Filtration

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Re: Filtration

Postby Diana » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:00 pm

Loachloach makes several very good points in the post of Jan 8.
Worth reading through a couple of times and seeing how you can incorporate those concepts:
Good water flow, good filtration, good oxygenation.

I have grown a lot of house plants in aquariums.
In general, the ones that grow upright have a hard time staying upright unless they are grown in some sort of media. I have used 3/8" lava. I have grown: Maranta (one of those really exotic ones that look like peacock feathers), Dracaena (several sorts), Spathiphyllum, Chlorophytum (needs really good light, I don't think it really likes wet roots) and several more.
The trailing house plants can be grown in the tank, roots in the water, stems and leaves out of the water. Then I attach them to the walls (nail into the wall and plant tie). Best results were with Epipremnum (Golden Pothos). I had several tanks around a room and the Pothos went from one tank to the next, up and down the walls, and in and out of windows onto an enclosed porch (more tanks out there). Leaves were almost a foot in diameter. Also very successful is a green form of Syngonium. It grew out of the top of a tank on a high stand, reached the floor, then grew back up as high as the tank. When I moved that tank I made a lot of smaller plants out of the Syngonium, and some of them grew so fast I have needed to trim them, too.) A smaller plant that also did well was Philodendron cordatum (It has had several botanical names over the years).
Some of the tricks to growing plants like this in an aquarium: Plants need good water circulation around their roots. I kept them really close to the filter outlet. Not directly in the stream, but in the part of the tank where the upwelling created by the flow would constantly renew the water around the roots, bringing them oxygen, and all the other elements they need. Plants growing above the tank need light. If the tank is near a bright window this might be enough, but if not, then add a grow light aimed at the plants. Note that I had the best success with plants noted as 'low light' house plants.

If you do not want to grow plants in or out of the tank to help with nutrient removal, then fewer fish might end up being the answer.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Re: Filtration

Postby FranM » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:42 pm

I am so pleased with the input you've all given and so appreciate the time spent on your in depth replies, so thank you!

I'm taking everything onto account. A simple question--is it true duckweed is a great nitrate eating plant that you need not do anything special to it to keep it thriving? I hear it can grow out of hand but with silver dollars in the tank will it grow at all??

Again thank you.
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Re: Filtration

Postby Bas Pels » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:53 am

I have an enclosed veranda, which is quite cold in winter, but also well lighted (it faces south). I have 8 tanks there, large ones on the floor, which are unheated, unlighted, but they do have an air driven filtration through Hamburger mats. between the mats I have placed Cyperus umbrella plants, and a Begonia. They grow very good, in fact the Cyperus grow larger, greener then their conterparts in a pot.

Obviously, in the end the mats will be destroyed, but for the time being, I see the plants growing nicely, and I realize how much nitrates they needed :)

From Diana's post I have a few more candidates - but they must be able to withstand cold. Sadly not all common house plants can do that
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Re: Filtration

Postby Diana » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:38 am

FranM, I think the SD will eat duckweed.
It is worth trying.
Like any plant, it needs good light to photosynthesize well, and this is how it will remove the maximum amount of nitrogen. Since it is a surface plant it will get its CO2 from the air.

Bas Pels, most house plants are tropical, so won't handle the cold. However, here are some that grow for me in a cold setting:
Schefflera arboricola (Hawaiian Elf, actually gets quite large- mine is a variegated type, about 8' tall, growing in soil where I dump water from water changes)
Maranta, the one often called 'Rabbit Tracks'. Simple green leaf with pairs of brown spots. I have a variegated one going right now. Again, planted in soil, watered with aquarium water.
Dracaena, but I am not sure which one it is. It is not one of the common ones.
Tradescantia- I have had the best luck with the plain green one. I would sure like to get the pretty purple one going, but no luck so far.

Plants that are grown in the garden (central California, USDA zone 9b) that will also grow in my greenhouse (cold in winter, like your area)
Mondo Grass- I have also grown this bare root in an aquarium. In my low end brackish tank (SG 1.004) it hung in there longer than most other plants, not really growing, but not dying, either. Grows well emersed in fresh water tanks.
Coleus- There are MANY color options. There are upright and trailing varieties.

Pond plants worth trying in a very well lit area like a greenhouse or enclosed porch:
Water Lettuce, Water Hyacinth (with just a little protection from the frost they survive the winter), Salvinia (if it is legal in your area, it can be invasive).
Papyrus, including a dwarf called 'Baby Tut'. I would use caution with the various sedges and similar plants (Cyperus. Juncus). They can develop a massive root system. I have some of the big one (Papayrus) and it has taken over my outdoor pond.
Try some of the smaller ones- whichever are sold at your local pond dealer.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
Posts: 4573
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Filtration

Postby FranM » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:36 pm

Thanks, Diana. :)
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Re: Filtration

Postby Bas Pels » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:28 am

Thanks for these suggestions. I will look into them, and see whether they are available in Europe
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Re: Filtration

Postby BlueLoach » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:56 pm

Just want to throw this into the mix. If you choose houseplants and have cats, make sure the plants are not toxic. A lot of the lily type plants are toxic.
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Re: Filtration

Postby Dojosmama » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:50 pm

Two pieces of advice:

First, don't rinse your media in tap water with Prime. Rinse it in your siphoned tank water. You don't need Prime for that. You'll still need to use it in the new water you fill your tank with.

Second, if you haven't already, put a prefilter sponge on your Aquaclear's intake tube. That will reduce the amount of debris that go into your main filter. For some odd reason, most prefilter sponges are sold open on the bottom. You can plug that with a piece of aquarium foam sponge material. Water will still flow nicely through your filter, with less gunk.

I think you're doing all that is necessary and then some. It's always better to overfilter than to overstock.

Live plants will also help keep your nitrates down. The more living plants, the better. Just get the kind your fish don't eat, like Anubias.
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