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Discussion Starter #1
So I got this idea when I went to the Seattle zoo. (they recycle the water from their penguin exhibit)

I'm gonna use one of my spare tanks (prob 33g) and put a bunch of potted household plants in it. The idea is to put my old tank water from some of my tanks into this and have the plants eat up all the nitrates/nitrite/etc and then put it back into the tank when I do a water change.

I'll post some pics when I start the project.

What I want to know is where can I get:
- Golden pothos
- Umbrella Papyrus
- lucky bamboo
- Echinodorus grandiflorus

All of these plants can be grown with their roots submerged.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm planning on filling the whole tank with the water and make part of the tank have an elevated platform to place all the plants on.

Thanks, I'll look for lucky bamboo at T&T tomorrow!

If this idea eats up the toxic material quickly I might even take down my 75 to do this and get a new tank :D
 

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jkam you from surrey. if you are, go to the T&T near guildford mall. inside the T&T, there's a food court. across from the BALE vietnamese sandwich store is a store selling potted plants. i know they sell dirt cheap lucky bamboos for like $2 or $3 for a bunch of stocks!

i remember now b/c i was going to pick some up as decor in the office.

let me know if you're able to find it.
 

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Sorry just to confirm but your going to put the recycled water back into your fish tank?

I'm not sure if I would recommend that, seems like it could cause trouble with your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry just to confirm but your going to put the recycled water back into your fish tank?

I'm not sure if I would recommend that, seems like it could cause trouble with your fish.
yes that's correct. Why would it cause trouble with my fish? It's pretty much the natural cycle of water. Care to explain?

From what I know it goes like this
1. animals eat and poo
2. poo turns into plant food (in this case poo gets diluted in the water)
3. plants use up the "poo/toxins" (nitrates, ammonia etc)
4. no more toxins

The reason why people change water is to rid the aquarium water of toxins. I'm just recycling the water to be more eco-friendly.
 

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when i used to live on planted tank they had quite a few die hard low tech members who'd have awesome looking tanks, no water changes (or like 1 every 6 months) and little maintnence at all. The only downside was a bit of detritis build up, but they limited their tank stock so much it wasn't much of an issue.
 

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My wife and I have discussed this, her idea was to filter it first, then detoxify it. The idea is a good one, I'm sure that if we all put our heads together we can figure something out. The trick is to find an inexpensive way to clean the water.

Keep notes, I'm interested in working on this project.

Steve
 

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I've heard of this being done before. Actually it seems to be catching on quite a bit. But generally the purpose is the other way. People grow vegetables using hydroponics/aquariums so that the fish poo feed the plants.... here's an article from google: Aquaponics: Combination of hydroponics and fish farming produces food, water and a sustainable future | Earth Odyssey Magazine

I like your idea, but i personally would still keep your filter running (or put a filter inline with the system). If there is a sudden nitrate/nitrite/ammonia spike the plants might not be able to react fast enough, where as the bacteria in the filter would. And the bacteria in the filter will increase/decrease as necessary (i.e. by how much food there is available to them). You should totally grow veggies or herbs though! (Hydroponic Herb Garden)

Also, i believe the trick is to have a variety of plants. Each plant has a different function (like remove excess iron, remove excess salt etc). I don't know how the GH/KH is affected by this method though... you might want to keep an eye out for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I like your idea, but i personally would still keep your filter running (or put a filter inline with the system). If there is a sudden nitrate/nitrite/ammonia spike the plants might not be able to react fast enough, where as the bacteria in the filter would.
I'm not replacing my filters, just recycling the water. All my tanks will still have their filters, just when I do a water change, the water goes into the "recycling" tank.

heres a link to a related thread elsewhere i found on google, mentions alot of good plants you might try
Plant to absorb nitrates? [Archive] - Aquaria Central
another
Which aquatic plants absorb nitrate most?
I also found a link of plants that grow very quickly, thus absorbing lots of toxic material. I just need to find out where to get them now. The plants are posted in the first post.
 

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This is all kinds of cool. I saw a pond journal a few months ago that ran in a very similar, but automated, fashion. I'm sure a lot of ponds work like this, but it's still an awesome journal:

Erik's Swimming Pool to Koi Pond Conversion

But I do wonder what the final cost/benefit will add up to be for you. How large are your typical water changes? How often do you do them?

If I were to go this route (I change my 72 gallon, maybe %30, less than once a month) I'd probably just store the used water in a sistern or barrel, and feed my plants with it instead of the typical tapwater. In that case, the water is essentially "recycled" and lost to plant growth/evaporation.

Of course, this kind of kills the idea of a 'closed loop' that I think is the really interesting goal here. But still quite eco friendly.
 

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I used different plants, but my tilapia pond was filtered primarily by plants. it works really well- not only does it filter water but is beneficial to your set-up in other ways, such as fostering the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
But I do wonder what the final cost/benefit will add up to be for you. How large are your typical water changes? How often do you do them?
In total about 100gallons. I do them once a week. I'll probably only try this out for about 50 gallons first and then possibly do it for all my tanks if its not that much more work.
 

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Wow, a lot of turnover in your house! How many tanks have you got?

Man. I need to get out of my rinkydink aparment and get a place with a yard. I could have such a wicked garden if I reused all my fish water!

Good luck.... I can't wait to see how this works out.
 
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