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When I clean my 29 gallon tank I empty the water into my kitchen trash container then plunge an empty plastic kitty litter jug into it and fill it with the plant water. An empty cleaned out milk jug could be used.
If you don't use it right away, be sure to shake it before using as it does tend to settle on the bottom. It works better than plant food in my opinion.
By ann from Saint Peters, MO
Aquarium water is great for plants because of the natural fertilizer in decaying fish poop...however, rarely if ever should an aquarium be 'cleaned', a partial water change allows the beneficial bacteria colonies to thrive, and these colonies convert deadly ammonia and nitrates into less harmful nitrites. Only change 10-15% of water each time, as a general rule. I have been successfully raising and breeding freshwater tropical fish for over 40 years.
My husband loves his fish tanks and I love gardening. Between the two of us we use a lot of water. But he bought a fish tank vacuum to help him clean out the tanks and originally had it hooked up to the bathroom sink faucet.
I kept seeing all that good water just going down the drain and figured out that if he put it onto the outside hose I could use it to water my garden. Fish tank water is supposed to have a lot of good fertilizer in it so I am getting more than just water. This should save us a lot of money this year by reducing our water bill and I am hoping for bumper crops!
By KatherineC from Reno, NV
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My garden plants are all situated rather close to my home, as it has no outdoor spigot. I discovered a great way to water and feed my plants at the same time! I keep several sizes of aquariums, and use a Python siphon with a 50 ft. long 1/2 inch flexible plastic tube to do weekly water changes (big fish!).
In order to water the tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and whatever else I have growing each season, I place the "out" tube at desired areas from the door or even windows all around the house, start the siphon action with the Python, and out nutrient-rich water flows!
No waiting for buckets to fill, then slosh to the plants outside, and my lovely fish fertilize my plants! Organic and home-grown. Pythons are easy to find at most pet stores that carry fish; it wouldn't be practical for a small tank, but they do come in smaller sizes.
By Renee Miller from Liberty, NC
Use your water that you've cleaned out from the fish tank to water plants. It's like natural fertilizer!
By Sarah from Savannah, GA
I have goldfish aquariums in which salt is added for the fishes' health. That water will kill plants. (05/29/2009)
By Maya Lee
This is such a great idea! Thanks! Just make sure that no additives or things toxic to plants have been added to the water. (06/01/2009)
When I clean out my aquarium, I save the dirty aquarium water to water my plants. The water is full of free fish emulsion which houseplants just love! It's free vitamins and minerals for the plants. Saves on having to buy additives.
By Adrienne from Cleveland, OH
Doesn't it smell funky? (07/11/2007)
If you change your water on a regular basis, it really doesn't smell bad at all, sort of like a woodland lake. I would be careful about using water if it is being medicated, say for some sort of bacterial or fungal infection.
We have three tanks, a 20 gallon, a 37 gallon and a 50 gallon, so they take a lot of water. We do about a 10% water change every week or, at worst, two. We water all our houseplants then take buckets out to the flowerbeds or the younger shrubs and trees. They all seem to love the extra boost in nutrients
There is never a funky smell to our tank water! In fact after watering the plants with fish water, one of our very stubborn Christmas cacti bloomed for the very first time! Nothin' like good ole fish manure! (07/12/2007)
Plants LOVE IT, especially house plants. We have a turtle in a 20 gallon tank of rocks/wood/water, OUTSIDE. The algae and turtle waste needs twice a week changing, and that water is DARK GREEN from residual pet food the plants seem to love as well.
Yes, yes, yes, by all means, don't waste it since plants CHEER UP AND ALMOST SPEAK with it.
God bless you for your recycling and not wasting. : ) (07/12/2007)
I use the water from my 10 gal fishtank to water my houseplants and I use water from my fish pond to water the plants outside. My rose bushes love it, they have more buds this year than I have ever seen before! (04/26/2009)
I have an aquarium in which goldfish live. I add a tablespoon of aquarium salt each time I change some of the water. This salt will KILL plants. (04/26/2009)
By Maya Lee
I also go a step further, and run a drain hose from my garden pond to my veggie garden when I change the water. I had great tomatoes last year! (04/26/2009)
Is this safe for plants that yield veggies and fruits that you are going to eat? (04/27/2009)