NANFA-- More on Roots & Vegetable Filters

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Mon, 06 Jan 2003 14:44:56 -0500

In regard to Moonman- I won't argue about the true definition of aquatic
tree. Such are adapted to the anaerobic conditions of the mud down in
the root zone. I doubt that Carolina Ash could survive like that if it
is permanantly flooded but it does grow in riparian swamps that are
seasonally flooded.

To have a tree survive with it's feet in water it is mecessary to go the
hydroponics route. You get the benefit of the roots sucking nutrients
from the water, shelter and possible spawning medium for fish and other
life, plus extra surface for beneficial bacteria and to top it off- a
tree standing out of the water that can be dwarfed and trained into an
asthetically pleasing form. I will probably do the same with a potted
Bear Tupelo- Nyssa ursina and one of the big potted bald cypresses that
I've had sitting in pots in a kiddie pool for the last couple years.

Some of these I intend on planting in a hollow on the property which I
hope to one day dam and flood to produce a small "cypress swamp" on the
upper end of a large pond.

In regard to the thread on cattails- they make an excellent filter plant
but they do crowd out everything else. To use them or a number of other
nutrient sucking marsh plants really effectively I would recommend a 300
gallon rubbermaid tank filled most of the way with gravel leaving space
for a foot or so of water and then plant it with cattails or better yet
a variety of marsh plants and let natural selection determine who is the
best filter plant. There would also be an aeration tower thru which
water pumped from the pond is allowed to trickle down and then flow back
up thru the mass of gravel and plant roots and through a bulkhead drain
back to the pond.

Since it is recommended that you have a filter area of 10 percent the
volume of the pond one such tub would handle the average ornamental pond
with ease and up to ten similar tanks devoted to fish and other stuff.
An oversized filter of this design would be perfect for the bioload of
large messy fish and turtles! Several of them linked together would
probably treat the sewage output of a single family household- but you
would need to have it inside an attached greenhouse unless you live in a
warm climate!

Maybe an idea?

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