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Watering the aquarium plants.



 
 
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  #21  
Old April 6th 04, 10:49 AM
Michi Henning
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Cardman" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 13:41:35 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:


Well, you could try lots of plants,


I am giving that serious consideration, but then that enters a whole
new area of caring for plants as well. As until now I just have a
handful of plants and let them grow.

and slow filter.


What type?


I run two filters, an Eheim 2128 canister and an Eheim 2012
internal one. The canister is rumoured to contribute to nitrate
removal. Apparently, sintered glass contains enough small
pores for some anearobic bacteria to break down nitrates.
I personally don't know how much credibility this explanation
really has. But I know that other fishkeepers and some people
at my LFS who've been keeping fish for longer than I have
been alive confirm that slower filters are linked to lower nitrate
levels. For nitrate breakdown to happen, you need anaerobic
areas in the filter, so the slow filter theory makes sense at
least from that angle.

That will contribute
toward reducing nitrates. You also add a denitrification filter. From
what I hear, they are a bit finicky though -- the the flow rate too high
and they do nothing, and get it too low, and they put hydrogen sulfate
into the water. (H2S is toxic.) But such a filter may not be a bad choice
given that you have high nitrate levels in your tap water.


Yes, where I have already come to the conclusion that I will need to
add one of these to my shopping list in the near future. When high
Nitrate levels in the tap water is a new thing for me.


Aqua Medic make a rather nifty one. My LFS uses one of those for
a large marine tank. And he told me that you needn't buy the special
bio balls they sell you. Pure sulfur can be had cheaply from chemical
suppliers and does the job just as well.

Good at removing nitrates and not easily infected by algae.


Very true, when it is my third plant that I cannot identify that is
suffering some kind of black algae covering to it's leafs. I tried
cleaning this off the other day, but it is suck on there very well.


Sounds like black brush algae. See
http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/algae.htm
for some pictures.

I had a feeling that you would mention CO2. :-/


Naturally! :-)

I have a feeling that removing Nitrate from my water supply is my
current best method for keeping Nitrate levels under control. As I
still doubt that these plants will be able to fully deal with the
Nitrate production within this aquarium.


A reverse osmosis unit really might be a good way to go. They are not
that expensive -- around US $130.00 here in Australia, and they do
a perfect job of removing the nitrates (as well as all other salts).

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

  #22  
Old April 6th 04, 10:51 AM
Michi Henning
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Cardman" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 13:41:35 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

Another one you might want to consider is Vallisneria.


Actually, speaking of Vallisneria, then I was just wondering after
this mention how this plant reproduced.


Lateral shoots, as you discovered. They also get flowers. I've had
underwater male flowers on my vals a few times.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

  #23  
Old April 6th 04, 11:09 PM
Cardman
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 11:21:44 +1000, "Graham Broadbridge"
wrote:

"Cardman" wrote in message
.. .
I would say at a crude guess that my Nitrate levels increase by about
50ppm per week, which is why I cannot leave it for more than a couple
of weeks without a good water change, when algae growth is explosive
if I do not change the water in that time.


Wow, an increase of 50ppm per week nitrate is huge :-)


Well 7 well fed White Mollies who tend to do big long poos I am sure
explains most of this, but then I have had some plant decay as well.

Another problem is that my Power Head is blasting some of the food
straight down into the gravel. While I had some bottom dwelling
catfish this was not a problem and made for easy catfish feeding, but
this food is just extra Nitrate production these days.

I need new Catfish...

Still, my Golden Tiger Barb is helping out with this problem, when
during feeding time he locates himself at the bottom of the water
stream from the Power Head. And so he looks out for anything coming
downstream and soon has it eaten, but too much food at once has him
defeated.

Yes I could turn of my power head during feeding time, but well that
does require pulling out the plug.

My fish simply love my freeze dried Blood Worms, when some of my fish
do not even concern themselves over the usual flakes, but for these
Blood Worms they are all darting to the surface to get some.

I can see why that is, this being the most expensive in the freeze
dried food range. Damn fish think their royalty...

I am just wondering how they will like my live White Worms, when I
decided to give a live White Worm culture a shot. Seems to be doing
well so far, but another 5 weeks until fish feeding time.

Add lots of plants :-)


Yes, where I can only hope that this helps. Still, I will soon have
the White Mollies in the bigger aquarium once ready, where this will
spread out their mess somewhat.

I am sure that feeding my fish less would have them pooing less as
well, but too little feeding has its own problems.

The aim really is to balance the fish load with plant load
so hopefully the nitrate can be utilised by the plants.


And all those plants need a lot of care as well, or at minimum extra
equipment.

You can then spend time admiring the aquarium rather than slaving over it.


That would be nice, where I am left wondering if water changes can be
done much less frequently by keeping Nitrate levels in check.

I prefer to have a deficit of nitrate, so I can add it when necessary
together with other
nutrients. That sure beats excess nitrates and phosphates which lead to
excess algae.


I agree, but then a lot of my Nitrate problem is coming straight out
of the tap. As a weekly water change using Nitrate free water would
keep Nitrate levels around 25 to 50ppm.

Then of course extra plants would slow this rise further, or as I
would hope reverse it.

Sounds like you need some more fish, where my White Mollies make for a
good example of the type that would be good at Nitrate production.


No No No :-) Don't do it :-) Add nitrate by hand rather than adding fish.


As long as the Nitrate level is still in decline, then I do not see a
problem, when it will just mean less Nitrate needs to be added.

If you add fish you can end up with a extremely finely balanced system where
a single nutrient deficiency can result in an algal bloom.


Regular water quality testing would avoid that, where steps like less
feeding would help bring things back in line.

Only my opinion of course, but I like to keep the tank under *my* control,
rather than attempting to correct imbalances caused by excess fish load.


Just remember that aquariums are for fish, where if you want to grow a
few weeds, then I will give you a pot of soil. ;-]

So plants are nothing more to me than with creating better water
quality for my fish, where to be honest, then as plants go most of
these look damned ugly.

And so for real plants, then get a big pot and a few simple sunflower
seeds. ;-]

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #24  
Old April 7th 04, 12:13 AM
Cardman
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 09:49:36 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

"Cardman" wrote in message
.. .
On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 13:41:35 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

and slow filter.


What type?


I run two filters, an Eheim 2128 canister and an Eheim 2012
internal one.


Nice idea, when everyone should use at least a twin filter system.

The canister is rumoured to contribute to nitrate
removal. Apparently, sintered glass contains enough small
pores for some anearobic bacteria to break down nitrates.


I will have to look into that then.

Currently I have been looking into getting yet more equipment for my
two new aquariums, where I was very close to buying two more
undergravel filters and powerheads, then I changed my mind.

As I was looking into how you can put sand and an undergravel filter
together, where my solution was to get a short undergravel filter,
then to put the sand in the remaining 1/3rd.

Then I came across the good and the bad points for undergravel
filters, where although most of these do not apply to my system, but
there is the point about plants.

As of course it is harder to care for plants when almost everything is
being sucked away. So I began looking into other filter choices, where
an external power cannister filter seems most popular.

And so after looking around I am very tempted to buy the Fluval 304
external cannister power filter, which for this model can handle 710
litres an hour.

Tons more than what I would need for this aquarium, but increased
water throughput can keep the substrate in better shape.

My only bad view towards this is that it seems little more than a
glorified external sponge filter with a few extras at like 10 times
the price.

On the plus side, then it would allow extra room for more substrate
for the plants, then extra water for the fish.

I personally don't know how much credibility this explanation
really has. But I know that other fishkeepers and some people
at my LFS who've been keeping fish for longer than I have
been alive confirm that slower filters are linked to lower nitrate
levels.


All I have seen so far are the power filters, but I will certainly
look into the slower type. Although being so slow I wonder how they
can do a good suction job in the first place.

Maybe they don't produce so much Nitrates due to simply being bad at
the Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate cycle. Messy tanks in other words.

For nitrate breakdown to happen, you need anaerobic
areas in the filter, so the slow filter theory makes sense at
least from that angle.


This is going to need quite some research, when I can see
disadvantages to a slow filter system as well.

Aqua Medic make a rather nifty one. My LFS uses one of those for
a large marine tank. And he told me that you needn't buy the special
bio balls they sell you. Pure sulfur can be had cheaply from chemical
suppliers and does the job just as well.


Yes, I can see why.

Sounds like black brush algae. See
http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/algae.htm
for some pictures.


Seems that I have at least 4 kinds of algae in my tank, what with that
Black Algae on those leafs, then my glass is effected by Brown Algae,
where I have a slimy Dark Green Algae on my petrified wood, where last
of all the long strangly Lighter Green Algae on the plants.

My water also has a very light green tint, but this is not a problem.

I see the recommended solution for my Black Algae is leaf removal,
which causes me a problem, when this plant has very few leafs to begin
with.

Still, maybe this algae could explain the death of these leafs, where
maybe this even came with the plant.

I will look into it, when I expect that this plant can live without
leaves for the short that before it grows more.

A reverse osmosis unit really might be a good way to go. They are not
that expensive -- around US $130.00 here in Australia, and they do
a perfect job of removing the nitrates (as well as all other salts).


I will take a look around, when apart from doing a good job, then this
is a question of price.

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #25  
Old April 7th 04, 01:13 AM
Cardman
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Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 11:09:42 +1000, "Graham Broadbridge"
wrote:

I've had very little success with denitrification filters. About 10 years
ago I tried a sera denitrator and that failed dismally - although that may
have been because I didn't understand the process and my flow rate was probably
too high.

Recently I tried a home brew filter using around 50 metres of tubing, but I
couldn't get the flow rate correct to maintain an anaerobic culture. It just
clogged up.

Best bet to reduce nitrate levels are lots of adequately fertilised plants
and water changes.

Even that has it's challenges :-)


I have been thinking about a better system to reduce Nitrate levels,
when I doubt that anything can work better than a pre-filter.

What I mean is that waste material could be collected and separated
before it could go through the Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate cycle.

Hence collect the fish poo and other waste, then it won't break down
into the end product of Nitrate.

Now I am wondering how it is possible to do that beyond very good
filtration and manual cleaning. I guess having easier cleaning would
be a start.

Ideas?

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #26  
Old April 7th 04, 03:25 AM
Cardman
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 00:13:14 +0100, Cardman
wrote:

On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 09:49:36 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

The canister is rumoured to contribute to nitrate
removal. Apparently, sintered glass contains enough small
pores for some anearobic bacteria to break down nitrates.


I will have to look into that then.


And that I did.

So anaerobic bacteria can be used to create a further step in this
cycle, which will convert Nitrates input to Nitrogen output.

Very nice, but I doubt that a general slow filter is good enough, for
reasons that I will soon explain.

As anaerobic of course means without oxygen, which is why you will
only get these bacteria living where there is no oxygen. And the
common way of doing that is to have other bacteria using up all the
oxygen first.

And that oxygen using bacteria is of course the same one that turns
Nitrites into Nitrates and even this fish poo into Nitrites.

So in order to get your anaerobic bacteria you need a very slow filter
that has time to use up all the oxygen. And the simplest way to do
that is just to use a long (like 20 foot) narrow (like 1/4") flexible
pvc tube with a flow control on one end. Not of course to forget a low
pressure pump in order to get it in there in the first place.

Make sure that the flow is slow enough (1 to 4 gallons an hour is
recommended) by using a simple flow controller (found in most DIY
stores) and some of the tube would contain your oxygen eating
bacteria, while the rest of the tube would contain your anaerobic
bacteria.

From this information we can see that the longer your tube is the
faster the flow rate can be, where no Nitrate reducing results means
to slow down the flow rate or to use a longer tube.

People who have already made their own de-nitrator filter using a 17
and 20 foot tube have reported that 3 mg/l of Nitrates can be turned
into Nitrogen each and every hour.

Or as I just read one person used a 75 foot long tube and recorded a
Nitrate level on the output end of 5ppm less than the normal aquarium
level. Although at just 2 gallons an hour I expect that he should
increase his flow rate.

The only thing to watch out for this that this anaerobic bacteria will
also turn Nitrates back into Nitrites, which means that the output of
this tube should ideally be fed into the input of another filter. So
that these Nitrites can be converted back once more to Nitrates.

So even at my 100 ppm level of Nitrates, then this can be reduced to
very low levels in under 2 days. Naturally, it will take weeks for
your bacteria to just started fully in your tube, but that is one good
method for removing lots of Nitrates.

Kind of good if you want to have lots of fish in your tank, where the
only problem is keeping Nitrate levels high enough for the plants. And
well this de-nitrator tube won't quite remove all of it, when the
water moves so slowly.

Since I plan to use a high speed external cannister type filter on my
larger aquarium at least, then I could attach such a device with the
input as a branch off the output of this external filter. And then the
output from this tube can be linked into the input of this external
filter.

So something that I could certainly get around to, when this would do
a much better Nitrate reduction job than what many plants would.

I am just wondering who sells an already assembled kit with
instructions, when that saves the pain of if you get some aspect
wrong.

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #27  
Old April 8th 04, 05:38 AM
Graham Broadbridge
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Cardman" wrote in message
...

I am just wondering who sells an already assembled kit with
instructions, when that saves the pain of if you get some aspect
wrong.


Sera used to make a bio-denitrator - maybe they still do. I had to feed it
their Bio-NIP tablets daily.

I had no success with it and threw it into the garbage years ago - but that
was probably due to me not understanding the process involved with removing
nitrates more than an error in their design. I seem to recall increasing
the flow rate when it wasn't working to my satisfaction :-)

Graham.


  #28  
Old April 8th 04, 05:47 AM
Graham Broadbridge
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Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Cardman" wrote in message
...
On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 11:09:42 +1000, "Graham Broadbridge"
wrote:

I have been thinking about a better system to reduce Nitrate levels,
when I doubt that anything can work better than a pre-filter.

What I mean is that waste material could be collected and separated
before it could go through the Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate cycle.

Hence collect the fish poo and other waste, then it won't break down
into the end product of Nitrate.


Go back to nature :-) Plants are much happier using Ammonia as a food
source rather then Nitrates. Even Ammonium is more easily harvested by
plants than Nitrates. The only reason we use NO3 as fertiliser for
aquariums is that NH3/NH4 is so toxic to fish.

In some well lit and well fertilised tanks, plants use the Ammonia generated
by fish directly, without conversion to nitrates first.

Regards
Graham.






Now I am wondering how it is possible to do that beyond very good
filtration and manual cleaning. I guess having easier cleaning would
be a start.

Ideas?

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk



  #29  
Old April 11th 04, 04:00 AM
Robert Flory
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Default Watering the aquarium plants.


"Cardman" wrote in message
...
SNIP

What I mean is that waste material could be collected and separated
before it could go through the Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate cycle.

Hence collect the fish poo and other waste, then it won't break down
into the end product of Nitrate.

Now I am wondering how it is possible to do that beyond very good
filtration and manual cleaning. I guess having easier cleaning would
be a start.

Ideas?

Cardman
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk


Try a sump with lots of plants if you don't want plants in the tank. Plants
take up the ammonia directly. That is why most heavily planted tanks are
nitrate limited.
Bob


  #30  
Old April 11th 04, 04:02 AM
Robert Flory
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Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

search the APD archives at
http://fins.actwin.com/

bob
"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...
"Graham Broadbridge" wrote in message
u...
"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...

BTW -- you should try to get those nitrate levels down. 100ppm is
definitely on the very high side where it will be toxic for at least

some
fish species. Adding lots more plants will help in reducing nitrate
levels.


At 100 ppm NO3 there is some evidence that plants themselves shut down

at
normal (0.05 - 0.1 ppm) Fe and trace levels.


Ah, I didn't know that, thanks! Do you have any links?

Cheers,

Michi.
--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com



 




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