plants filtering the water

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by Aqua Hero, 8 May 2015.

  1. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    do plants really absorb ammonia and nitrite and if so how well do they absorb it
     
  2. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

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    1,048
    Osmosis after which ammonia and nitrite is broken down for the nitrogen. That's about all I know I'm sure one of the biologist will explain it more in depth.
     
  3. zozo

    zozo Member

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    6,049
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    In a nutshell.. Some do more some do less, the ones that do best are the fast growing plants as the helophytes which develop a strong and large root system. These swamp plants are often used as helophyte pond filter and they realy do a perfect job. I have used Iris Pseudacorus in my garden pond for that. They are very fast growing and create an enormous root system, it took 3 little sprouts 2 years to create a root system of 5 gallon in volume. The enormous root system also is a perfect biomassfilter. Some plants have such a strong root system thet they even are unsuitable for foil ponts they can even distroy concrete ponds.. If you search for Helophyte filter you probably find a list of plants which are best in it. But they wont be very suitable for an aquarium because of their root systems will explode at one time. Some can be used like I use co2 and firts so did put hippurus vulgaris in my tank to help it a bit fighting algea in the first weeks/months and will take it out again before they start to root to heavily. Also Elodea does a good rather safe job in aquariums, but also only for a short periode and i take it out before it runs out of controll. In low teg tanks they grow slower.

    I bet someone will come along which can elaborate in more and better detail.. :)
     
  4. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    oh i see thanks for the information :thumbup: though i should of been more specific. i was just referring to aquatic plants only (moss, rotala, java fern hygrophilia etc)

    also how good are aquaponic filters. people say that if you have them you dont have to do water changes. to me it sounds absurd but i would like to know a bit more about.
     
  5. zozo

    zozo Member

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    6,049
    Location:
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    In an aquarium the fast growers do best to take up an exces of firts.. Aquaponics has its focus on the helophytes.. Im planing to build me a little one for my aquarium, but im still brainsorming about the decorative part.. But i rather won't take the chance of never refresh some water in a small tank with an aquaponic. For setups like that you rather need very large water mass so it can create its own bio system with enough buffer capacity. Small tanks don't have so much buffer and will become much faster unstable.

    By the way.. Most aquatic plants available to us are swamp plants and not fully aquatic. So some of them maybe could do a nice job in an aquaponic as well. This is a case of doing homework and trail and error, for me that is i mean.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2015
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  6. zozo

    zozo Member

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    6,049
    Location:
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    If you like to play with that idea :) you could use those hangon filters and put substrate in it and a plant. Than you already got your own small cheap aqauponic.
     
  7. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    nah i dont like the look of my HOB. i wasnt interested in doing it but the whole idea of it was interesting so i wanted to know a little more. thanks for the information. one thing that kept confusing me was that people would say "aquatic plants absorb ammonia and nitrites". i know they take ammonium and nitrates but the other two i wasnt so sure. java moss apparently uses ammonia
     
  8. zozo

    zozo Member

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    6,049
    Location:
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    Im to much in a nutshell for that answer.. :)
     
  9. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

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    1,048
    If you have a large healthy plant mass in your tank and you are are using low light low tech then you can reduce your water changes to as little as once a year possibly even more as the plants mop up the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. In high light tanks you're not doing the water changes to get rid of the fish waste or excess fertilizer. You conduct water changes to reduce the excess waste from the plants caused by the rapid growth. Even in high tech tanks with low light you can reduce your water changes, Tom Barr does water changes on many of his tanks once a month, I think scincefiction on this board went 2 years without water changes in his low tech tank and had oto's spawning. The limited growth fertizile methods such as PPS-Pro also reduces water changes as the plants grow slower and so produce less waste. If you really want to get into the science of it then read Walstad's Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, or you can get some of the theory online here.
     
  10. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    oh i will read the book. funny enough yesterday i watched a video series on youtube of a guy explaining it. honestly i dont know whether my tank is high tech or low tech. all the plants dont need ferts (maybe the rotala), they dont need co2 but some of them do need moderate light. i just dose them because i wanted the scape to grow out in the shape i wanted quickly. once it reaches the shape i want it to be i will stop dosing ferts and co2 completely and only have my light.

    maybe you can help me to define what tech my tank is

    Plants:
    java fern: slow growing put in my tank it grows quite fast (5 leaves every month)
    java moss: same story as java fern
    anubias nana : same story as above
    Rotala rotundifolia: grows quite slow to medium
    hygrophila polysperma: grows fast whene exposed to the light but the others i have grows slow because of another stem plant that is covering it.
    unknown dark green hygrophila: grows slow but has improved in the health of leaves
    Christmas moss: slow growth
    helanthium tenellum: moderate growth
    Najas guadalupensis: best plant in the tank. very fast growth

    the tank is 58 cm deep
    dual t5ho with one 10000k bulb and one pink plant growth bulb. its one for 10hrs
    dose liquid co2 (Excel and easy carbo)
    liquid ferts: esha plant food. yeah i have now idea whats into lol but my plants love it
    flitration - fluval 405

    there is only a betta in there. he has been flaring none stop in his 8 gallon and has bitten his fins so im putting him in the planted tank to keep him calm. so far he loves the tank.

    with the Walstad method they did talk about stocking the tank heavily with fish
    my ideal stocking will be:

    20 cherry shrimp
    10 dwarf hatchet fish
    20 ember tetra
    2 blue rams

    this is quite a low stocking.

    i will be buying anubias petite, vallisneria nana and bolbitis heudelotii.
    i dont mind doing water changes but it would be nice if i were able to reduce it.

    so what do you think about the tank. i think its a mid tech but no one says mid tech.
     
  11. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    adding on to what i just wrote. i may be getting floating plants but one thing that i heard in the Walstad method series on youtube was that some plants release chemicals that prohibit the growth of others. i was surprised. he did mentioned that his vallisneria plant wouldnt let him grow a type of floating plants because of the chemicals released.

    i will be using peat granules/peat balls to help soften the water. and color the water a bit so that the lighting is dimmed.
     
  12. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    in the link you just sent me i noticed it talking about plants basically preferring ammonium to nitrates. with the peat i will hopefully be able to lower the ph/soften the water. on an article i learnt that in lower ph waters there is more ammonium than ammonia in comparison to hard water which is the opposite. it was due to something about hydrogen atoms. sorry i have bad memory. so in theory my plants will thrive better in the softened water because then will have more ammonium to consume instead of nitrates?
     
  13. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

    Messages:
    1,048
    You're plants will like whatever water you have long as they have enough light, carbon and nutrients. You really don't need to mess with your water chemistry. You need to balance the three plant drivers. A quick way of telling if you have something wrong is your plants, you'll either have algae or deficiencies.

    This thread on the planted tank is a nice way of tell you're lighting output and then you can decide if you need to use liquid or gas carbon of if you need to lower you're light. Switching from high tech to low tech usually isn't a case of switching off the CO2. The way I do it is a month before I want to switch is to swap out my T5HO for T5HE bulbs (this isn't always a possibility) then I remove the reflectors all the time keeping up the EI routine. I then start lowering the CO2 injection rate over time. Just switching off the CO2 will usually just end in Algae and melt.

    PARvsDistVariousBulbs2.jpg
     
  14. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    yeah i used this chart before. it seemed my tank has medium light. the water softening is for breeding the rams not really for the plants but i was just pointing out a benefit. what i wanted to know was:

    is my tank high tecj, mid tech or low tech?
    do i really need to do alot of water changes due to the low bio load of fish but huge amount of plants?
    by dosing less ferts and co2 and dimming the light will that mean i will does less WC, same amount or more?
    with the plants i have listed will there be a huge build up of chemicals excreted by the plants or a small build up?

    these are the questions i would like answers for if possible.
     
  15. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    the extra information were just other factors that i though may effect the answer to these questions :)
     
  16. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

    Messages:
    1,048
    The general view on this forum is that a tank becomes high-tech as soon as you introduce carbon via either liquid or gas. It does not matter what light you are using or how much carbon you are injecting. It is then recommend you follow the EI routine as this eliminates nutrient deficiencies.

    Fish and plants like water changes nothing bad ever happened from a water change. I'm currently doing a 90% water change as I type this and I have a high fish load. The water change is to remove waste in the water from the plants not the fish.

    Possibly but it could also result in an increase of algae.

    No way of measuring or telling, it's kind of trial and error and usually ends up in algae.

    As for Rams breeding, many have managed to getting spawning while dosing EI level of ferts but if you want to keep TDS down fow whatever reason then you really need to think of lowering the light and going low tech. Maybe look at the duckweed index.

    If you're really want to reduce water changes then you need to read this links here and here on Barr report.
     
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  17. Aqua Hero

    Aqua Hero Member

    Messages:
    241
    thanks you for the response. with they way i have keep things the tank is really clear of algae. just some detritus but that really easy to deal with. i think i will just stick to the way things are in terms of maintenance. i will read up that duckweed index. cheers again for your help
     

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