Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ginagv 12-09-2010 05:10 PM

Live plants and Nitrates
This weekend Im going out to get some more live plants to help with bringing down my nitrate levels.. I was needing something extremely forgiving and easy to grow.

After doing some reading I see there are a few that might be good.

Would Water Sprite be good at helping to control the nitrates?

Im open to any suggestions, of course.. I think, just for ease of maintainence that floating or stem plants would be the way to go, since I like to get in there once a week a give the gravel a good vacuuming.


Mikaila31 12-09-2010 06:17 PM

What are your nitrate levels? I am guessing they won't have a noticeable effect, at least not on exsisting nitrate levels.

zof 12-09-2010 08:23 PM

I'm not to sure that Water Sprite will grow fast enough to remove enough nitrates, if you want plants for purely nitrate control then fast growing ones like hornswort and duckweed are under my top recommended. Anacharis is also good but nothing in my opinion beats my first two recommendations, in fact duckweed grows so well most people try to keep it out of their tanks, as if you don't remove half of it weekly the surface of your water will be covered in nothing but.

I remove some duckweed out of my tanks 1-2 times weekly and the hornswort I cut back every week at water changes.

ginagv 12-09-2010 09:10 PM

when I measured it last, my nitrates were at 40... and this was 2-3 days after a 50% water change.

Gonna head out to the store now and see what I can pick up.

Thank you all for your help and advise...


Mikaila31 12-09-2010 09:32 PM

Yep thats my nitrate level in my big tank and there are pounds of plants in there! Twice as high as the tap lol. Fish don't care.

redchigh 12-10-2010 10:23 AM

Duckweed, water lettuce, and other floating plants that recieve atmosperic air will be best.

Second to those, any stem plant left floating will work, particularly anarchis, water sprite, hornwort, or hygrophila difformis.

ginagv 12-10-2010 10:41 AM

well I wound up getting a bunch of anachris last night. This weekend I will go to a different store and see what they have. So I shouldn't put the stems in the gravel and just let them float freely?

Last night was sort of an emergency run as my heater decided to go nuts and stay on the night before and raise the water temp up... caught it in time though..

can anyone recommend a good brand? Im tired of having a heater I can't trust... :-(


redchigh 12-10-2010 11:01 AM

I use tetra, I've never had a problem. (Other than the fact I can't change the temp)

You can bury the anarchis, but in my experience it will never root anyway. Just let it float.

Byron 12-11-2010 02:24 PM

On heaters, don't try to "save money." No single piece of equipment in an aquarium is as important as the heater; a malfunction either way (no heat or over heat) can kill fish overnight.

Buy the best you can afford, and the higher wattage. Higher wattage heaters have to work less to do the job so they last longer and are less likely to malfunction. I don't see the tank size mentioned, but having two is another way to preserve the heater as two work less time than one. In anything under a 3-foot tank, say 30-40 gallons, one 150w or 200w heater works best. In larger tanks, two 150w or 200w (or higher if very large tank) are better, one at either end and preferably next to the filter outflow and intake.

I have a 150w in my 10g and it works like a charm. My 20g has a 200w as does my 33g. I have had 3 or 4 50w heaters fail in these tanks, but never the higher wattage and they keep the water temp much more stable.


ginagv 12-11-2010 03:21 PM

We wound up with a Fluval. I like it very much, and its working well.



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