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Aquarium Cleaning and Fish Emulsion

Edit: Title should read "waste" as opposed to "emulsion" (waste water)

Wow, this stuff has been incredible on house plants. We have a big batch from cleaning 5 large tanks and no way to store the waste.

My thought is to pour it on the compost pile.

Any thoughts on storage or and adverse effects on the compost heap?

On second thought, maybe save a gallon or so for the seedlings once they have taken off under the grow light.
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rot
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Probably best in the pile

..

When I had a pond in the back I used to drain it into the beds. I never really noticed any harm in the hard dry clay soil. Then again I never looked that closely then.

Some folks think that the fish pond or aquarium backwash is a little too active to be applied to plants. I've long thought that if it was fish safe it was plant safe.

I don't think you could go wrong using it to keep the pile moist.

to sense

..

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N2H2o
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you could put it into a large trash can for storage. you could also set it up so the water evaporates and the minerals stay in the remaining water making it more potent.
I maintain ponds for a living and whenever i can i dump the water in the garden, planter, or lawn and have seen no ill effects.
Been gardening all my life and cant get enough of it.

The Helpful Gardener
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I'm with the lads; what harm can Nature beget Nature? Even predation has upsides for the environment; it is when we step outside natural bounds that we begin to make mistakes...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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Thanks everyone for the great posts!

I did some google searching and came across a whole plethora of uses, dilluting, application rates.

Looks like it will accelerate compost as well. I'll share some more when I can.
Zone 4a.

a0c8c
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Just make sure you don't use water after a disease or fungal infection in the tank. Otherwise, it's great for plants
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katylaide
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My dad runs an aquarium shop so I was using almost solely dirty aquarium water on my vegetables (they are my first attempt at gardening), mostly because we have water restrictions so I can't be using too much mains water. At first I saw no ill-effects, but we got hit hard by a couple of BAD heatwaves I wasn't prepared for, and my Kentucky Wonder bean plants, then about a foot high, lost lots of leaves. All the other plants recovered well but these haven't. They're still alive but I'm not holding out much hope. My dad thinks it's because of the higher-than-rainfall salt content of the aquarium water. I've now switched to feeding my plants about half rainwater/half aquarium water, which is more of a chore because I have to get the water from elsewhere, but it's my best chance of saving my beans.

GardenGeek
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I am also having quite big aquarium in my home and was having headache throwing the waste every time but i think now i got the better way to put the waste :twisted:
I hope it work good for my plants :)

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Katy, is Da treating infections with salt or doing African cichlids or something that requires higher pH water? It's not salt water aquariums, is it? :?


My aquarium water tended towards acidity left to it's own devices, but soil's in my neighborhood tend toward acidity...

HG
Scott Reil

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The Helpful Gardener wrote:I'm with the lads; what harm can Nature beget Nature? Even predation has upsides for the environment; it is when we step outside natural bounds that we begin to make mistakes...

HG
I agree. I was however, concerned about the dillution needed as some of the "sludge" in the bottom is very high in nitrogen and I would think tend to burn if not careful.


I am going to dilute slowly over time by adding additional water once the level gets below 4 gallons. I will stir it up before drawing it each time.

I think I will dilute further for the seedlings just to be safe and keep them little peppers from harm :).
Zone 4a.

The Helpful Gardener
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Sludge at the bottom of the tank should already be denitrified and nitrated into a plant soluable form (or it would be toxifying your water a lot more).

Ammonia does the burning and you know how little of that it takes to mess up an aquarium. Your composting is done there ofr the most part...

HG
Scott Reil

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Please dump your fish water into your compost!!! :D This is something I FREQUENTLY try to convince people to do because it is SO harmful to dump it down your sewers or anywhere it might be able to run-off into other fish's natural environments.

Domestic fish have tons of diseases (& thus medications) which can really harm wild fish stocks!!!!

Even if you don't have a compost, just dumping it out on your lawn/flower bed (unless your water table is THAT high) is definitely doing the RIGHT thing for your local wildlife :).

I just run mine straight out the window ;).
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

jason_mazzy
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aquarim water

u have to know whats in the water. Most aquarium water has alot of dissolved mineral. I keep cichlids, and in this case the ph is very high, and there is quite a bit of natural salts. Also petstores and larger fisheries keep there water extremely high in salt content. That could spell disaster for your plants.

On a side note if you keep just some common fish for yourself and don't treat the water regularly with salts, and run a good carbon filtration system I have no doubt that the detrius (fish/organism waste) is extremely helpul to plants.

katylaide
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Katy, is Da treating infections with salt or doing African cichlids or something that requires higher pH water? It's not salt water aquariums, is it? Confused


My aquarium water tended towards acidity left to it's own devices, but soil's in my neighborhood tend toward acidity...

HG
No, we don't do any cichlids or marine tanks, but I should mention that the water we use is partly purified (if that makes sense) waste water from a reverse osmosis system, which we drink from. The reason it's higher in salts is because the salts get left behind in the filtering process. Come to think of it, my experiences with aquarium water probably don't apply to most people, unless salts are added for the fish.

Our soil is acidic but the aquarium water tends towards alkalinity.

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Ozark Lady
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Did you know that salt water, as in.. ocean water or marine aquariums, used to water tomatoes, will bring out the sweetness?

I couldn't believe it when I kept hearing how wonderful salt water was for the tomatoes... You might well find info on this subject if you google it.

But, I kept thinking, what about the soil? So, if you do have excess marine water... use it on potted tomato plants...

I pretend that used aquarium water is manure tea... and remember... too much of a good thing is still too much.

I have not tried a marine aquarium as of yet.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Marine salts as garden addition has been getting a lot of looks lately, as it does bring back trace elements that may have leached or been used, in a natural fashion.

While salt build-up is a HUGE issue in chemically treated or fertilized soils (chemical fertilizers are themselves salts), it is sort of a non-issue in a good organic soil with adequate moisture retention. Small additions of sea salt can be beneficial. Watering daily with salt water IS NOT recommended, but an occasional use (or diluted watering) is probably great...

HG
Scott Reil

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