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Old 07-29-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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Non-aquatic plants/house plants rooted in filters???

Has anyone on here had any experience with using house plants rooted in hang on back filters or built in rear sumps before I am currently getting together everything I need ready to set up my ex marine tank which I will be rooting house plants in the back to help suck up the nitrates, ammonia etc. I have done a tad research and found three plants I am going to try initially which are split leaf philodendron, lucky bamboo and umbrella papyrus. Any information will be much appreciated thanks!
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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I use my hobs for my clippings till they get a good root growth , then I repot. I have alot of viney plants, like pothos,philodendruns, ivy, spider. When I looked it up years back the biggest concern was wether the plants were poisonus, mine never get in the tank itself so I dont need to worry about them ingesting any of it. The only other problem you sometimes have is not enough light where the hob is, I did have one I forgot about that managed to stop the impeller the roots grew so much it was crammed all in the hob. pic of one my hobs. I put them in front of the carteidges now so they dont do that anymore.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Hello Joey...

You can use Aglaonema, Pothos, Nephthytis and Impatiens. Any of these will work well, even in slightly "brackish" water. Make sure all the potting mixture is removed. If you leave any of it attached to the roots, the plant will die from lack of oxygen. One more thing, the roots need to properly aerated and have room to grow. You can't crowd the roots.

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Old 07-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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Nice one thank you guys! Roots over growing shouldn't be a problem lots of room in the sump there are three compartments after the intake compartment the intake/ first compartment will be sponges to remove particles then the other three are going to be bio balls ceramic media and stones for bacteria building and the roots will be sat in them stones will there be enough aeration from the water trickling in the first section for the roots??? And will a standard desk lamp be enough light for the plants if I mount it on the wall
Above the tank???
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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You can use any houseplant that can be cut and rooted in water. Also this thread will give you a lot of ideas.... Planted HOB thread..
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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I just put a pothos clipping in the filter on my 4 gallon DP tank. I also want to put some a java moss matt on the outflow. I just need to find some mesh or netting of some sort.

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:34 PM   #7
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Pothos is better hung over the side of the tank because it gets huge roots and will creep right in and clog the motor.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone going to add pothos to the list and have them hanging down the back do all the leaves need light??? Will they survive draping down the back of the tank where it is dark???
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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While pothos is more tolerant of lower light situations they still need light. I had mine hanging in the corner of the tank hanging down the side where they still received light.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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Hello again Joey...

I've had very good luck with "Queen Marble". This variety of Pothos is very hardy and if the roots are rinsed of all the potting mixture, it will do well emersed. For the plant to do the best, the water needs to flow through the roots constantly. The tank water contains dissolved nutrients from the fish waste and as the water flows through the roots, they take in the nutrients.

If you had enough plants in the tank, you could do away with water changes. The plant roots would take in all forms of nitrogen and create pure water conditions. There are tanks like this, called "Terratopes". Using the roots of land plants emersed in an aquarium to maintain pure water conditions.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #11
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Unfortunately never doing a WC would result in all the buffers being used up with the tank eventually crashing with ph bottoming out. While the use of lot of plants does indeed use many of the nutrients in tank water they cannot absorb and filter out all organic and inorganic dissolved substances in a tank.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #12
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With the right preparation, the "Terratope" works. It works the same as a more conventional aquarium. You need water, plants, fish and light. If you have a steady supply of these, your tank will run just about maintenance free. I have several of these tanks and have run them for years.

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Old 07-31-2013, 04:28 PM   #13
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I am speaking of running a tank without WC's as in your first post. As I also stated the plants do a lot of nutrient removal and the more the better but even these tanks need WC's or eventually they will crash due to buffers in the closed system being used up. Which then makes the ph crash or bottom out. I never said they don't work as I use houseplants myself in HOB's and hanging over the side. My point is these tanks still need WC's and maintenance. You've stated in past posts you do these tanks to cut down on WC's to keep from having to lug water up/down stairs but you still do WC's on them but less frequently. This is the entire point of my statement.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:56 PM   #14
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Hello Rcats...

Absolutely. We're talking about a tank that requires no water changes. The plant roots are emersed in the tank water, with the leaves above so they can take in CO2 from the surrounding air. There is a substantial amount of evaporation. So, that's replaced daily with pure, treated tap water. You have to treat the water, because there are fish in the tank. The fish provide the nitrogen for the plants. The plant roots take in the nitrogen and return pure water to the fish. I've tested the water at times and get the same readings: "0" ammonia and nitrite. The nitrates never rise about 20 ppm. The pH is a steady 7.4, it hasn't changed in over 2 years.

Like I said earlier, as long at you maintain the plants, supply the ambient light and replace the water lost to evaporation, the fish pretty much take care of themselves as long as I feed them a little frozen food a couple of times a week.

I also have tanks that use a combination of land and aquatic plants in the same tank. Those don't need much in the way of water changes either. The more Chinese Evergreens you emerse in the tank, the purer the water. It just depends on how much water you want to change, some of it or none of it. It all depends on the plants.

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Old 07-31-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello again Joey...

I've had very good luck with "Queen Marble". This variety of Pothos is very hardy and if the roots are rinsed of all the potting mixture, it will do well emersed. For the plant to do the best, the water needs to flow through the roots constantly. The tank water contains dissolved nutrients from the fish waste and as the water flows through the roots, they take in the nutrients.

If you had enough plants in the tank, you could do away with water changes. The plant roots would take in all forms of nitrogen and create pure water conditions. There are tanks like this, called "Terratopes". Using the roots of land plants emersed in an aquarium to maintain pure water conditions.

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Can you pm me about this please? I have some questions but dont want to hijack
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodFan View Post

Can you pm me about this please? I have some questions but dont want to hijack
Hijack away my friend your questions are probably going to be some of mine aswell
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:24 PM   #17
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Thanks bbradbury and rivercats all is good info for me. On the no water changes argument I know there's a specialist discus shop in America which have a fully stocked discus show tank with same sort of set up as I am planning only difference is the tank is bigger and the sump is external and the owner of the shop says he hasn't done a single water change in the six years it has been set up!!!
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:26 PM   #18
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Although it's been awhile since I've seen pic's of your tanks if I remember right they also have no substrate and the few aquatic plants you have are in pots. These tanks are not traditional tanks that most want for display tank (I said most not all) but if modified by doing this in an HOB filter or similar they can be an asset to a typical display tank without taking away from tank itself they greatly aid in nutrient removal. Only doing top ups even with a tank completely full of terrestrial plant roots cannot remove all the chemicals that in tap water even after it has been treated. I personally don't feel never doing a WC is healthy for inhabitants regardless of how many plants are used. They are a great aid in helping to keep nutrient levels lowered in overstocked tanks but IMO should be used as an aid only. To each their own.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:47 PM   #19
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Ok I have been researching this concept myself for quite some time and have tried it to a smaller degree. I have heard all the arguments saying you need water changes but IME (except with certain fish) my fish have been happy and healthy with no water changes for months. So I want to hear the experiences of people (brad) who have done it for extended times. So if you dont mind could you please provide exact details about your tank such as a detailed stock list, tank size, fauna list, substrate and decor, equipement and time since last water change? Please? Lol I know that is alot.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:00 AM   #20
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I don't know which side is right or wrong or if there even is a right or wrong but as rivercats said I feel the same in that I am doing this more as a precaution/aid to help me battle the nitrification process and also because I think it's going to look good. My plan from day one was to get as much info as possible but not follow each one exact I am going to set up the tank to the best of my abilities and what my bank can afford lol then I'm going to test the water religiously every single week when the kit says I need a water change I will do one its as simple as that however I will not go longer than a year without water changes incase the buffers do cause a large ph swing and as this is a tank set for a breeding pair of discus setting me back almost £300 I won't be taking risks/experimenting too much. I guess Il just have to wait and find out for myself what is going to happen scientifically to the chemistry of my water. I will keep you all updated on the tank when I start to put it together
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