the root system of the Pothos doesn't get large enough to use up a lot of nutrients. Second, once the lights go out, the plant essentially rests and the bacteria takes over most of the job of using the nitrogen produced by the fish. I don't see a problem.

Just keep the tank water fresh with large, regular water changes and your fish will be fine.

B
Didn't really even think about plants "shutting down" at night with the bacteria ramping up activity. That's good to know.
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