Using aquarium water

Discussion in 'Organic Growing' started by climbey, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. climbey

    climbey Registered+

    Would my aquarium water be good to feed to my special plants? It's a tropical aquarium about 160L big. I have been using it on various plants in my garden and it seems to have a good effect.

    From a home measuring strip thing:
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 100 mg/L
    pH: 7.2
    hardness: very hard! off the scale.
  2. Ganja Guerrilla

    Ganja Guerrilla Registered+

    fish take a crap & piss in water just like some people do.....why take the risk you'd have to test the water EACH time

    Nitrogen occurs as nitrites, nitrates and ammonium. The nitrite form is very toxic and if taken in by humans in drinking water or in food, enters the bloodstream where it interferes with the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Nitrites can also form compounds that is carcinogenic (cause cancer). Nitrates, though less toxic than nitrites, if taken in by cattle, young animals and children, may be converted to nitrites in their stomachs. Also, if there is too much nitrogen in the soil, it is absorbed into the vegetables in the from of nitrates which may be converted into nitrites under certain conditiions. When one eat these vegetables, the nitrites are digested and converted into nitrosamines whcih can cause stomach cancer.
  3. Totalpain

    Totalpain Registered+

    Listen, I don't know what's in your aquarium water and how it can benefit your plants. Also keep in mind that there might be chemicals that may harm your plant... The PH is definetly too high for a MJ plant. I read that the plants like a soil anywhere from 5.5-6.5PH, and adding this very alcaline water could very well change the ph of the soil, for the worse.

    I would personally recommend regular filtered water... It's not worth taking the risk with aquarium water, imo.


  4. climbey

    climbey Registered+

    OK, thanks for the info. I've got access to fresh rainwater which I'll keep on using.
  5. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow Registered+

    Climby, I use aquarium water. I grow in soil under fluros and CFLs. My plants do just fine on it. I'm just an old hippie chick and love my pot. What kind of fish do you have? I have a huge old Jack Dempsey that keeps my plants well fertilized (he killed everything else in the tank except the armored plecostomus). I was just wondering since a lot of fish have problems in hard water.
  6. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I used to work at an industrial-sized hydro greenhouse that also raised tilapia, and we routed the 'used' fish water to the plants.
    Worked fine.
    Granted it got VERY WELL OXYGENATED on the way.
    You need to make sure there's plenty of O2 in the water so you get more nitrate and less nitrite, or worse, ammonia.

    If you still have any doubts that you would like to use fish water, I strongly recommend using it to water your compost heap.

    Storm Crow, how big has your plecostomus gotten with no competition? The biggest one I ever saw was about a foot long at Lyndon State College.
  7. BobBong

    BobBong Registered+

    Well, I used to have marine and freshwater aquariums.. and i can tell ya that there is a lot of bacteria that grows in that water... bacteria that isn't necessarily harmful but can cause moss and house unwanted organisms.

    I personally wouldn't use it indoors.. but outdoors, yes..

    when growing indoor you want to keep the area free of unwanted bacteria .. or bacteria in general.
    Outdoors is much different.

    Cheers,Happy growing.
  8. climbey

    climbey Registered+

    Thanks for all the info everyone :)

    A foot long plec, various gouramis, tetras (brackish water ones), clown loaches (very healthy :)), and a couple of peaceful barbs.

    Attached Files:

  9. Weedhound

    Weedhound Registered+

    I have the same fish except I don't like plecos...I agree with Bob...thinking back on cycling my aquarium at the beginning and how hard I worked to make the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria grow. Wouldn't want them in my plants for sure....

    SDK SLAYER Registered+

    Just use rainwater, man :)
  11. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow Registered+

    SDK, honey, have you ever enjoyed that fresh clean air after a rainstorm? Have you ever wondered where all the smog goes after the rainstorm? It is in the rainwater! Now if you live in a nice rural area, it wouldn't be so much of a problem. If you live in the smoggy city, it might be wise to only collect it after several hours of rain. My plants flourish using aquarium water and a bit of mollasus. Never burns the plants. My plec is about 11 inches long and he and the Dempsy spar a bit now and then. They both produce a large amount of fertilizer and the plants, including my orchids, love it.

    VOYAGER Registered+

    I have plenty of houseplants and an indoor grow and have never had a problem using my aquarium water. All my plants thrive, besides ain't that what fish emulsion fertilizer is.
  13. Weedhound

    Weedhound Registered+

    I'll take your word for it.
  14. Shovelhandle

    Shovelhandle Registered+

    I killed a very nice indoor plant with deseased aquarium water. I won't take a chance again. I add it to the compost pile.

  15. Perp

    Perp Registered+

    Do a search on "aquaculture." It is the practice of using recirculating aquarium water to feed plants, which in turn filter and clean the water. The fish add the nutes. Definately not for beginners but it can be done.
  16. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Yup, that's the type of facility I used to work in.
    It was great in theory but in practice it failed miserably and they had lots of didease problems with both the plants (basil) and the fish (tilapia, which, BTW, are pretty indestructible fish!!!).
    They also had to supplement the 'fish water' with an aggressive foliar feeding program.
    After almost 20 years struggling, TERRIBLE mismanagement and not that solid science either, lots of investors losing their shirts, they called it quits this past summer.
    Stick with the stuff that you know works. Don't experiment on a crop that you can't afford to lose!
  17. Shovelhandle

    Shovelhandle Registered+

    I read an aquaculture article in Oct 06 "The Growing Edge" Magazine. Not a simple project.


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