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So...I have an idea... I recently adopted/inherited a very large Central American cichlid. You can read more about him here if you would like. Long story short, he'll pretty much destroy anything you put in the tank with him, be it flora or fauna. He also eats a lot and produces a lot of waste. Consequently, the nitrate levels in his tank stay pretty high. His previous owner was doing 75% water changes every three days to combat nitrates. If I need to do that, I will, but honestly, I would like to avoid it. I think there's a smarter way to handle it. Obviously, I can't put plants in his tank because they'll get eaten or uprooted. So, my thought was to build a kind of sump system with a spare 20 gallon, put it next to it and just stuff that 20 gallon with plants. I've found promising-looking plans for an overflow that doesn't involve drilling and I figure I can just add a spare powerhead to pump water out of the sump back into the tank, so the engineering of it is not the problem. I'm wondering how I get the most "bang for my buck" plant-wise. I've got some pothos I can root in there and various stem plants (water wisteria, ludwigia, rotalla, bacopa), but they don't seem great at really sucking up nitrates. I've heard Amazon frog bit is really good, but as near as I can tell, Oregon classifies it as a noxious weed (for good reason), and no one who knows what they're doing will ship it here. I've heard hornwort is also good, but my normal plant sources don't have it in stock. Bamboo could also be an option, apparently. I'd like to avoid duckweed for obvious reasons, but if it's amazing at sucking up nitrates, I guess I could give it a go. What plants would anyone recommend? And what of lighting? I have no shortage of various aquarium lights, including a few Fluval Nanos. Do I just blast that sump tank with light all day? If algae takes over in that tank, is there a risk of it spreading to the main tank? I don't mind the small tank having algae, but I'd like to keep it out of the main tank if possible. What are peoples' thoughts here? How can I work smarter not harder?
I'm driving myself to distraction with this. I'm building a sump. The design will require 3 tub/buckets/containers of some kind. I'm aiming for about 20-30gal each. They need to be self supporting, and it would be great if one were back or otherwise opaque. I'd also prefer them to be square so I can get a good bulkhead fit. The issue is I am having trouble finding containers that fit the bill. I've looked at: Totes, stock tanks, loaf tanks, RV water tanks, roto mold tanks, hydroponic buckets (actually some decent ones in the UK and Oz), garbage cans, open top batch tanks, and the list goes on... But I haven't found what I want yet, and I'm out of ideas. So, I am hoping the community here can help suggest something I haven't thought of yet. And no, one big aquarium won't work. I suppose I could do 3 aquariums, but that sounds pricey and I've been focused on plastic or fiberglass containers. Does anyone have an ideas? Thanks in advance!
I have a Waterbox All in One 64 gallon with a sump. This is my fist time using a sump and wondered what others are stocking them with for their freshwater setups. I currently have my sump with: Four 200m filter socks (screens out large particles High-flow pump 1 bag of bio balls (6x4 inches) 2 bags of bio max (4x4 inches each bag) 1 bag of activated carbon Currently in the process of adding a small bag of crushed coral to raise pH. Also considering: Replacing bio balls with another two bags of bio max, and replacing 2 bags every 6 months Removing carbon I am not sure on what the proper amounts are for any of the media, just trying out the smaller sizes for now.