View Full Version : Beneficial uses for aquarium waste water

10-24-2010, 10:11 PM
After cleaning the gravel and filters in your aquarium you're left with a bucket of dirty, smelly water. I typically have been watering my shrubs/bushes with this as a liquid manure.

Here is a definition of liquid manure I found in an article titled Notes on Compost Teas http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/compost-tea-notes.html
Liquid Manures-
"Mixtures of plant and animal byproducts steeped as an extract—stinging nettle, comfrey, seaweed, fish wastes, fish meal. Liquid manures are a blend of marine products (local fish wastes, seaweed extract, kelp meal) and locally harvested herbs, soaked and fermented at ambient temperatures for 3 to 10 days. Liquid manures are prepared similarly to herbal tea—the material is fully immersed in the barrel during the fermenting period, then strained and diluted and used as a foliar spray or soil drench. Liquid manures supply soluble nutrients and bioactive compounds."

A brief explanation on the use of compost teas as an organic fertilizer. Compost teas are used to add beneficial micro organisms to soil which helps break down organic matter into Nitrogen for plants. In return, plants feed the micro organisms sugar. This is the process of fertilization mother nature intended.

Compost tea is made with a pound of compost wrapped in cheesecloth and placed in a barrel. It is filled with water and a cup of molasses (which is the food for the micro organisms). Last you need Oxygen, so a pump is needed. This ferments for up to 7 days. The mixture is then used as an organic fertilizer.

People also use compost teas to speed up the length of time it takes to make compost. It just occurred to me today that I could also use my aquarium waste water on my compost pile to add beneficial bacteria to speed up the composting process. So instead of taking 2-3 years to make compost I could possibly have it in 1. This is just my guess though, time will tell if it speeds things up.

To conclude, I have never gone so far as to brew my own compost tea. It seems quite easy to do and my lawn would definitely benefit from it. I just notice alot of similarities with making the tea and the nitrogen cycle of a fish tank. So instead of dumping your dirty aquarium water down the drain you could be using it as an organic fertilizer to feed your plants or adding micro organisms to your compost pile.

10-24-2010, 10:29 PM
I used mine on tomato plants for years. Really helps to make them grow

10-24-2010, 10:34 PM
During the summer months, I will take the water from cleaning my filters and dump it in the flower beds

10-24-2010, 10:38 PM
I use all mine to water our avocado tree's, since i've been doing that it produces huge avocado's and our tree's have grown to over 20 feet!

10-24-2010, 10:54 PM
If you are changing your water at good interval there will be next to no nutrients in there that the plants will benefit from to any great extent.That being said ,its water and plants need water.

10-24-2010, 11:36 PM
I use it on my plants, both indoor and outdoor. Plants grow beautifully from the nutrients in the water

10-24-2010, 11:37 PM
I used to water the lawn with the dirty tank water. I would water the house plants with it but the dog and cat might be attrated to the soil. Now I just dump it down the toilet. I know, I'm boring.:hmm3grin2orange:

10-25-2010, 12:31 AM
I water my little vegetable garden with aquarium water in the spring/summer and I keep a few pots of fresh herbs going so they get the water as well. I dose my tanks with alot of ferts and usually rinse some filter media out in the water before taking it out so Im sure it has benefitial properties to the plants. My tomatoes and bell peppers always grow like spastic weeds.

10-25-2010, 12:32 AM
I use it for my garden and indoor plants. My trees and bushes are doing much better, since I have fish!:hmm3grin2orange:

11-14-2010, 02:54 AM
I water the inside plants with the water, the high nitrates are great for plants, also if you start off your garden plants in the spring time inside

11-14-2010, 04:35 AM
I usually drain the water out the window and into the shrubs below. Even in middle of winter, the shrubs are nice and green. While others on the property are brown and barely hanging on.

12-20-2010, 12:29 PM
I'll have to try this! I'm having terrible trouble getting my plants to grow!

12-21-2010, 12:02 AM
I use it to water the plants in my vivariums sometimes. Seems to help since I mist for humidity with distilled which obviously has no nutrients in it.