I got bored the other night and decided to do something to suck up the nitrates in my cichlid tank. It only cost me $10 for the tub, bal valve and some PVC
fittings the rest of the stuff I already had lying around. Here's the thread I started asking about plants that would work for what I needed. Nitrate lovers!
Now here's what I did. I took some organic potting soil I have been mineralizing and did a 1/2 inch layer with some ferts mixed into it then did a thin layer of sand and another 1/2-3/4 inch layer of the soil. I did that everywhere but where the filter sits which I did with just rocks. Then I did a layer of pool filter sand on one side I Sid it a little over an inch deep and 2" at the other end. For the filter I took a Tupperware and drilled a bunch of holes around the bottom edge and put a flat rock in it to hold it down. Then I dropped 18 bio-balls in it, a piece of screen, polyfill, and then I seperated 2 pieces of bonded blue filter padding so I could double it up and put in the blue first the the white on top. For the water source I had a maxijet 400 I put a piece of pantyhose over the intake screen and made a way to attach 1/2" PVC
to the outlet of it with a 90 up a foot of pipe a ball valve another 6" of pipe another 90 3" of pipe and another 90 to dump into the filter from the top. For the drain I drilled a 3/4" hole shoved a piece of canister filter tubing into it (only temporary until I find a uniseal locally im not spending 16.99 for a bulkhead) with a 45 and a piece of panty hose over it on the inside. Then I have 2 90's at the other end of it to dump into a gutted penguin 350 on one side I have avtivated carbon and the other side I have ceramic rings the apiece of screen with HC growing on it. I took a piece of plywood put it on top of the tank and set the grow bed on that. Then I took a bunch of stuff I had growing emersed planted it and voila a grow bed. And good thing I did it when I did cause I had 2 cichlids holding and only one breeder net. Well I stripped the one in the breeder net into the grow bed and put the other one in the net and within 30 min she spit all her fry out so now I have almost 50 kennyi cichlis fry in this grow bed along with 4 pink pearl ramshorns and a pair of white mts snails. Here's a couple pics I will get some more that are more in depth tomorrow when the lights are on.