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QldMick

Sweet potato aquarium grow

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Ok seen a few of these on the net I'm going to track progress of my sweet potato aquarium grow.

Never done this so its a bit of an experiment for me. The purpose of doing this is to reduce nitrates.

I'm on water restriction out west here with our dam level on 12%, I try and limit the water changes that I make.

I'm currently cleaning my canisters and do a 50-60% water change every 2-3 months. I tested my water today and had 160pmm.

The sweet potato went in this Friday the 22/05/20, lets see how they go.

 

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Definitively post up your results please. You might want to measure pH too as this can affect your nitrate reading and unfortunately high nitrate tends to lower pH. 

I'm going to do similar with climbing ivy because I need a lot of plant mass with only a small filter surface area. I'll use a vertical trellis to maximise space. Just need to get the filter area built. Only the filter will be outside. 

I've also heard papyrus is great as nitrate sponge too. You might be able to sell the excess growth as potted papyrus.  

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I'm very interested in this experiment also.  In particular the impact on nitrogen removal, so I hope you find some results there Mick!

The climbing ivy is also interesting - and something Her Ladyship will appreciate more, seeing as the tanks are in the living room!  Anything that can reduce the water changes is a good thing in my book.

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On 26/05/2020 at 8:00 PM, aquaholic99 said:

Definitively post up your results please. You might want to measure pH too as this can affect your nitrate reading and unfortunately high nitrate tends to lower pH. 

I'm going to do similar with climbing ivy because I need a lot of plant mass with only a small filter surface area. I'll use a vertical trellis to maximise space. Just need to get the filter area built. Only the filter will be outside. 

I've also heard papyrus is great as nitrate sponge too. You might be able to sell the excess growth as potted papyrus.  

Hi I got a bit worried after I read your post about pH, I measured mine and it was 7, a little low for Africans so I decided to do water change/filter clean.

So I measured using a new api masters test kit before the water change pH - 7, Nitrate - 160.

I did a 70% water change and tested again, pH - 7.2, Nitrate 35, I checked yesterday after the water change and again today and got the same test results. 

Was expecting the nitrate to be slightly higher but maybe changed a bit more of water or the before water change level was slightly lower than it appeared.

On a good note my filter, this clean and last, since using NLS Probiotix, my filter has been noticeably cleaner, one of the claims of the NLS probiotic diet.

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A guy did a version of a dirted tank with sweet potato as a filter.  the whole project is up on youtube (if link doesn't work, search Foo the Flowerhorn sweet potato).  From memory, it was pretty effective and the roots were amazing (he had wild betta so heavy root system was great coverage), but the sweet potato disintegrated after a while.  So possibly worth replacing the potato (but then you might have swings while you wait for new roots to establish) from time to time?  Or having a few in at varying times to be able to rotate through the mushy ones?

Keen to hear how it goes.

 

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51 minutes ago, FighterFishClub said:

A guy did a version of a dirted tank with sweet potato as a filter.  the whole project is up on youtube (if link doesn't work, search Foo the Flowerhorn sweet potato).  From memory, it was pretty effective and the roots were amazing (he had wild betta so heavy root system was great coverage), but the sweet potato disintegrated after a while.  So possibly worth replacing the potato (but then you might have swings while you wait for new roots to establish) from time to time?  Or having a few in at varying times to be able to rotate through the mushy ones?

Keen to hear how it goes.

 

I've read that after a while the sweet potatoes start to rot, but once you have the plants growing you can just take cuttings from them and they'll root.

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A little set back, somethings been eating the roots. They still have roots inside the pots and I'm hoping they'll grow more than be eaten.

 

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On 28/05/2020 at 7:23 AM, MFF said:

I'm very interested in this experiment also.  In particular the impact on nitrogen removal, so I hope you find some results there Mick!

The climbing ivy is also interesting - and something Her Ladyship will appreciate more, seeing as the tanks are in the living room!  Anything that can reduce the water changes is a good thing in my book.

I think reducing nitrate (and water change) would interest everyone. I'm told the next world war will be over water shortages.

The best way to monitor improvement would be to have a similar tank running without any plants alongside this one for measured comparison. But if the difference is large enough, you may still be able to compare this tank to last year's memory for tank maintenance?

I have tried denitrators in the past but never measured nitrate. The simplest was finding a 500M roll of black 4mm irrigation polytube I previously bought for constant drip water changes. I put a very slow flow of water through this roll which went back into the sump. In theory the oxygen would strip out and de-nitrification would occur. I used this for 2 - 3 years until I needed the polytube for a fish room expansion. Don't really know if it made much difference.

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Good to see something happening.  Have you measured nitrates before you started this experiment?

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Update.

the first to shoot,

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Second, looks like its searching for light.

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Ditched the slowest trying out a couple of willow cuttings instead, already rooting and shooting leaves.

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Nitrate looks around 60, I can't really judge 40-160, very well.

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Nice progress!  That nitrate test seems off.  Even in heavily planted tanks, you always measure something - as you are clearly aware.  My discus tank - which is only moderately heavy planted - still reads 10-15 typically, much lower than the other tanks (around 30-40) but not zero.

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I'm gonna retest this one now and and my 6ft(which tested at 60 nitrate after a water change), see if one tests for nitrates and the other doesn't.

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Got a bit of a trim. Pothos has shot a new leaf, I'm not even sure if it has any roots. Took a few cutting of the sweet potato and put them in to see if they'll grow too.

 

 

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