09-29-2007, 05:16 PM
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Re: Using the Aquaripure with a freshwater planted tank
Actually, I use the Aquaripure on my 29 gallon freshwater planted tank as well as my reef tank and it works great. Of course it works great with both freshwater and marine fish only tanks as well. My nitrates in my planted tank are zero AND my plant growth is great. There seems to be enough ambient organic matter and trace nitrates for the plants to use and I add a little fertilizer with nitrogen in it once a week.
The Aquaripure denitrator will break down organic matter and nitrates in the aquarium but it does so relatively slowly and gradually. It is not instantaneous so added nitrates will remain in the aquarium just long enough to be utilized by the plants. This way you can carefully control the exact level of nitrogen in the aquarium for optimal plant growth while at the same time preventing unwanted algae. To see a picture of Aquaripure's own planted aquarium go to http://www.aquaripure.com/pictures.htm
There is one other important consideration in using the Aquaripure system in a freshwater planted aquarium and that is water flow. Some freshwater planted aquarists advocate greatly reducing water flow and CO2 injection to artificially increase CO2 levels in the tank. While this does increase plant growth, it is a delicate balance to make sure the fish in the aquarium have enough oxygen. Aquaripure advocates adequate water flow and aeration in all aquariums. With adequate water flow and aeration in a planted aquarium natural optimal oxygen and CO2 levels are maintained at all times. The only other thing you need to do is fertilize and check pH once a week. The desired pH can be maintained using baking soda. CO2 fertilization is not necessary as all freshwater plants will grow in natural CO2 levels. I have to trim my plants at least every other week as it is.
If the Aquaripure system is used in a tank with low water flow and CO2 fertilization then care must be taken to ensure that the effluent from the denitrator is thoroughly aerated before being introduced into the tank. This can be achieved by trickling the outflow through a bag of activated carbon. This can be done in an under aquarium or hang on back sump system. Letting the effluent flow through the activated carbon will aerate the effluent while still maintaining the increased CO2 in the tank itself. This step is only necessary in aquariums with very low water flow.