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High Tech... Low Tech... Plants in hang on pots & tank filters... & maybe best filter for this...

Magnum Man

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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
so as an old fish wrangler who has gotten back into the hobby, I honestly don't really "know" what high Tech is, as far as aquariums...

so in the old days I used to grow house plants in my aquariums ( not saying I was the 1st, but I "may" have been, because we are talking 20 ish years ago... I've started doing that again, now, but with a little twist... I'm using ceramic filter media ( which was either not available, or really expensive )back then, to hold the roots... I'm currently doing this 2 ways...

1st... I have some small hang on tank planter boxes, & they hang inside the tank, over a 10" air bar... the bubbles from the air bar go though the little pot, filled with ceramic media & the roots from my plants... this causes water movement through the slots in the pots, so beneficial bacteria can live on the filter media, & water slowly flows around the roots ( eventually the roots will move into the actual aquarium, but "planting" them in the ceramic media & this slow water flow seems to have slowed the growth of the roots, that I previously experienced in years before with plants in the tanks, & got huge root balls that needed to be trimmed back... but the future will tell better, but looks like less trimming...

2nd... I've got some of the same small pots inside a few hang on the tank filters ( currently some old double cartridge filters that are no longer made ) these seem to be working well, but before, & I expect today, that the roots will require trimming fairly often, as they'll likely end up growing into the impellers of this design... but I have a few Aquaclear 70's, & there is not much in the filter area of these filters, so I'm looking at the possibility of adding some plants there... on my old double cartridge filters, the pots act as an easy to remove container for maintenance... on the Aquarclear 70's they have a tray the filter media sits on, so I'm not sure if I'll use the pots as a container... will look at that more, as I get closer to adding plants... also I think the impeller for the pump is better separated from the filter area, than it is on my old filters, so that may require less root trimming???

2nd... 2.0... I have a pair of Sea Chem Tidal 75's, & in a lot of ways this is different than the Aquaclear, in that the pump sump designed lower, so they are more self priming, & they include a skimmer into the design... however the filter media area & filter is nearly identical ( albeit much larger ) same "type" foam sponge, & a bag of ceramic media... but the larger filter area & the moving of the pump impeller sump further away from the filter chamber is particularly attractive, to adding plants...

BTW... I usually like quite a few fish in my tanks, & the ones with plants, I've never had ammonia or nitrate issues
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