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Old 01-01-2017, 08:32 AM   #10961
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Well...

Finally, I switched all my tanks to a more natural means of water filtration. Took some large "Aglaonema" house plants and rinsed all the potting mixture from the roots and emersed the roots in the tank water with the leaves above. The roots have started removing most of the nitrogen from the dissolved fish waste and from my water test results are returning pure water to the tank. Ammonia and nitrite at zero and nitrates test between 5 and 10 ppm.

After several years of removing and replacing most of the tank water every week, I can simply top off the open tanks every couple of days and not worry about the water chemsitry. The fish are living in near pure water conditions. The plants do such a good job of filtering the water, my water changes are roughly 50 percent twice a month. The plants do a much better job of filtration than I ever did.

The "Ag' plants are large and healthy with a constant source of nutrients from the fish and return clean water to the tank for the fish. There's a nice build up of algae on the plant roots for the fish and snails to eat. Don't have to worry about overfeeding either, the uneaten food dissolves in the tank water and is taken in immediately by the plants.

Trace elements are replaced through water top offs and the dissolved shells of the snails when they die. The Ramshorn snails can get quite large in this environment. Large water changes keep the water well oxygenated. I still use a couple of dual sponge filters to keep the tank water moving to increase gas exchange.

I figured, why not let the tank do most of the maintenance work and I'll have more time to enjoy the tank and prune the plants now and then. Should have done this a dozen years ago.

B
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:42 AM   #10962
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Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Well...

Finally, I switched all my tanks to a more natural means of water filtration. Took some large "Aglaonema" house plants and rinsed all the potting mixture from the roots and emersed the roots in the tank water with the leaves above. The roots have started removing most of the nitrogen from the dissolved fish waste and from my water test results are returning pure water to the tank. Ammonia and nitrite at zero and nitrates test between 5 and 10 ppm.

After several years of removing and replacing most of the tank water every week, I can simply top off the open tanks every couple of days and not worry about the water chemsitry. The fish are living in near pure water conditions. The plants do such a good job of filtering the water, my water changes are roughly 50 percent twice a month. The plants do a much better job of filtration than I ever did.

The "Ag' plants are large and healthy with a constant source of nutrients from the fish and return clean water to the tank for the fish. There's a nice build up of algae on the plant roots for the fish and snails to eat. Don't have to worry about overfeeding either, the uneaten food dissolves in the tank water and is taken in immediately by the plants.

Trace elements are replaced through water top offs and the dissolved shells of the snails when they die. The Ramshorn snails can get quite large in this environment. Large water changes keep the water well oxygenated. I still use a couple of dual sponge filters to keep the tank water moving to increase gas exchange.

I figured, why not let the tank do most of the maintenance work and I'll have more time to enjoy the tank and prune the plants now and then. Should have done this a dozen years ago.

B
Those plants are not returning any water to the tank B. Theyre stripping the source of what they need to survive which happens to be what the fish excrete day to day. It's defintely the way to do it. Just take issue with the terms... "returning water"

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Old 01-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #10963
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Bro...

Actually, I've been using these plants in other, smaller tanks as an experiment for several years, just to make sure the plant system works before planting my larger tanks. This may be hard to believe, but the Chinese evergreen leaves constantly drip water from the tips. I was skeptical too, at first, but the system works. The plant really returns filtered water to the tank.

B
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:21 PM   #10964
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Bro...

Actually, I've been using these plants in other, smaller tanks as an experiment for several years, just to make sure the plant system works before planting my larger tanks. This may be hard to believe, but the Chinese evergreen leaves constantly drip water from the tips. I was skeptical too, at first, but the system works. The plant really returns filtered water to the tank.

B
Very cool!!

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Old 01-01-2017, 01:02 PM   #10965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Well...

Finally, I switched all my tanks to a more natural means of water filtration. Took some large "Aglaonema" house plants and rinsed all the potting mixture from the roots and emersed the roots in the tank water with the leaves above. The roots have started removing most of the nitrogen from the dissolved fish waste and from my water test results are returning pure water to the tank. Ammonia and nitrite at zero and nitrates test between 5 and 10 ppm.

After several years of removing and replacing most of the tank water every week, I can simply top off the open tanks every couple of days and not worry about the water chemsitry. The fish are living in near pure water conditions. The plants do such a good job of filtering the water, my water changes are roughly 50 percent twice a month. The plants do a much better job of filtration than I ever did.

The "Ag' plants are large and healthy with a constant source of nutrients from the fish and return clean water to the tank for the fish. There's a nice build up of algae on the plant roots for the fish and snails to eat. Don't have to worry about overfeeding either, the uneaten food dissolves in the tank water and is taken in immediately by the plants.

Trace elements are replaced through water top offs and the dissolved shells of the snails when they die. The Ramshorn snails can get quite large in this environment. Large water changes keep the water well oxygenated. I still use a couple of dual sponge filters to keep the tank water moving to increase gas exchange.

I figured, why not let the tank do most of the maintenance work and I'll have more time to enjoy the tank and prune the plants now and then. Should have done this a dozen years ago.

B
Sounds like a great step to further your easy maintenance plan.

How about a pic?

~~

Got the Spec sitting with a couple cups of water in it and a trash bag for a background for the moment. Think I have a good idea instead of the trash bag, lol. It is just there so I can see the scape better.

Maybe don't "just" want to dump in the mess of plants I have in the bucket...thinking of something more aesthetically pleasing.

Here is the teaser pic


Happy New Year - 2017 - wow, that seems like a good year to me!
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:25 PM   #10966
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Found myself cleaning a filter at 1AM this morning -- Happy New Year!

We'd had a brief power outage just after 12:30. Only lasted about ten minutes, but the Aquaclear on my 10g platy grow out tank didn't restart, so I had to break it down, clean it, and then it was fine.

Just how I wanted to spend New Year's Eve.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:06 PM   #10967
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Haha, the teaser pic is the way the tank still looks.

Realized that I left my bucket of plants outside last night and there was 2 inches of ice on the sides and about 1" on top - it was sunny and 50F yesterday, was too exhausted from work to remember it. Anyhow. Things look okay, even the duckweed that didn't freeze in the top of the water was still green. After sorting through all the plants, I might find I don't need or want all the stuff that is in there after all.

Changed water, couldn't catch the Swordtail fish in the 12G, didn't feel too swell so fed the fish and read stuff on the computer, and shopped for some new fish and looked at shrimp too. Stared at the empty Spec. wondering what to put in there in which configuration.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:05 PM   #10968
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Name:	Image1483387335.294932.jpg
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ID:	292659

Picked up my new 75 gal bundled with an Aquaclear 110, heater, and a few other things for $160. Merry Christmas to me!
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:34 PM   #10969
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Picked up my new 75 gal bundled with an Aquaclear 110, heater, and a few other things for $160. Merry Christmas to me!
Score!
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:43 PM   #10970
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Score!


Thanks! That's what I thought too! Few more things to get together and then I'll start a build thread.
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