Pothos to lower nitrates in aquarium is a natural and effective way to keep nitrate levels in check. When you wish to decrease the level, you must dig into the benefits of using pothos to lower nitrates in an aquarium and the proper techniques to incorporate and grow pothos plants into your aquarium maintenance routine.
Keep reading to learn more about lowering nitrates in aquariums using this unique plant.
How Does Pothos Help Lower Nitrates in an Aquarium?
Pothos help lower nitrates in an aquarium through a process called phytoremediation. The plants have a unique ability to absorb nitrates from the water through their roots. This is because they are epiphytic plants, which entails that it grows on other plants in their natural environment.
Epiphytic plants, just like pothos, are there to absorb nutrients from the air and rainwater that collect on their leaves and stems rather than from soil. When pothos is placed in an aquarium, the plant’s roots absorb nitrates from the water as they grow.
This process is known as phytoremediation, which plants use to remove pollutants from the environment. Pothos can also absorb other toxins and chemicals from the water, making it a useful tool in keeping aquariums clean and healthy.
These plants can survive for several months to years in an aquarium. Water quality is key to these beautiful plants’ survival in an aquarium. However, if the nitrate levels are too high, the plant placed may not be able to absorb them effectively, leading to the deterioration of the plant and poor water quality.
Another important factor in the survival of pothos in an aquarium is lighting, which should be considered. The plant requires moderate to bright light to grow well, so it’s significant to provide appropriate lighting for the plant. On the other hand, if the lighting is too low, it won’t be able to photosynthesize effectively, leading to poor growth and eventual death.
Temperature is also a key factor in the survival of pothos in an aquarium. This is why you must note that it prefers temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and may not survive outside this range.
– Amount Needed
The amount of pothos needed to lower nitrates is at least one plant for every 10 gallons of water in the aquarium. This means that a 30-gallon aquarium would require at least three Pothos plants. The amount of pothos needed depends on the aquarium’s size and the water’s initial nitrate levels.
Moreover, the effectiveness of pothos in lowering nitrates also depends on the plant’s growth rate. The faster the plant grows, the more efficiently it can absorb nitrates from the water.
It’s also worth mentioning that pothos can be grown in various ways in an aquarium, including in a planted filter or as a hanging plant with its roots submerged in the water. The choice of growing method may also affect the amount of the plant needed to lower nitrates in the aquarium.
When pothos absorbs nitrate from the aquarium water, the nitrate is taken up through the plant’s roots and transported throughout the plant’s tissues. Once inside the plant, the nitrate is converted into organic compounds used for growth and development. This process is known as assimilation.
The conversion of nitrate into organic compounds in pothos involves several steps. First, the nitrate is reduced to nitrite by an enzyme called nitrate reductase. The nitrite is further reduced to ammonium by another enzyme called nitrite reductase. Finally, the ammonium is incorporated into organic compounds through a process known as assimilation.
The plant uses the organic compounds produced during assimilation for various purposes, such as building new tissue, producing energy, and storing nutrients. As a result, the nitrate absorbed by pothos is effectively removed from the water in the aquarium and converted into useful plant material.
It’s worth noting that pothos is not the only plant that can absorb nitrate from aquarium water. Other aquatic plants that absorb nitrates include coontail, duckweeds, water lettuce, limnobium laevigatum, hygrophila difformis, and leptochilus pteropus, along with some chemicals to reduce nitrates in the aquarium are also effective.
However, pothos has the added benefit of being a hardy and easy-to-care-for plant that can grow well both submerged and above water, making it one of the best aquarium plants to lower nitrates.
What Are the Benefits of Using Pothos To Lower Nitrates?
The benefits of using pothos in an aquarium, include promoting healthier water conditions, the plant can be used in different types of water, it is safe for the fish to be around it, and also safe for small tanks as well; additionally, it improves the overall aesthetic of the aquarium.
These are a natural byproduct of the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium, but high levels of nitrates can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Pothos can absorb nitrates and other toxins from the water through their roots, which can help reduce the nitrate levels in the aquarium and promote healthier water conditions for fish and other aquatic life.
Using pothos in an aquarium can also help to reduce the need for water changes. The plant can lower nitrate levels naturally, which means that the frequency of water changes can be reduced.
This is especially beneficial for aquariums with high nitrate levels or aquarium owners needing more time or resources to perform frequent water changes. Moreover, the trailing vines and lush green leaves of the plant can add a natural and aesthetic touch to the aquarium, making it more attractive and visually appealing.
– Helps in a Short Period of Time
The benefit here is that the plant will lower the levels of nitrates in four to five days as it stays in an aquarium. You might notice that the aquarium’s nitrate levels will decrease by 20 to 40 ppm. So these plants are fast-growing indoor plants, so they need nutrients more quickly.
When using pothos to lower nitrates, it’s important to remember that the plant needs time to establish itself in the aquarium. During this time, the pothos may not be able to absorb nitrates as efficiently as it would once it has fully established itself. Therefore, it’s important to be patient and allow the plant time to grow and develop before expecting significant nitrate reduction.
It’s also important to note that pothos is not a substitute for regular water changes and proper aquarium maintenance. While pothos can help reduce nitrate levels in the water, it’s still important to maintain a regular water change schedule and monitor water parameters to ensure the aquarium’s and its inhabitants’ overall health.
– Used in Different Water Types
These plants can be used in any aquarium, whether a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, a planted aquarium, or an aquarium without any plants. However, some concerns should be considered when using pothos in different types of aquariums.
In the case of freshwater aquariums or grow pothos plants are particularly useful in setups with high nitrate levels. The plant’s ability to absorb nitrates can reduce the nitrate levels in a freshwater aquarium and promote healthier water conditions for fish and other aquatic life.
Pothos can also be used in saltwater aquariums, but some factors should be taken into account. First, these plants should not be used in reef tanks or aquariums containing live coral, as the plant can release harmful substances.
In the case of planted aquariums, pothos can be a valuable addition, as they can maintain safe nitrate levels in aquariums and provide a natural and aesthetic element. However, it’s important to note that pothos is not a true aquatic plant and should not be planted directly in the substrate.
Lastly, these plants can also be used in aquariums that don’t have plants already, as they can help reduce nitrate levels and promote healthier water conditions for the fish. The plant can be grown in a hanging basket like floating plants or another type of support and placed near the aquarium or filter intake to allow the plant’s roots to absorb nitrates from the water.
– Safe for Fish
Before adding the plant to the aquarium, it should be thoroughly rinsed to remove any chemicals or pesticides that may be present. Pesticides and chemicals that may have been used in the growing process can harm fish, especially omnivore fish or betta fish, and other aquatic life.
However, if you wish to remove the minerals without any pothos, you can perform water changes, if you’re wondering “how to remove nitrates without pothos” however, note that frequent water changes are not recommended for the life of your fish. Which is why this plant is safe to use around your fish.
On the other hand, to naturally lower nitrates in a fish tank, you can use live aquarium plants in addition to the pothos plant, because they will work in harmony together. Additionally, adding a biological aquarium filter or increasing the surface area of the filter media can help increase the beneficial bacteria population.
– Safe for Small Tanks
Another reason why you may add this plant is that they can be used in small tanks as well. It is an ideal plant for small aquariums because it is hardy, easy to care for, and can grow well submerged and above water. Additionally, it can readily absorb nitrates from the water, helping to maintain healthy water conditions for aquatic life.
When using pothos in a small aquarium, it’s essential to consider the size of the plant and the size of the aquarium. These beautiful plants can grow quite large, so it’s important to trim the plant regularly to prevent it from taking over the aquarium. It’s also influential in ensuring the plant is not blocking the light or restricting water flow in the aquarium.
To use pothos in a small aquarium, place the plant in the aquarium and allow the roots to absorb the nitrates from the water. The plants can be grown either submerged or above water, depending on the preferences of the aquarium owner. However, it’s significant to ensure that the plant is not taking over the aquarium or blocking the view of the fish.
So now you know how pothos plants are an effective and natural way to lower nitrates in an aquarium, so here are the key points:
- Pothos help lower nitrates in an aquarium through a process called phytoremediation. This plant can absorb nitrates and other harmful substances from the water.
- It is also quite easy to care for and can be used in various aquarium setups, making it a cost-effective solution for nitrate reduction.
- There are several benefits to using pothos in an aquarium, including promoting healthier water conditions and reducing the need for water changes.
- Pothos is safe for fish and other aquatic life when used properly, even in smaller tanks.
- The amount of the plant needed to lower nitrates in an aquarium is at least one of the plants for every 10 gallons of water.
Overall, these plants are a great addition to any aquarium and can provide aesthetic and practical benefits for fish keepers.
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