philodendron and aquarium water

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by rusty bumper, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. rusty bumper

    rusty bumper Member

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    Re: Propagating a philodendron

    We have 2 tropical fish aquariums that we like to use for watering our plants. Our philodendron has really benefited from the nutrients in this type of water.

    I presume this type of water is ok to use?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2006
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Re: Propagating a philodendron

    Terrific!
     
  3. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    i use my aquarium water to water all my plants.. but i dont use any chemicals in my tanks at all . so i am stateing that ... as i mentioned here before that it is good water to use .. fish fertilizer.. but i was told not to give that kind of advice cause some people use chemicals in there tanks .. and that i dont know what it does to plants .. but like i said i use it on all my plants even my most expensive and hard to find plant .. a Variegted split leaf philodendron .. wich is my pride and joy .. and hasnt harmed it at all ..

    Marn
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Rising Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    I think I said that Marn. I think it is a great idea. I am just kind of obligated to point out things like that (don't use water from saltwater tanks or chemically treated tank water) in case people don't think of that. It seems obvious, but you know people from all over read these pages. Yes fish tank water, collected rainwater all good for plants.
     
  5. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    oh ok .. mayb i missunderstood ya .. sorry :)

    i know ya never use the water if you ahve treated your tank for a disease .. allthough i dont know what would happen ..but why take a chance .. but like i stated we have never used any chemicals to condition our tanks at all or get htem ready for any fish .. it is all natural straight from the tap .. even when setting up a new tank we take water from one of the other tanks to set it up with .. we have 11 tanks going right now ..
    and my plants ahve been growing really good with the water from the tank ..

    ans sorry again .. i thought you ahd said not to say this ..

    Marion
     
  6. wsmithies

    wsmithies Member

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    As an aquatics technician specializing in planted tanks i just thought I'd put in my two cents. As everybody has said already, aquarium water brilliant, full of nitrates from fish waste but I think we need some clarification on 'good' chemicals vs. 'bad' chemicals. Most chemicals for aquariums are designed to be used in planted tanks and therfore should be safe if not completely inocuious, always read the label! Always use a chlorine/chloramine neutralizing product when adding water to your tank. Used in the proper amounts this should not present any problems to your terestrial plants and has the added benefit of saving your fish from having their gills chemicaly burned over time by chlorine. Alternatively, chlorine will steep out if an open bucket of water is left overnight. Increasingly some water authorities are using chloramines instead, these will not evaporate and really do need to be neutralized as they are more taxing on a fish's system than chlorine.When in doubt, ask the water company for a report on analysis of your local tap water (you would be surprised what shows up, mmmm estrogen and prozac!)
    If you have planted tanks and use aquatic fertalizer products there shouldn't be any problems and you may even get more 'bang for your buck' as your using it twice in a sense. Never use terestrial plant fertalizers in an aquarium (unless you want to kill everything in your tank). Some aquatic fertalizers have a slightly high phosphate ratio to them which you need to watch for if, like me, your a hibiscus nut.Incidentaly, fertalizers with higher phosphate contents will often trigger hair algae blooms, so if youve bein wondering why your water plants are hairy that may be the culprit (run-off water in the water table from agricultural areas will have the same effect). An added bonus with aquatic fertilizers is that they tend to be more complete in terms of micro-minerals than houseplant products.
    It goes without saying that you should never use water that has had anti-algae treatments in it as I suspect these products would poison the roots of houseplants. Saying that there are products that are safe to use in planted tanks, ergo safe to houseplants but I wouldn't chance it. If you have treated your tank with chemicals against snails, or fish diseases I would do three things. One, once the course of treatment has ended use an activated carbon insert in your filter to remove any residue. Two, good husbandry is changeing 10-20% of your water every week, boost that up to 30% a week and dont use the water for a month, after that you should be fine. Lastly, use a 'good' bacteria suplement to reestablish the balance of nitrogen eating bacteria in your filter which are often killed off by harsh medications.
    Here in Vancouver many of us use chemicals to boost the ph of our wonderfuly neutral tap water. The reason I mention this is that you could, in theory, end up creating very alkaline soil/calcium residue for your plants if you keep fish like african cichlids that like a ph of 8-8.5, i.e.'hard' water. Most tropical fish we keep are South American and like 'soft' acidic water conditions of around ph 7, and hey, guess what? Most of your housplants are South American so it's a symbiotic relationship if your using water from your tank. Many acidifiers contain extracts of humic acid from sources like peat or coconut fibre so it's a win/win situation. Hope this clarifies things, and don't get hung up on the word 'chemical', it's your fish's best friend.
     
  7. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    I may be mistaken, but in the wild, I have read that the ratio of plant-to-fish weight ratio should be 100:1 for a "stable" system.

    Several years ago I had a 200 gallon planted aquarium with about 10 small fish (less than 6 inches). No filter was needed, just a pump to circulate the water. 0 nitrates, ammonia, etc. Water changes were down to about once every 6 months, or so. No algae, either.

    When I did my water changes, I had a long hose which I used to empty the tank water into the garden beds up next to the house and I also used the water for my container plants in the home.

    There are also text books on how to use terrestrial and semi-aquatic plants as part of the filtration system. Many sources have suggested that some aroid plants, such as some philodendron species, do well with part of their aerial root systems in the water. In fact, right now, and for the past two years, I have a Pothos plant sitting outdoors with some of it's vines bathing in my small pond.

    Obviously, some of this may be "off topic", but the point being is that assuming you do not have any harmful chemicals in the water, as mentioned in a previous post, your plants will enjoy the aquarium water, and in fact, as I mentioned, some plants may actually enjoy having direct contact with the aquarium water.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008

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