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nathangoudie nathangoudie
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 12:42
How effective is mangrove-filter #1
Mangrove is surprisingly not only effective at filtering nitrate but also ammonia.

As in my puffer tank, I had to set it up immediately that I couldn't do proper cycle. I was planning to do a fish-in cycle .

The tank has 6 mangroves at the stage with only 2 leaves. The puffers are somehow very messy, they only eat like a few bite of the food I put in then leave it there. They won't eat it again and I have to put in new food.

I'm doing water test everyday but there's no reading of all nitrate, ammonia or nitrite. Even the shrimps in that tank is living very healthy.

I decided to leave the left-over food in the tank for a few days and the result is the same, no ammonia.

It is believed that mangrove filtering can be dangerous as the dead leaves may fall down and pollute the water, however the growing speed is very slow and it takes months just to get extra 2 leaves.
finnipper finnipper
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 12:47
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #2
A plants first choice for obtaining nitrogen is from ammonia and not nitrate as many assume.
That's why cycling a planted tank is done differently from other aquaria.
nathangoudie nathangoudie
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 12:54
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #3
But I think with a certain amount of mangrove trees, classic bacteria filter may not be necessary
finnipper finnipper
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 13:31
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #4
That's true, I believe it is called "Silent Cycling" BUT before someone thinks about chucking a bunch of plants in their new tank and adding some fish IT WON'T WORK.

The tank has to be a properly planted tank with healthy actively growing plants and relatively low initial stocking levels.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 15:08
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #5
It's along the lines of the Walstad method, though that includes a whole balanced ecosystem with substrate dwelling creatures also playing a part. In theory with enough of the right plants balanced with a low level of stock the plant will use the ammonia produced in the tank before it ever need to be processed into nitrite and nitrate. It does rely on establishing the plants well and on lower levels of stock than we're accustomed to seeing in filtered tanks these days.
nathangoudie nathangoudie
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 16:20
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #6
Well the tank is only 70l which is too small for 2 puffers. There are also some snails and ghost shrimps in the tank. I just added a few tubiflex to the tank and see if they will survive slightly brackish water.

Im going to move everything in the tank to a 200l tank next year. Hopefully I'll have a field trip to collect small brackish creatures in brackish water systems. Measurements will be conducted before collecting them though. I really want to try and a full ecosystem.

I've also read that there's a type of sea-grass which also play a main role in the system.
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 20:34
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #7
I had a 'Walstad' tank at one point, it was a 350 litre 4 foot one that I had two small fancies in. I did quite a lot of research into it at the time, but would have to revisit it a little now! It worked really well, nitrate and phosphate both consistently lower than the tap water, and no sign of ammonia or nitrite. I did do water changes on it, whereas Walstad reckons you can get away without doing anywhere near as regular as we're used to. I just did enough to hoover up any grot lying on the surface as one of the fancies was a veiltail so I had to be careful with keeping the gravel surface clean for him to sleep on at night, as he liked to do. I added a filter when I had to move some other fish in there, and then they made short work of most of the plants anyway!

I stripped it down completely in the end but I suspect I may have misread what I thought was a problem. I kept getting bubbles coming from certain areas of the substrate which I assumed where anaerobic patches. Some of the fish had a few health issues at the time which I thought were linked to the substrate 'going bad', but when I moved the fish to another tank and stripped it down there wasn't the tell tale smell I was expecting. The soil hadn't really taken to life under water but it wasn't that horrible eggy smell. In hindsight I suspect I didn't have enough flow going round which is why the fish weren't 100%, and I think the bubbles were nitrogen gas coming from the bacterial activity in the substrate.

This is it before I put the fish in, I left it a few weeks for the plants to establish (they did get quite a bit bigger than this too!) :

Resized Image

In a long winded way, I'm getting round to the point that plants can do a lot of good if you get the balance right, and mangroves are one of the ones which seem to get a good result as water purifiers so it's possible that Nathan's lack of ammonia etc. is at least partly to do with the mangroves

I'd be very interested in seeing any attempts at a more detailed set up though, the plans for the bigger tank sound good
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LukeC LukeC
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 22:03
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #8
Interesting thread. I was wondering of late how my tank(180l with two fancies and a bristlenose) seems to have a very stable environment and the actual cause . The plants are all thriving with very little help, save a small dose of ferts once a month. The vallis is especially vigorous.

All three occupants are heavy waste manufactures, Yet I need less frequent pwc than I would expect. I test every three days and not had to do a pwc now for around three weeks. Hoovering the waste daily helps of course. as does sing r/o & tap water mix .. But still feels , well, odd not to do ones weekly change.....

Time to google "walstad"!!
finnipper finnipper
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 22:05
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #9
Try googling "Silent Cycling" too.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 1/9/2013 22:25
Re: How effective is mangrove-filter #10
Quote:

LukeC wrote:
Interesting thread. I was wondering of late how my tank(180l with two fancies and a bristlenose) seems to have a very stable environment and the actual cause . The plants are all thriving with very little help, save a small dose of ferts once a month. The vallis is especially vigorous.

All three occupants are heavy waste manufactures, Yet I need less frequent pwc than I would expect. I test every three days and not had to do a pwc now for around three weeks. Hoovering the waste daily helps of course. as does sing r/o & tap water mix .. But still feels , well, odd not to do ones weekly change.....

Time to google "walstad"!!


Do remember though that water changes don't just remove nitrate, they also replenish essential minerals and trace elements as well as removing other potentially problematic substances.....with stock levels used for typical modern filtered systems these are also important factors.