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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: New York City
Posts: 98
no filter?

how many people actually have no filters in there planted aquariums, n how is it working out?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: New York City
Posts: 98
hm guess no one wanted to respond to that lol
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:40 PM
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Location: Wpg. MB Canada
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Sometimes no answer is an answer. Maybe not many do this. I wouldn't. For one thing, ammonia is the most toxic form of nitrogen so I want to be sure and have a good bac colony to convert it rather than plants alone with no fail safe. Even Walstad recommends a filter now, and she's an extremist IMO.

Ver. 1.0 80 gallon dirt goldfish tank (defunct)

Ver. 2.0 bare bottom same tank another approach (defunct)

Ver. 3.0 Pool filter sand same tank now

Farming Algae

Goldfish are among the worst fish for beginners.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:41 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 68
I have the lowest of low-tech nanos going... So far, so good. It's a fishbowl, maybe 1 gallon? It's got natural sunlight, no heater, no filter, inert gravel, dwarf sagittarius, frogbit and some duckweed. Inhabitants include about four snails ("accidental" snails that came in with the plants) and one grumpy but beautiful betta. I think the only reason this works is I do weekly 50% water changes to keep the fish poop down and that bettas don't require any additional oxygenation to their water. It can be done, just be careful what fauna you put in there.

30 g, fluorite, co2 pump – danios and moss balls - lots of other planted stuff
10 g, dwarf frogs, tetras, guppies, blue mystery snails
1 g, cherry shrimp / baby guppies / assassin snails
big fish bowl – betta
coming soon – custom “shrimpatarium!”
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:46 PM
Algae Grower
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Location: Westlake Village, CA
Posts: 9
No filter is absolutely possible. The reason no one replies is because its a scary propositon fish keepers are trained to avoid. I have done it twice. Once with fish, once without. The only problem besides the obvious is the tank doesnt rebound as well in my opinion. If something goes wrong, its very hard to correct. Plus, water movement is a pain. Of you need help or info look into the Walstad method. I honestly suggest just using an under powered filter and a metric ton of fast growing plants. Plants are a filter, but you will need water movement from somewhere . Pm meif you have any questions

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:47 PM
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Location: j-town, nj
Posts: 524
Skim through the low tech and nano forums. I've seen quite a few "walstad bowls" essentially a nano with no or very little tech involved, no filter, heater etc.

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it" - Mark Twain
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Poland, ME
Posts: 3
I have two Fancy Goldfish, a tangerine-gold Fantail and a Nacrous Calico Ryukin, in a 20 (us) gallon tall with which I use an Eheim Classic 2113 canister w/ pre-filter. When I upgrade them to a 40 (us) gallon breeder, I want to have a planted tank. I know it will be part playground, part salad bar, but I still want to give them a more naturalized habitat. Exactly as Indy6724 had said, I'm scared to do it without my filter. My most Utopian outlook allows me to use the same small filter successfully on a larger tank because of the plants ASSISTING with the water quality, but not being solely responsible. As my user name suggests, I suddenly found myself needing to be a fish-person due to circumstance rather than choice or experience and we've had one successful year thusfar. I've always wanted a planted tank for them, but was so focused on figuring out how to keep them alive that I didn't want to figure out how to keep plants alive, too. Now that I feel more confident as a fishkeeper I feel that, when I upgrade to accomodate their growth, I want to set it up as 'natural' an NPT as I can... as I dare...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 01:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Poland, ME
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Hmmm... Just posted but it's gone... Anyway, if this blurb happens twice, sorry.
I have two Fancy Goldfish in a 20 (us) gallon tall with an Eheim 2113 w/prefilter. I plan to upgrade them to a 40 gallon breeder and I want to try a planted tank, but, exactly as Indy6724 suggested, I'm scared to lose the filter. I feel optimistically that, with the plants, I could successfully use the smaller filter on the bigger tank because the plants can assist with the water quality... but that's my comfort-boundary.
Truthfully, is there anything 'natural' about a glass box full of water in your livingroom? My pets have all been of the 4-legged and furry variety until last year when we were suddenly given the Fantail, Swimmer. In a bowl!!! Once Swimmer was in the cycled tank, about 6 months later, we got the Ryukin, Groucho. I've been learning as I go, and now I want to have a planted tank... with my filter! LOL
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 01:20 AM
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Location: California
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Hi tech planted?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
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I had a tank run for about a year with no filter. Just Anubias and java ferns with a Betta. The tank was already very mature when the filter broke, so I just left it like that. It was fine the entire time, but I don't think it would have worked as well if I started filterless from the beginning.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 02:14 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 95
I have a low-tech 10g with 12 chili rasboras that ran without a filter for a while. Water quality was fine and the fish were happy, but without circulation I started to get a significant buildup of staghorn algae on the tips of my taller crypt leaves etc. I added one of the cheap hagen elite mini filters for circulation and the algae cleared up pretty fast. The 2x2cm foam "media" is probably doing some biofiltration, but ammonia was zero either way.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 02:40 PM
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Location: WA, USA
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All my tanks are only running powerheads with a sponge attached to prevent shrimps from getting chopped. No fish, just shrimps. Before I took down my 20 long I only had a powerhead with a sponge on it. It was moderately planted and there were maybe between 30-50 shrimps; it worked out great.

IMO aslong as there's circulation of some sort, well planted, and low bioload, no need for filtration. Many will disagree, but that's just me.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 05:16 PM
Algae Grower
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Location: Butlerville IN
Posts: 108
I have a tank in my gallery that is a 1 gallon, just gravel, vermiculite, laterite, one strand of Bacopa and a giant female HMPK betta. It's been that way for months now. I just did a big water change, the first one ever. I usually suck about 1/2 of the water out every week with a turkey baster and feed it to my house plants, I break up the surface film and try to get as much of it as possible when I do this. When I did the last water change I added 5 drops of Excel and 3 drops of Potash/iron. I have another small 1/2 or 1 gallon square jar with a spade tail giant female and 3 strand of anacharis, 2 planted one floating. This tank has never developed a film, I think the floating plant has something to do with that. It's also not quite as mature as the other tank. The third tank I have like this is a 2 gallon cookie jar with a hunk of driftwood, anubias and java fern. This tank has a lid and has also never developed a film. It has a regular female betta in it who kept digging herself down into the gravel of my 10 gallon sorority.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 05:49 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 81
I have three tanks w/o filters - 10G, 29G, 55G. I do use small powerheads for water movement. These are Walstad style tanks, so potting soil capped with gravel with lots of plants. The oldest has been up for 3 years. None ever test positive for anything, even nitrates. I do water changes once in a while, every few months. They are extremely low maintenance and very stable.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 06:09 PM
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Location: Aliso Viejo, California
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Many of my tanks are unfiltered. Although water movement is key.
A powerhead with a sponge is enough filter for most of my tanks. If that. I have a few tanks without even that and they have been doing well for many years. However having a filter does allow more options and heavier stocking.
I also think that a filtered tank is easier to maintain an keep stable in the long run. If something goes wrong with an unfiltered tank it is alot harder to make it right.
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