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Discuss any carnivorous plant that doesn't fit in the above categories here or general chat about carnivorous plants

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By TheChrisanator
Posts:  68
Joined:  Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:59 am
#145153
So far, I've been growing my aquatic Utricularia in windowsill jars, with great outcomes. However, one of my Utricularia reflexa has multiplied, split, and completely taken over the jar. It was already in the largest jar in my home. So, instead of pruning and trimming, I was thinking of moving it to an aquarium. I already read and researched the setup. One thing I'm not sure of, though: what kind of filters should be used? I've read that most filters either suck in the plant of push it to the other side of the tank. One option was to install two filters on either side of the aquarium. Does anyone have experience with Utricularia aquariums? Utricularia reflexa is a nicely sized, floating bladderwort. I plan to use a ten gallon aquarium. Thanks for the help!
By parker679
Posts:  1642
Joined:  Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:34 pm
#146256
No experience with growing ultics but I do have aquarium experience. If you're mainly growing plants you won't need that much filtration. I would go with a sponge filter like this and you should be fine. These work with air pumps and create little surface water disturbance.
By Tony C
Posts:  352
Joined:  Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:23 am
#146263
If they are doing well in unfiltered jars why filter the aquarium? Do you plan to include fish or other animal life?
By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#146299
parker679 wrote:No experience with growing ultics but I do have aquarium experience. If you're mainly growing plants you won't need that much filtration. I would go with a sponge filter like this and you should be fine. These work with air pumps and create little surface water disturbance.
I agree entirely. If you are going to go for a filter but don't want one with any form of flow or large amounts of suction a sponge filter is the best thing you can do. I use sponge filters with my bettas (whose long fins can be likened to plants getting battered by filter flows). Sponge filters have the added advantage of being able to attach an air stone to them, this can reduce the possibility of the water going stagnant and provide additional oxygenation.

There are two kinds of sponge filters: stand alones and stick-on-the-side. Stand alone filters can be easier to hide but can also be rather large whereas stick-on-the-side sponge filters don't take up valuable floor space. I prefer stick-on-the-side ones myself. Both offer great filtration and have an outflow that produces a small stream of bubbles.

If you buy a sponge filter you'll need an air pump and some air line. I'd also suggest a non-return valve (which prevents water going back into the air pump thus shortening its lifespan) as well as purchasing a couple of extra adjustment valves; most air pumps come with their own but it's good to have spares in case yours gets lost or breaks. Adjustment valves allow you to tune how much air is being fed to the sponge filter.

If the utricularia you are housing is a floating species you may find it gravitates a little towards the sponge filter but it won't get sucked in. It may attach itself to the sponge cartridge (speaking from experience, I have riccia in my aquarium that likes hanging onto my sponge filter cartridges) but this shouldn't cause a problem.

Generally though a filter isn't needed unless you are going to add some form of livestock to the aquarium. The purpose of filters is to remove small particles of debris from the water column but they also offer room to house beneficial bacteria that breaks down fish waste (ammonia); this "BB" reduces the amount of water changes needed in tanks larger than five gallons (in a "standard" set up, not accounting for live plants and specialized stocking) and takes several weeks to establish.

Anyway... I would love to see your setup when it's done! I've wanted an aquatic utricularia tank myself but haven't gotten around to it - I'm also running out of room. Good luck!
By TheChrisanator
Posts:  68
Joined:  Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:59 am
#147430
Thanks so much for the helpful posts! A sponge filter is going to be ideal. Tony, I wasn't really thinking about adding anything, but maybe adding some kind of bottom dwelling plant that will make it a little more attractive than plain substrate... :) Grey, your info was very helpful. At first I thought I was going to run into a number of algal problems without a filter, but nothing like that has occurred yet. Again everyone, thanks for the time.
By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
#147432
With enough plant growth and the correct lighting you'll seldom have any algae due to the growth of your plants outcompeting it for nutrients. Some types of algae are perfectly natural in established set ups but the majority of algal blooms that occur are due to excess nutrients.

Good luck!

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