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New DIY Nitrate filter started om my 210 tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Equipment, Products, & DIY' started by CWO4GUNNER, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    All of my established tanks have a large established HOB nitrate filter hanging off the back. This is the first time I am hanging one off a sump facing the window of course. Amazing how sunlight out performs artificial lighting when it comes to plant growth. Below is a photo of my newly starting DIY nitrate filter hanging off the sump beneath my 210 tank. The photo is of the front and back with window light providing the glare. Note that I no longer use cartridge inserts but rather custom cut plastic craft canvas which give the roots something to attach to the plant takes hold, which also means no cleaning required, the plant roots do all the cleaning..
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    Below this today's photo of 1 of 6 established HOB nitrate filters that gets larger by the week with no help from me. Golden Pothos pulls the nitrates out so well that I cant see not having one on a fresh water tank anymore. Ill be doing additional water changes on my 210 tank until the plant gets established and large enough to start impact nitrate levels. About 1 to 2 months of growth.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. happypoet

    happypoet AC Members

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    Yep... My pothos have about doubled in size in the last month (though still much, much smaller than yours!), and I'm yet to get a Nitrate reading much over 5.
     
  3. WeedCali

    WeedCali Certified Dubhead

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    Holy crap Gunner that Pothos got huge!
     
  4. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    What is really wired about Pothos is that on tanks (2) where there is no across facing window light, I'm forced to use a 18W florescent grow bulb each night to supplement weaker indirect day-time room lighting. What is so weird about those plants is that the leaves are way fewer, the stems are 2x larger growing across the ceiling toward windows and the leaves are 4X larger like some kid of monster leaf amazon jungle plant.

    The secret to the growth is the fertile concentrated water flow across the roots provided by the HOB, all nutrients in the tank (nitrates, ammonia, nitrites, are brought to the roots of the plant automatically and bad bacteria is kept at bay by fresh non-stagnant water flow. People ask me how I do it becasue they cant even get their plants to grow out of a pot 1/10 as well. I tell them I do nothing but make sure the HOB keeps flowing. All debris caught by the roots is absorbed and converted to new plant growth. It is truly the missing link to low cost/ low energy nitrate filtration.
     
    #4 CWO4GUNNER, Sep 18, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  5. dundadundun

    dundadundun ;sup' dog? ;woof and a wwwoof!

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    certainly a versatile plant, that's for sure. filters are looking good, gunner.
     
  6. Keeshaw

    Keeshaw AC Members

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    THAT is something i never would have thuoght of. Gunner you are a Genius
     
  7. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    Actually I stole the idea from the tree hugers that use plants to help filter raw sewage. Normally hydroponics is quite complicated and requires precise liquid fertilizers to be added at a precise rate with lots of lighten required. I just applied the same idea using an extreme low-light amazon jungle plant "Pothos" and that the fish would provide the right quantities of fertilizers. Lo-and-behold it works. Although their are still a few people that say bare roots cant work without metered nutrients.
     
  8. Arembjorn

    Arembjorn AC Members

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    Well I'd have to say the proof is in the picture! It can work.
    I'm excited to try this, as my nitrates are quite high even with water changes. Great way to TRULY complete the biologic filter! I've always been depressed that the bio-filter leaves us with nitrates....

    Thanks for the post and pictures.
     
  9. jackiomy

    jackiomy Lover of Oddballs

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    Okay, now I am convinced. I am going to Home Depot tomorrow so I will pick up some Pothos. Thanks!
     
  10. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    I think HD is a bit pricey. I by mine at Lowe's as they have regular discount but normally I can buy a medium size hanging plant with lots of overflowing stocks for $6 and their variety to chose from is much bigger and better. After separating and cleaning the stocks, save the dirt and tiny stocks you will not be using and replant them using aquarium water to water them and they will grow for your next tank project although not nearly as well as the ones inside your HOB. Remember to tang the stocks to the wall with tiny finisher nails and dental floss with the root stocks in the HOB with no more then 1.5 inches of the stock submerged below the root line. In other words just like in soil the roots can be submerged but no too much of the stock. this is why you adjust the floss at the nail by just raping like tying up a boat line so you can make adjustments as the plant grows.

    Here is a pic of the same plant on the same tank when I first planted into my HOB.
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    BELOW PICS ARE HOW I DID IT
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    You will need a cheap waxed dental floss to hang the plants stocks inside and over the HOB reservoir and 1” finisher nails to secure the dental floss to the drywall and a small hammer to drive the nails into the drywall at a 20 degree angle.
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    Use a slip knot in the dental floss so that you can adjust the size of the look over the tallest leaf stock and so that the slip knot will self adjust as the plant grows not cutting off circulation. The dental floss should be long enough to reach the nail with plenty of slack to rap around the nail several times (NOT TIE) for later adjustment (shorten or lengthen ) as needed.
    [​IMG]
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