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As some of you may know, I've had great success with houseplants in the filters for my tank.  It was only this spring that I had a chance to actually use vegetables in my system (yummy tomatoes!)

As I'm inside and don't have supplemental light (well, not enough for fruiting plants) I need to continue to use houseplants to filter for my fish during the fall and winter months.

Has anybody tried using succulents in their systems? I have an abnormal amount of houseplants...lol, I like to grow things...and happen to have a spare 55 gallon bow front that I will set up in my living room soon.  I'd like to use the succulents I have in my room for the system and leave the extra shelof space for my vegetables to grow onto this spring.

If you have tried any succulent or cacti, I'd love to know which ones and what kind of conditions they did well in.  

All of my filters are what I've been calling a "reverse constant flow" design.  The water is pumped to the bottom of the container, flows up through the media (hydroton) and roots, then over the edges of the container into the tank.  My improved design for the next filters will feature a half to one inch area of dry media above where the water spills back into the tank to account for the delicate crowns of some plants that hate to be wet.

Thanks everyone!

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I've had aloe do very well for me but mostly in flood and drain gravel beds.  They won't use up all that much nitrates for you though.  If you need a greedy plant that will do better with wet feet and might use up more nutrients (though beware it can take over a grow bed) you might stick some mint cuttings in.

Thanks TCL...I knew mint grows like crazy, but didn't realize it was such a nutrient hog.  SHould the light prove sufficient I'll try it...I always need it since I'm a chef by trade.

Since they are generally slow growers, I didn't think succulents would use to many nutrients...and I could supplememtn the bed with things like spathyhyllum...but I"m hoping to find conditions they do well in so I can consolidate them to one place.

Mint Monster! this bed puts out 10 lbs of mint per week in the summer.

 

I saw the largest aloe plant I've ever seen (granted I do live in Wisconsin where most of them are puny little houseplants) at TC's place - it looked amazing. 

 

Another alternative to consider is watercress.  Like mint it can be kind of invasive but it doesn't require too much light to grow.  

TCLynx said:

I've had aloe do very well for me but mostly in flood and drain gravel beds.  They won't use up all that much nitrates for you though.  If you need a greedy plant that will do better with wet feet and might use up more nutrients (though beware it can take over a grow bed) you might stick some mint cuttings in.
Oh yea, watercress grows great (and it likes it wet so you don't need gravel up over the surface) and it is also a nutrient hog and if you have trouble with hard water limiting your plants in a system, well Watercress likes alkali conditions so it would be a good one during cool weather for those who have issues with high pH and overabundance of calcium.

Thanks guys, love the picture of the mint monster...might actually add that to my current tank as the nitrates keeps rising since I had to cut down the tomato vine :( Especially if it doesn't need much light.

I'm hoping to go out today and get the supplies for the new filter and will try some cuttings to see how they do.

Has anyone tried anything besides aloe (which I do have in droves)? I have a burrow's tail, several species of succulents, hiawatha, some long cactus from india I can't remember the name of (LOL) and a few others.

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