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Old 12-25-2005, 04:14 AM   #1
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Questions about 10 gallon refugium thingy for 55 gallon tank

I have a 55 gallon African cichlid tank that sometimes has somewhat high levels of nitrate (about 40 ppm to 50 ppm) because I occasionally have to be out of town for a week or so and miss my weekly partial water change.

I have a 10 gallon tank that I was thinking of turning into a sort of planted refugium to help "soak up" the nitrates.

I have a submersible pump and an overflow box I can use. I just want to check to see whether it's a good idea or not. Are there any things I should know about or be careful about?
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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Have you tried larger water changes then normal for a weeks before you have to leave town?
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:52 PM   #3
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Sometimes. There are two problems with that. First, sometimes I'm called away on short notice. Second, on occasion even if the nitrate level is very low, it gets pretty high by the time I get back. That's why I was thinking of planting a small tank to help get rid of the nitrates.
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Old 12-25-2005, 04:04 PM   #4
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what are your "low" nitrate readings?

I would just do large water changes weekly to keep the levels extreamly low if it were me.. (less then 5ppm)
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Old 12-25-2005, 05:04 PM   #5
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"Low" means about 15 ppm here because it comes out of the tap at 10 to 15 ppm.
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Old 12-26-2005, 01:27 AM   #6
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Anyone know why types of plants would be best? I was thinking that java moss might work well.
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Old 12-26-2005, 02:30 AM   #7
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read the stickys in this area.

guide to starter plants..
http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_...=1&filter_by=2

you might want to contact your municipaility to asertain why the water supply is that dirty.. (It might be temperarty)
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:10 PM   #8
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You're in Mesa, AZ. Water in AZ isn't the greatest...down in Tucson, my water comes out of the tap at 20ppm nitrates. Part of the agricultural community thing, I think.

Either way, you might want to try anacharis. It grows very quickly, and like a weed. It should do well stealing nitrates from your water.
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:47 AM   #9
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You can also just grow algae in the fuge .....algae wil soak up NO3 like plants - but much easier to grow! .... The SW people do this all the time, so I can't see why it won't work in FW - at least worth a try.

BTW - I think TomK2 has a set up like that.... He had some pics & links in one of the plant forum threads .... you might want to check it out.
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