View Full Version : Sweet potatoes and a canister filter?

05-02-2014, 10:28 PM
So right now i'm still in the cycling phase (week 3) and i'm trying to get my water parameters close enough, almost perfect to have discus thrive. Hopefully will be ordering from Hans in the next 2-3 weeks:D

Parameters right now:
ph 7.4
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 40-45

120 gallon (no stock)
40% water changes twice a week
two sponge filters and a canister

So I am came across a video of a guy adding full sweet potatoes to his tank to bring down his nitrates. He had them in a fish bagger subemerged in his tank.

I know there's a dozen ways to bring down your nitrates but this one seems interesting enough to test. Maybe i could cut tiny pieces of sweet potato and put them in a mesh bag into my 2217? Or have them half way submerged? Any ideas or thoughts on this?

05-02-2014, 10:47 PM
I've never heard of that but nothing works better than water changes

05-03-2014, 08:09 AM
NO clue on that one...maybe the decomposing sweet potatoes act as a Nitrate Filter by creating pockets of anaerobic bacteria. The nitrates may go down using that method, but I would be concerned with what other effects it has on water quality.

Personally aside from water changes as suggested, I'd go with rooting pothos and philodendrons in the tank. I've had excellent success using them here to take a tanks nitrate ppm down 10-15 ppm.


05-03-2014, 01:13 PM
I could maybe understand sweet potato vine but not an actual sweet potato. But hey, if you're up for experimenting :p

05-06-2014, 03:32 PM
Hi, in my experience with growing sweet potatoes, you will need to just have the roots growing down into the water, sucking up the nitrates. If you have the potato submerged for long, you will have a rotten decomposing potato in your tank. Get the potatoes growing roots by putting them in a jar of water with just a couple inches in the water. The leaves will sprout on the top part, roots on the part in the water. When you have a good bunch of roots, then have the potato and leaves above the tank, with the roots in the water. Works well!
Barb (also a gardener)

06-18-2014, 10:48 PM
So, I wonder if you put the whole sweet potato in the tank would it also start to sprout and grow the vines/roots?

06-18-2014, 11:02 PM
So, I wonder if you put the whole sweet potato in the tank would it also start to sprout and grow the vines/roots?

Drop one into a bucket of water and test it. I still don't think I'd want to put one in my tank even if it did sprout. To many other variables to take the chance. As Al suggested Pothos work well and the roots growing into the tank look great. Philodendrons too. I killed mine when I moved recently so need to get a new one :(

06-19-2014, 12:22 AM
I would try it but I don't have any......I don't eat them LOL. however from my experience in rooting plants like that .....you need to wait until 1 starts to sprout cut a good size of it off and place the potato in water.

I don't know how that would work for a fish tank though.