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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

So, I know very little about planted tanks. The most I've done successfully is toss in a few aponogetton and lily bulbs that eventually grew.

What I wanted to ask today is I'm wondering if there is some kind of vegetable I can get at a grocery store that can be used to lower nitrates and live either in a hang-on filter and maybe stick out a little, or live entirely submerged in water within the aquarium?

Any ideas? I've also tried watercress (from seeds) with no success what so ever.

Thanks.
 

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Hi,

So, I know very little about planted tanks. The most I've done successfully is toss in a few aponogetton and lily bulbs that eventually grew.

What I wanted to ask today is I'm wondering if there is some kind of vegetable I can get at a grocery store that can be used to lower nitrates and live either in a hang-on filter and maybe stick out a little, or live entirely submerged in water within the aquarium?

Any ideas? I've also tried watercress (from seeds) with no success what so ever.

Thanks.
Interesting topic and I'm hoping some more people get involved in this.

I don't know that I've heard of anyone using vegetables either way. If I can just use supermarkets I think I recall people growing herbs in planted HOBs, don't remember what kind though. That was in addition to the usual suspects like wandering jew.

I know of two herbs you might be able to find at some Asian markets that I've seen people keeping submerged. Persicaria odorata (Vietnamese coriander) and there is also apparently a form of Limnophila aromatica with 3 leaves at each node instead of the usual 2 being sold in those places.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There's no Asian markets around where I live and I don't know if those plants would be hard to find at a major grocery store chain.

I'm considering rice since I know that is grown in flood conditions, and maybe onions. I know there's aquatic onions that I can buy, but I don't know if the ones at the grocery store are completely different. I might also consider retrying watercress if I find some big plants.
 

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Those no Asian markets around here either, but if I wanted an aquarium plant it is an easy thing to find online.

Aquatic onions are Crinum thaianum. Totally different thing as far as I know.

Is the goal just to get some cool plants? Or are you trying to lower nitrates?
 

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Floaters would be your friend then. They are nitrate hogs and most are incredibly easy. Light is seldom an issue for them since they are so close to it.

Are you having a nitrate problem in between water changes?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The nitrate problem is under control, but is due to several reasons. The primary is that the tank is overcrowded. I just want to get the nitrate level around 20ppm or less. I do water changes (weekly) and have some aquatic plants already, plus I have nitrate reducing pads. Those are just collectively so expensive for me, I need a cheaper solution and long-term.
 

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I concur with BWG, floating plants are the way to go! Frogbit and water sprite are both GREAT at reducing nitrates, although they won't eliminate the problem if it's stemming from over crowding. You may also want to up the size of your water changes, depending. How large are you doing? A 50% would be what I would do, each week.

I'm not sure of any plants from a supermarket that would live submerged, but I'm positive that there are lots that could do well riparium style! (hanging in baskets on the back of the tank)

Rice may also work.

Some grocery stores also have a garden section, does yours? Many plants sold as 'house plants' do great riparium style.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found some hydroponic articles talking about growing celery and lettuce in a few inches of water. So, perhaps I could float a basket or stick some in the hang on filter. I have some ideas now. Just gotta make a trip to the store and try some out. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If anyone is interested, I found some huge organic watercress with roots and even had the dirt still attached! I just chucked it in the tank and the fish swarmed it. It's right up to the lights floating. I'll consider repositioning it later over the weekend, but looks good so far. I also looked around online and found some articles mentioning that I should grow long-grain brown rice. So, I found some of that in seed form and I also found something that said mixed rice. It's got a bunch of different kinds of rice seeds, super expensive though at $5/lb. I only got a tiny bit, but that's like a few hundred seeds that hopefully something will grow.
 
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