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Thread: Plant (Vegetable) Filters

  1. #21
    Jumbo B.Scott's Avatar
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    Sharpy I have yet to see blanket weed die off due to a veggie filter. In truth the BW will thrive at levels that cause all the plants in a veggie filter to die long ago.
    As part of an experiment I spent one summer doing 30% water changes a day. My reasons for this were many but one of the things I wanted to see is whether or not this would kill the terrible BW problem I was having. At 30% a day my nitrogen values were almost unmeasurable but my BW grew like crazy.

    The causes of BW are varied and the reason it comes of goes are often nothing more than guesswork. Without a massive lab workup on a regular basis it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause/remedy

    Veggie filters have other numerous drawbacks and I avoid them at all costs.
    If you have found a system that keeps your BW at bay then bravo, just don't cheer to soon. If it is still gone in the summer of 2007 then you might consider popping a champagne cork but don't rush it.
    B.Scott
    Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

  2. #22
    Nisai Werner's Avatar
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    Whoa little doggies

    Veggie filters out of fashion, produce HS Gas, require maintenance, root pruning etc., gee, you would think someone invented a filter system that's self maintaining. I venture to say there are more fly by night gizmos being promoted to the gullible Koi-in-a sterile looking pool crowd than any other suckers in any other hobby at any other time.

    I think Veggie filters are neat( 60's term), were never intended for the only system on a Koi Pond, naturalize any pond view and grow terrific Koimatoes. When the rest of the world starves, my Veggie filter will feed the neighborhood!
    Werner

    Pond-On (tm)


  3. #23
    Tategoi
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    Koimatoes. Wow. The beginning of an industry......

  4. #24
    Nisai LizardBreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werner
    Veggie filters out of fashion, produce HS Gas, require maintenance, root pruning etc., gee, you would think someone invented a filter system that's self maintaining. I venture to say there are more fly by night gizmos being promoted to the gullible Koi-in-a sterile looking pool crowd than any other suckers in any other hobby at any other time.

    I think Veggie filters are neat( 60's term), were never intended for the only system on a Koi Pond, naturalize any pond view and grow terrific Koimatoes. When the rest of the world starves, my Veggie filter will feed the neighborhood!
    What do you grow the koimatos in?? Media?
    I am very interested in this. Need something innovative to filter my newest little goldfish pond.
    Hmmmmmmm
    Beth

  5. #25
    Nisai Werner's Avatar
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    Pea Gravel or even 1" river rock works best for my Koimatoes Beth.

  6. #26
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Bumped up for benefit of Azndragon.

  7. #27
    Sansai
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    There are several opinions both pro and con to plants.. For what its worth, here are mine.

    Plants do absorb nutrients out of the water, and even more importantly, the root system is home for countless bacteria and other microscopic life that remove even more nutrients from the water. In my "bog/plant filter" the plants are all bare root, only a stone to hold them upright. Notice I said a stone, not gravel.

    It is true that plants will remove all levels of waste, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I have not had the time to measure which they prefer.

    There is an aquaculture center that is about an hour from here. The tanks are huge, and the stocking rates are 1 fish per 2-3 gallons of water. Mostly they raise tilapia, but in two tanks they grow out Koi for a wholesaler. They get them in as 1-2 inchers in the late summer, and in the late spring they are 4-7 inches long. The only, repeat only filtration they have are plant filters that are on trays above the tanks. Tomatoes, cucumbers, ornamental plants are all raised and sold as well. Needless to say, they do not use salt (which by the way does kill plants, something many people dont understand).

    So, while many ponders feel like they have less of a Koi pond if there are plants in the system, that is just not so. As for the threat of parasites, if the plants are clean going in there is no problem. The only plants that have to have substrate to grow in are lilies and lotus, the rest to well, even better in some cases grown bare root. They also do well with the water running through the roots, like you would see in a streambed.

    As for Thoms posting on the plants, give him time. Everything he does is well thought out, documented and that can only be done over time to get to the real results.

    Sweetflag comes in several different varieties, and yellow is one of them. So if yours is yellow, that could be the reason?

    d

  8. #28
    Tosai
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    Similar design

    Quote Originally Posted by kiky View Post
    For almost a year now I have been trying to grow plant without success yet. I have a big last chamber, 4 x 1.2 x 0.8 m, where water falls about 25 cm to the pond. In that chamber I have tried all sort of local plants. Even water hyacinth did not survived - after initially seemed to grow and increase in numbers, then slowly turned yellow before finally dried up. Not enough nutrients maybe?
    I have a similar set-up. When I designed my pond I consulted with several hobbyists and the consensus I gathered from them at the time was that it should help with the nitrogen level but that it needed to be really big. I decided to build one just to enjoy the waterplants. The "bog-filter" measures about 7' x 10' x 3"-24" and is filled with pummice. About 1/3 or the returning water flows into this pond while the rest gets returned straight to the pond via a waterfall. I have water hyacinth, water lillies, and watercress. The pond gets about 4 hours of sunshine/day on days that are sunny here in the Northwest. So far the plants are doing okay, not too green but not dying on me. My nitrate/nitrite levels remain undetectable but I think that it's because my pond is understocked more than d/t the plants. If I had known about this forum before I built my pond and heard the words of wisdom from the senseis then I would have done away with the bog filter pond. That would have saved me lots of time and energy. Now I will have to spend more time to do away with that bog filter.

  9. #29
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    dOHd: It sounds like you have attempted to set up a bog filter that avoids the worst risks. Not many folks will do that. Whether it actually accomplishes as much as a moderate water change, I doubt. But, if you find it saves you from needing to change as much water, then you are doing something right. I do not think that occurs very often. I think we end up focusing on whether the pondkeeper is performing maintenance sufficient to prevent the plant filter from causing harm. As Lammi notes, that takes a bit of work. It's not the magical solution so often represented. The aquaculture center you mention is indicative. In an environment heated sufficiently for those plants to thrive, 1" tosai growing to 4" (or 2" tosai reaching 7") over 6 months is not very good growth. Survival with slow growth relying on plant filters is altogether feasible. Let's not confuse that with praise for the benefits of plants... and I do believe plants can provide substantial benefit, in theory. In practice, I think the plants we need to understand are the algae. That's a different thread.

  10. #30
    Sansai
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    Mike

    I end up doing 80-100% water change a week. Interesting. In nature plants thrive on perfect water. Water that has no ammonia, no nitrites, no nitrates. So why are they turning yellow in your pond water? What is so toxic in your pond that even the plants wont thrive?

    In my personal pond, I have several plants that are bare root. The Purple stem taro is over 7 feet tall with leaves over 6 feet long. Each year I would pull the taro out, over winter it in the greenhouse, then place it back bare root into the pond. With the massive water changes, settlement chamber, biological filtration etc, wonder why my plants do well and yours turn yellow?

    Just currious, as it really takes some lousy water to kill plants.

    Now, that being said, in many ponds plants are a needed addition, as the pond design sucks. The plants are the only hope the fish have. Nice thing about this site is that most of the posters here have at least an idea on how to design a pond, if not already in existance.

    As for algae, I totally agree. But I have seen water quality really good for fish also turn the algae somewhat off white in color.

    Oh and as for the fish in the tanks, no tosai, only the bain of the true koi world, butterfly "koi". So for them, and the crouded conditions, not bad growth. Of course if they were a high class Koi, I would expect better growth, and if they were really good , then less stocking density.

    d

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