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Nitrate soaking plants
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.05(Sun)22:25    Post subject: Nitrate soaking plants Reply with quote

What would be your guys picks for best plants to soak up nitrates?

Duckweed seems to be the best (multiplies like crazy)...other ones I'm looking at are hornwort, hydrilla (can't get elodea here anymore), with mixed opinions on java moss/other moss like christmas moss (slower grower than java right?).
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.06(Mon)3:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duckweed first, but plants like frogbit, hornwort, water sprite tend to be more popular for this as they're easier to remove from the tank.

Go for something floating, grows faster with access to atmospheric CO2.
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.06(Mon)4:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

True - didn't think about the atmospheric side to it.

And definitely not wrong about duckweed being hard to get rid of, but I think I'll go for it anyway.
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DaleJr
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2012.02.14(Tue)11:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh wrote:
Duckweed first, but plants like frogbit, hornwort, water sprite tend to be more popular for this as they're easier to remove from the tank.

Go for something floating, grows faster with access to atmospheric CO2.


Water-sprite by far is safer than duckweed and requires less maintance.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.19(Sun)16:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have four suggestions, form least practical to most:

(1) If you have an open-top aquarium, and some sunlight on it, try Cyprus Umbrella Sedge

Note: The plant can grow 2 meters tall, and aggressively take over your tank. I've been experimenting with plants in terracotta pots to see what effects they have in my re-purposed 55g. This plant is next, and I'm very excited about what it could mean for filtration.

here's a good report about how to use the plant: http://www.tuncalik.com/2009/09/biotope-in-my-study/

(2) Another thing I've read is using hydroponic plants, but feed them aquarium water. You can grow some peace-lillies or philodendron to help suck up nitrates.

(3) I'm currently growing Tiger Lotus in a terracotta pot, and allowing it to have floating leaves. It's now growing pretty vigorously and my Nitrate rate *appears* to be lower. (I've realized that statistical relevance with my nitrate test kit is impossible)

(4) duckweed. It may seem a hassle having to remove this every time you do a water change, but it's like gold for low-tech tanks. The other great thing is that if you have other plants (especially emergent), the duckweed will die off once they take control of the nutrients. It's like a litmus test for how healthy your other plants are. Only my fluval edge still has duckweed, thanks to a constant lighting issue I have in the tank. Honestly though, that duckweed is what keeps that tank healthy without daily water changes.
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.19(Sun)17:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

All these super fast growing plants I want are banned now Rolling Eyes (duckweed, elodea). I'm sure I can still get them, just a little bit more hassle I guess.

Quote:
(1) If you have an open-top aquarium, and some sunlight on it, try Cyprus Umbrella Sedge

Note: The plant can grow 2 meters tall, and aggressively take over your tank. I've been experimenting with plants in terracotta pots to see what effects they have in my re-purposed 55g. This plant is next, and I'm very excited about what it could mean for filtration.


Do you mean 2 feet?
But either way - tank isn't open-top and don't think it would work.

Quote:
(2) Another thing I've read is using hydroponic plants, but feed them aquarium water. You can grow some peace-lillies or philodendron to help suck up nitrates.


I guess that would work well, with right plant choice...but I want to keep it relatively simple Laughing

Quote:
(3) I'm currently growing Tiger Lotus in a terracotta pot, and allowing it to have floating leaves. It's now growing pretty vigorously and my Nitrate rate *appears* to be lower. (I've realized that statistical relevance with my nitrate test kit is impossible)


Would never have thought of Tiger Lotus - was under the impression it was quite difficult and a slow grower. Seem to hear mixed reports about them though. Out of the two I've got growing at the moment, one is under high lighting with CO2 and it is healthy, but definitely not growing 'vigorously' (might just need some more ferts though? not to keen on adding stuff for the plants in my breeding tanks though), and the other has no CO2 and under the standard LEDs that come with the new Fluval Edges (46L one) - it isn't going so well.

Quote:
(4) duckweed. It may seem a hassle having to remove this every time you do a water change, but it's like gold for low-tech tanks. The other great thing is that if you have other plants (especially emergent), the duckweed will die off once they take control of the nutrients. It's like a litmus test for how healthy your other plants are. Only my fluval edge still has duckweed, thanks to a constant lighting issue I have in the tank. Honestly though, that duckweed is what keeps that tank healthy without daily water changes.


Always comes back to duckweed Laughing

I might just see how I go - to be honest I don't think I'm really going to need them that much. I'll be doing daily water changes on the grow out tank - might as well do the main tank while I'm at it. This will obviously keep them down pretty low. At the moment I've got some swords in the tanks from older set ups - not really growing much or anything but look nice and make it more natural for them I guess Very Happy
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.20(Mon)4:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh? Duckweed isn't classified as a weed is it? It's native to Australia (incl NSW) last time I checked.

Either way, duckweed only wins out if you don't consider how annoying it is to remove and how it coats everything when you dip nets/hands etc in the tank. Otherwise, I would (and do) use Amazon frogbit - should be pretty easy to obtain.
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.20(Mon)5:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea if it's native or not. I was told shops aren't allowed to sell it. Maybe I'm just misinformed.

Yes it's the coating of everything which frustrates me with duckweed. Why Amazon frogbit? Guessing that one isn't banned.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.02.20(Mon)5:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frogbit is like mega-sized duckweed. Grows fast, but also looks attractive in a way that (IMO) water sprite, egeria etc don't. Very easy to remove too.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.20(Mon)6:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flame Angel wrote:

Quote:
(1) If you have an open-top aquarium, and some sunlight on it, try Cyprus Umbrella Sedge
..snip..

Do you mean 2 feet?
But either way - tank isn't open-top and don't think it would work.


Nope, I mean 2 meters. It grows fairly tall. It reminds me Cattail but without the bulb on the end.


Flame Angel wrote:

Would never have thought of Tiger Lotus - was under the impression it was quite difficult and a slow grower. Seem to hear mixed reports about them though. Out of the two I've got growing at the moment, one is under high lighting with CO2 and it is healthy, but definitely not growing 'vigorously' (might just need some more ferts though? not to keen on adding stuff for the plants in my breeding tanks though), and the other has no CO2 and under the standard LEDs that come with the new Fluval Edges (46L one) - it isn't going so well.


I have it in a (big) terracotta pot. Soil in the bottom, old substrate on top to cap the soil in. The natural nutrients in the soil really help it grow fast. After the first floating leaf, I get a new floating leaf every 3-7 days, faster if I prune some.

Another fast-grower I use is Cabomba. That stuff grows pretty fast if nutrients are available. It doubles in length every two weeks for me in my 55g. Note: This is a bare-bottom tank with terra cotta pots and a single T5NO. It's not a floater, so it's not quite as annoying as duckweed.

In any case, for bare-bottom tanks, I've had great success with terracotta pots so far. It's easy to move plants around and replace them, or experiment to find ones that work.

This whole discussions make me want to go get an accurate nitrate test kit so I can run some real experiments on these plants.
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