Aquarium Plants To Absorb Nitrates?

davidt39
  • #1
I am looking for aquarium plants that specifically absorb nitrates. I am cycling a 20 gallon tank for Crystal Red shrimp. My nitrates are higher than they should be — currently at 40. I am using RO water and just performed a 24% water change. I welcome any comments/suggestions.
 
ValerieAdams
  • #2
Well, while cycling it doesn't really matter how many nitrates are present as long as there isn't anything in the tank.

Are you only putting shrimp in the tank? I doubt they'll produce enough ammonia to get super high nitrates.

Anyway, plants that are fast growing will generally use nitrates up. Anacharis, hornwort, maybe ludwigia. Another option is to put pothos in your aquarium filter
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for your reply. I recently put a pothos plant on top of the aquarium. I don’t find the roots hanging in the aquarium very attractive so I was hoping to use an aquarium plant instead. I have been keeping a few Cherry Barbs in the tank just to get it to cycle. Are you suggesting that I put the pothos roots inside the filter? I’m using a rather small filter. Thanks.
 
ValerieAdams
  • #4
Thanks for your reply. I recently put a pothos plant on top of the aquarium. I don’t find the roots hanging in the aquarium very attractive so I was hoping to use an aquarium plant instead. I have been keeping a few Cherry Barbs in the tank just to get it to cycle. Are you suggesting that I put the pothos roots inside the filter? I’m using a rather small filter. Thanks.
I have my pothos roots in the filter, or you could run an additional empty filter to put them in or some kind of basket.
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I have my pothos roots in the filter, or you could run an additional empty filter to put them in or some kind of basket.
Thank you. Good idea.
 
PonzLL
  • #6
If it's just a shrimp tank, I assume you're probably using a sponge filter? Load that bad boy up with duckweed! You can put a divider on top to keep it at once side of the tank if you want.

I assume she meant hang the pothos out the top of the HOB filter. That's what I do. Some people use a pump to pull water out of the tank and run it through a long flowerpot or something, then back into the tank, then the fill the flowerpot with plants that suck up nitrates.

I agree that once you quit dosing ammonia and only your shrimp is producing waste, your nitrate will stop getting so high.
 
Colleen B
  • #8
I have a bunch of Pothos and I love it. However I found that soil based roots will die off and new (smaller) water based roots will grow in their place. It's great for nitrates and no ferts or co2 needed!
 
rainbowsprinkles
  • #9
It doesn't really matter what stage they remove nitrogen (ammonia, nitrates or nitrites) because removing any of them will affect the rate of nitrate formation. you just need something fast growing. Pothos works well, but only if it has a lot of light for fast growth. In my experience, building some denitrifiers into your tank works even better than plants. Though having both is recommended. add some lava rocks as decoration and some pumice stones in the filter. They have pores that are supposed to sustain the anaerobic bacteria that can turn nitrates into n gas. ive been experimenting with lava rocks and have had really good success. I have a 35 gallon goldfish pond outside with 2 fish and a lava rock substrate (home depot-sold for grills) and no filter - (some hornwort and wisteria and a bubbler) and after it cycled the water parameters have been perfect and stable ( about 1 month). I might actually remove some lava because my nitrates also crashed to 0 (along with the ammonia and nitrites) and I am shooting for 2-5ppm. I was surprised this worked because goldfish are way messier than shrimp.
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
If it's just a shrimp tank, I assume you're probably using a sponge filter? Load that bad boy up with duckweed! You can put a divider on top to keep it at once side of the tank if you want.

I assume she meant hang the pothos out the top of the HOB filter. That's what I do. Some people use a pump to pull water out of the tank and run it through a long flowerpot or something, then back into the tank, then the fill the flowerpot with plants that suck up nitrates.

I agree that once you quit dosing ammonia and only your shrimp is producing waste, your nitrate will stop getting so high.

I am using a Matten sponge filter and a very small HOB filter. I do have the pothos on top of the lid.

I am being very careful about the water parameters because I’ve lost a lot of shrimp in the past because I did not do so. I’ve read that nitrates need to be 5 - 10 for shrimp.

Thank you for your suggestions.

Hornwort
Anacharis
Amazon fogbit
Dwarf water lettuce
Duckweed
Red root floaters
Salvinia natans
Mosquito fern
Water wisteria

Emersed houseplants such as:
Pothos
Philodendron
Ficus pumila
Chinese evergreen
Lucky bamboo

Wow. Thanks for the long list. Just what I was looking for.
 
PonzLL
  • #11
You've lost a lot of shrimp in the past. Have you ever checked your KH and GH before? Also what temp is your tank? pH? Those 4 things are pretty important for shrimp from what I've researched in recently starting my own shrimp tank.
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
It doesn't really matter what stage they remove nitrogen (ammonia, nitrates or nitrites) because removing any of them will affect the rate of nitrate formation. you just need something fast growing. Pothos works well, but only if it has a lot of light for fast growth. In my experience, building some denitrifiers into your tank works even better than plants. Though having both is recommended. add some lava rocks as decoration and some pumice stones in the filter. They have pores that are supposed to sustain the anaerobic bacteria that can turn nitrates into n gas. ive been experimenting with lava rocks and have had really good success. I have a 35 gallon goldfish pond outside with 2 fish and a lava rock substrate (home depot-sold for grills) and no filter - (some hornwort and wisteria and a bubbler) and after it cycled the water parameters have been perfect and stable ( about 1 month). I might actually remove some lava because my nitrates also crashed to 0 (along with the ammonia and nitrites) and I am shooting for 2-5ppm. I was surprised this worked because goldfish are way messier than shrimp.

Adding the rock sounds like a great idea. Thank you for your suggestions.
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
You've lost a lot of shrimp in the past. Have you ever checked your KH and GH before? Also what temp is your tank? pH? Those 4 things are pretty important for shrimp from what I've researched in recently starting my own shrimp tank.

Water Parameters Recommended

GH 11dH 5-7
KH. 1 dH 0-2
pH 6.5 6.6-6.9
TDS 271 130-160
Temp 76 68-74

I am using RO water. My nitrates are 40. Recommended is 5-10.
Ammonia and nitrites are both 0.

I got all these recommendations from Rob At FlipAquatics.com

I intend to buy the Crystal Red shrimp from him once my tank is fully cycled.

[Recommended numbers are on the right.]
 
PonzLL
  • #14
Wow It looks like your're doing great, water wise. I think with the recommendations in here for plants, and regular monitoring and water changes when necessary, you'll have great luck this time!
 
davidt39
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Wow It looks like your're doing great, water wise. I think with the recommendations in here for plants, and regular monitoring and water changes when necessary, you'll have great luck this time!

Thanks for your help.
 

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