How Much Do Aquarium Plants Filter?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by wapooshe, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. wapoosheValued MemberMember

    Really weird question and I don't really expect anyone to know. But, does anyone know how many gph estimated an aquarium plant can filter? Let's say amazon sword plants since i plan on getting those.

  2. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    They don't really filter anything. They do however remove some nitrates and oxygenate your water.

  3. wapoosheValued MemberMember


  4. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Which begs the question "How much nitrate do they really convert?" Planting my tank heavily hoping it is actually significant. Oxygen production seems insignificant. That's too easy to provide in the filtering process.
  5. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    My nitrite readings are 5 ppm. Sometimes I get a reading of 0. Before planting my tank the lowest nitrate reading I had was 10.
  6. AsterWell Known MemberMember

    There's no definite answer to how much nitrate plants convert. There's so many variables like lighting, type of plant, CO2, other nutrients available, etc.

    Higher lighting, CO2, and sufficient amounts of other nutrients will let photosynthesis happen more, and the plants will take in more nitrate. However, if lighting, CO2, or other nutrients are limited, it won't be able to photosynthesize as much and use as much nitrate.

    Faster growing plants such as hornwort (they need more nitrates to support their growth) and floating plants like duckweed (abundant supply of CO2 since they're on the surface) will take in more nitrates as well.

    You're right, oxygen production is not as big of a deal since the filter should create enough surface agitation, but plants in optimal conditions will "pearl" with oxygen bubbles because they are photosynthesizing so quickly.
  7. Wet PetsNew MemberMember

    Wow 5ppm is high, some thing is not right with filter, your are losing your cycle , do you wash your sponge in your filter tap water, if so don't do that , and check your ammonia level.
  8. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    I believe that was a typo in the first half of his post. Almost sure he is referring to a reduction of 5ppm nitrate, which is fairly insignificant. 10ppm more worth the trouble. I am hoping that is a low estimate for a very heavily planted tank.
  9. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    Jungle tanks get a 0 nitrate reading most of the time. My tank is moderately to heavily planted.

    All I can respond to that is.... HUA?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  10. AsterWell Known MemberMember

    I think he's referring to how you wrote 5ppm nitrite instead of nitrate ;)
  11. Wet PetsNew MemberMember

    It all depends on how much fishes you have in your tank
  12. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    The amount of nitrate you get depends on lots of factors. Whether or not your tank is cycled, how many fish you have,how many plants you have,what kind of plants,what kinds of food you feed,how often. Many other things too.
  13. Corydora ProValued MemberMember

    If you want a great plant to remove nitrate, try adding a pothos plant to your aquarium. You just place the roots in your aquarium and leave the leafs out. They grow like crazy and eat up lots of nitrate.

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