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GothSpice

Plants in an Overhead Sump Filter

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Hey guys, I'm in the process of making an overhead sump filter for my 55-gallon aquarium as a supplement to my canister (and because I love a good project). I'm basing it on a video from The King of DIY on YouTube, I'll leave the video below. Basically, it's going to be a 2-foot plastic planter suspended above my aquarium, with water pumped up from the aquarium below coming in one end, flowing through some filter pads, then through lava rock, and then back into the aquarium. I'll probably do a separate post going into more details on the specifics of this build later on.

 

Here is the video:

 

My setup will be slightly different, but the core concept will remain the same. Also, if you've never seen his videos, they are SO worth checking out! 

 

ANYWAYS my question is this: What plants would you all recommend I grow in this filter? He suggests pothos, and I was considering lucky bamboo as well. The roots will be submerged in the water and lava rock, but the actual plant will be sitting normally in the air. I'm looking for a simple, hardy, "drop it in and leave it" plant, preferably a cat-friendly one. Pothos is apparently poisonous to kitties, so if I go that route I'll be keeping it well-trimmed.

 

It has to be legal in Virginia, the cheaper the better, and preferably have low light requirements, though I may be able to attach a couple of basic clip lights to the frame I'm making, if absolutely need be. Oh, and it needs to be able to live without high humidity/heat, spray bars, fancy things like that. Again, drop it in and leave it!

 

So! Any suggestions? Any of you have something similar running on your tanks? Let me know!

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Pothos.  Some people use lucky bamboo, but it won't grow in my water at all, and it will not remove nitrate as well as pothos.  If you put a trellis of some kind behind the tank it will cover it.  The toxin in pothos leaves, oxalic acid, stings the mouth and tastes terrible.  (That constitutes the toxic effect.)  Kitty might taste it once, but not again.  

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Good luck!!!!

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I have pothos and spider plants. Also some terrestrials that look like aquatic lilys in shape. They all grow really well!

Sent from my LGL62VL using Tapatalk

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Thanks guys! I'm glad to hear that it's not poisonous in the way that, say, antifreeze is, in that it's enticing yet deadly. So that's a concern laid to rest. I think I'll go with pothos. I saw some the other day at Home Depot for pretty cheap, and haven't seen any lucky bamboo or spider plants around, so pothos it is!

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Be mindful with the denser foam, if it gets too clogged with poop/debris the water can't flow through it and will find another way around which can lead to a big mess on your floor.
As for what to grow there's countless things only limited by space available and lighting

house plants I've used:

Hemigraphis colorata 'Exotica' (aka Purple waffle)

Hemigraphis repanda (aka Dragones tonue)
Pothos
Fittonia albivenis (aka angel kiss)
Tradescantia zebrine (aka wondering jew)
Cyperus Umbrella Sedge
Aluminum plant (I've used on a raft)

Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)
Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie'
Spathiphyllum (aka peace lily-be careful some species get HUGE)
Dwarf Palm Neanthe Bella
Syngonium (aka arrowhead plant)

Antherium

Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen)

Alocosia polly

Sweetflag
Star Grass
Rain lily

Helxine soleirolii

Philodendron

Dracaena braunii (aka lucky bamboo)

 

Emersed aquatic plants I've used:
Riccia
Aquatic mosses
Creeping jenny

Ludwigia

Dwarf baby tears

Hydro sp japan

Water sprite

 

 

herbs, veggies you can use pretty much everything (google 'aquaponics')

lettuce

spinach

kale

char

tomatoes

cucumbers

mint

cilantro

parsely

scallions (green onion)

strawberries

etc etc etc

 

Tillandsia aka air plants can be attached to wood that leeches some water up from the tank but shouldn't have roots submerged (ferns do good like this too), cacti plants aren't adapted to handle constant wet roots so they're bad, but just about everything else can adapt to roots in water life.

Edited by AquaAurora

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Seriously? That is WAY more than I thought possible! That's almost too many choices for someone like me lol! This is going to require lots of tea and internal debate XD

 

As for the sponges, thanks for the heads up on that! That's the last thing I need lol. Do you think rinsing and squeezing them out with my weekly water changes will be adequate to prevent this? I'll probably replace it every other month or so as well. Maybe more often, maybe less, depending on how it holds up.

 

Man, those plants though. I am just SPOILED for choice!

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Just remember, with the exception of the low/medium light houseplants, you need plant lights to grow plants.

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8 hours ago, GothSpice said:

Seriously? That is WAY more than I thought possible! That's almost too many choices for someone like me lol! This is going to require lots of tea and internal debate XD

 

As for the sponges, thanks for the heads up on that! That's the last thing I need lol. Do you think rinsing and squeezing them out with my weekly water changes will be adequate to prevent this? I'll probably replace it every other month or so as well. Maybe more often, maybe less, depending on how it holds up.

 

Man, those plants though. I am just SPOILED for choice!

Yeh its a lot of options.  Be mindful many  of the plants will need more than just low window sun light/reflected light from tank light hitting lid.  And the low light plants can grow faster (aka consume more nitrates) with an additional light.

Rinsing/ringing it out weekly is a good idea.  During the first week check it daily when feeding, make sure its not clogging up to fast and flowing voer top of instead of through it(depending on your tank stock and any pre-fitlering). 

I had a leopard sailfin pleco and had that disaster, put in foam for maybe a week and ended up with a 85% empty tank (onto the floor).  But he was a MAJOR poop monster-clogged up my canister filter constantly!  Even the giant eheim pro 3 xl (jumbo canister).  Finally had to re-home him.

Edited by AquaAurora

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Oh snap, that's true. I wasn't thinking about lighting at all. Hmmmm... I'll probably go with some of the low-light needs plants, I do want to keep this as simple as possible. Depending on how they do, I'll more than likely grab a couple of clip-lamps from Home Depot and pop in some specialty bulbs. That way I can clamp one on each end of the steel frame I'm building and give them some cheap and easy light.

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On 2/17/2017 at 1:38 PM, GothSpice said:

Oh snap, that's true. I wasn't thinking about lighting at all. Hmmmm... I'll probably go with some of the low-light needs plants, I do want to keep this as simple as possible. Depending on how they do, I'll more than likely grab a couple of clip-lamps from Home Depot and pop in some specialty bulbs. That way I can clamp one on each end of the steel frame I'm building and give them some cheap and easy light.

Sorry late reply.  Don't need specialty bulbs- a 6500k 13 watt cfl works great and is cheap-home depot sometimes has a 4 pack on sale for $5.  I also have got them at my local grocery for $1-2 each.

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