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post #1 of 21 Old 03-19-2011, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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plants-filter equivalent

I have the following plants:
Is there any way to estimate how much ammonia they likely use? Is it okay to let the top of the Val float on the water instead of trimming it off?

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 02:52 AM
you can only judge that through experimenting. Plants don't consume a set amount of ammonia just like people don't consume a set amount of food. Generally though the faster a plant is growing the more nutrients it uptakes.

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post #3 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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An ammonia strip test would be detailed enough to tell me if the level was safe or not wouldn't it?

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 05:50 AM
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An ammonia strip test would be detailed enough to tell me if the level was safe or not wouldn't it?
Just about anyone on the forum (including me) would recomend you use API Liquid Test Kits. They are alot cheaper than the test strips and are far more accurate.

Yes, you can pay attention to your tox levels to see when you need to make a water change. Try to keep your levels down. Don't stock the tank much more than you would a planted one, though.

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post #5 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 11:17 AM
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Just about anyone on the forum (including me) would recomend you use API Liquid Test Kits. They are alot cheaper than the test strips and are far more accurate.

Yes, you can pay attention to your tox levels to see when you need to make a water change. Try to keep your levels down. Don't stock the tank much more than you would a planted one, though.
they are more expensive initially but last longer and are more accurate. I had test strips and they said my pH was 6 but the api test says 7.4. I was baffled I found this out and slightly angry that fish people make a produt that does not work right!!!!!!!!!!

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post #6 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 11:30 AM
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Is it okay to let the top of the Val float on the water instead of trimming it off?
Not a problem as long as the plants below don't get shaded too much.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 11:39 AM
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Not a problem as long as the plants below don't get shaded too much.
+1

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 01:15 PM
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Is there any way to estimate how much ammonia they likely use?
I recently asked this same question over at Aquatic Gardeners. As Mikaila said, faster-growing plants will require more nutrients of which nitrogen (ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate) is a macro and it will be assimilated in proportion to their growth rate. Aquatic plants contain roughly 3% nitrogen (dry weight) though this varies with species. Beyond what they assimilate as nutrients (which will of course be in proportion to other nutrient availability plus light), plants may use ammonia up to 5-6% of their dry weight. Tom Barr, who is a trained botanist, mentioned ammonia being taken up at a level of .5 to 1.0 ppm per day if CO2 is being added along with significant water changes. Plants can detoxify ammonia by internally converting it with animo acids, but this apparently requires more CO2 so this would likely limit the uptake.

The end result is that in a balanced system, ammonia from the fish and substrate bacteria plus any that would be introduced from tap water during water changes is not likely to be in excess of what the system including the plants can handle. Ammonia detoxifiers (such as in a water conditioner) at water changes if ammonia is present in the source water would offset the initial increase and the system (bacteria and plants) would handle it from there.

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Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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I'll be adding neon tetras to my betta tank (Yes I know there are criticisms against it, but I have somewhere else they can go). I was hoping the plants would be enough to offset the ammonia so that I could add a few cories too.. According to the aqadvisor calculator I would be at 108% with no filter if I added neons and cories. As soon as I can get cooperation I'll be using someone elses old air pump to make a sponge filter.

The Jungle Val is just a single plant with maybe half a dozen leaves so far but its at least two feet tall. My light won't exactly be above my tank but more in front of it. Is that okay too?

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-20-2011, 08:52 PM
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I think someone with more experience with natural tanks needs to answer the post above. My recommendation, particularly with no filter, is to increase any tank biomass, really, really, slowly. What size tank? Aqadvisor is helpful, but you still need to crank in some interpretation.

Most male bettas will respond very strongly to color, not necessarily the size of the fish, so I'm betting the neons won't work well long-term.

If you trim your Val, it will likely encourage the plant to spread a little more rapidly. Putting the light toward the front of the tank will encourage the plants to bias their growth in that direction. If front-back depth in your tank is small, you may not even notice.
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