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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Terre Haute
    Posts
    12

    contorted willow?

    I have a 265gal setup and was thinking of building a filter inside the stand that used plants. Since I have unlimited access to contorted willow I thought maybe it could be used in the filter. I know that it gets big fast but I have some swampy property that could use them when they get too big for the filter. I just dont know if it would do anything to the fish or water other than soak it up and filter the $#!@ out of it (no pun intended) and I can't find anything helpful on the web. May try something similar on a smaller tank and see what happens. Just seeing if there are any willow experts out there (lol) or if anyone knows something I don't. Also I have lots of willow and contorted willow shoots for free if anyone else has some swampy property that needs a good sponging or if you just want to play around with this idea too.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Terre Haute
    Posts
    12
    The filter would be an overflow fed sup with several different chambers for large gravel, matrix, possibly biomate, and some carbon or something near the return to keep the water clear and pull out any tannins. Whatever plants I use will be planted in the chambers with the gravel or matrix. If you have any suggestions on some other plant that would be better to use or another filter media I would like to hear them.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hagerstown, IN
    Posts
    371
    I'm intrigued by your concept but not sure I completely understand it. Would this act similar to a sump except you would be growing a lot of plants (willows) in it? I've heard of algae scrubbers before. Is this a similar concept?
    Roy

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Terre Haute
    Posts
    12
    Yeah it would basically work as a sump with plants. Willows grow very extensive root systems to support themselves in wet areas and I'm hoping that a chamber with large rocks piled loosely would cause the roots to grow and fill in the gaps forming a bio/solids filter. I used a similar idea several years in an aquaculture class in high school and was very pleased with the results. The setup I designed and built was a series of 5 800gal tanks with about 100 10-24in tilapia in each. The tanks had an overflow pipe in the center and a slip pipe over that pulling wastes off the bottom. Everything then went through troughs that had sponge planters secured on top with the plants(tomatoes) roots in the water to catch the wastes and absorb them. The cleaned water was then returned to the tanks. This worked fine as the only filter on the system. I wanted to try that design again but don't have room for a big trough under the 265 so I'm trying to combine it with a sump.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Terre Haute
    Posts
    12
    The trough system that I built several years ago is closer to what I would consider an algae scrubber but yes it's all the same basic concept. fish waste = plant nutrient = more plant growth = more waste reduction = a cleaner healthier system

 

 

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