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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Filterless

Share your advice for filterless setups. I've been reading as much as I can, but there's really not a lot to read.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 01:43 PM
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More plants, fewer fish. It's the golden rule.

Let your plants establish for a while and aim for around 50-75% planted. Don't be tempted to push your stocking levels. Otherwise all the same principles of a tank apply, you just have less surface area for beneficial bacteria.

Fraternity of dirt no. 60.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 07:38 AM
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use at least 1 inch of fertile soil for the plants and cover with one inch of sand, the bacteria will have more space to develop. Driftwood and rocks are recommended too, as they provide aditional space.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 03:28 PM
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Does filterless mean pump-less? Some circulation is good
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 11:39 PM
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Hornwort, Moneywort, all the -worts! Those floating plants do a lot of heavy lifting in my tank, as well as red foxtail, and duckweed. Actually, I found duckweed to be a bit of a curse - it grows crazy fast, and I finally phased it out (with the help of a gravy ladle!). Mixed in with the duckweed that I bought was a few of some kind of quite similar plant, just much larger and easier to deal with, and that has reproduced to take the place of the tiny PITA duckweed. I am not sure what this "greater duckweed" is called, sorry.

Keep an eye on your fishs behavior, it can indicate unhealthy water, and do water changes as necessary. I don't even use a powerhead, and all is going well so far. No algae, clear water, and content fish and snails.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
Does filterless mean pump-less? Some circulation is good
I've been thinking about the same thing. I'm thinking that in most tank cases if you're not using a filter, use a pump. There are some nice ones on the market. Used to be that there were basically only powerheads.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 03:29 AM
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Every filterless setup I have done has been quite easy. They have all been 10 gallons or less though. It's the same as other tanks, balance the lighting with the plant mass. You don't have to be low light but it's easier to start on the low end (CFL bulbs make this process much easier).

As others said, don't stock nearly as heavy. My guess would be 50% or so of a filtered tank. I have gone way less every time.

It isn't hard to do. The only issues are stocking and lighting (on a planted tank). I have had a few setups where I had really health fish, no algae issues, and had a lot of fun doing so. Much easier than high tech for me.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 04:03 AM
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i think filterless tanks if setup right can actually be far safer and more stable for your fish. if 70% of your beneficial bacteria are housed in a filter media you can devastate a tank if something should happen to it. where as with a "filterless" the bacteria happily colonize the gravel, and your chances of crashing a tank are far less.

you can do flow or no flow depending on your size and bioload. more heavenly stocked tanks with larger volumes of water would probably need some help from a pump. in my setups usually 10s and 20s i never use any flow. it seems to work fine for my 50 too. but that will also depend on the fish. if i where setting up a hillstream loach tank it would look like the inside of a washing machine.

one thing also to think about is a deep sand bed. it's easy to provide an area for aerobic bacteria, the same that any standard filter on the market utilizes to eliminate ammonia/nitrite, but something most don't realize is that you can also have a population of beneficial anaerobic bacteria a few inches under your gravel that will work opposite to the other bacteria and eliminate nitrates, reducing the need for water changes.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 05:12 AM
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just wanted to chime in on this. Now I havent aimed to sustain a filterless tank, but my filter motor randomly blew out during a water change - and the tank was without filtration for a month and a half. In hopes that everything would survive, I let the algae bloom like crazy! I believe it helped sustained my tank. It was a 10gallong low tech, 1wpg, and well planted.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cro117 View Post
i think filterless tanks if setup right can actually be far safer and more stable for your fish. if 70% of your beneficial bacteria are housed in a filter media you can devastate a tank if something should happen to it. where as with a "filterless" the bacteria happily colonize the gravel, and your chances of crashing a tank are far less.

you can do flow or no flow depending on your size and bioload. more heavenly stocked tanks with larger volumes of water would probably need some help from a pump. in my setups usually 10s and 20s i never use any flow. it seems to work fine for my 50 too. but that will also depend on the fish. if i where setting up a hillstream loach tank it would look like the inside of a washing machine.

one thing also to think about is a deep sand bed. it's easy to provide an area for aerobic bacteria, the same that any standard filter on the market utilizes to eliminate ammonia/nitrite, but something most don't realize is that you can also have a population of beneficial anaerobic bacteria a few inches under your gravel that will work opposite to the other bacteria and eliminate nitrates, reducing the need for water changes.
Doesn't a deep sand bed go bad over time with no stirring of the substrate.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferzbooboo View Post
Doesn't a deep sand bed go bad over time with no stirring of the substrate.

That's what Malaysian Trumpet Snails are for

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Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 02:45 AM
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While I only use a aquaclear 50 on my tank I do add air to sustain that which the plants use at night. The ph swings are high at night. Once the tank is established the fish and plants create a natural symbiotic relationship. High movement forces gas exchange at the tanks surface. In a low tech tank less exchange is good.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 02:50 AM
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Aquascaping with Dirt.. Getting your hands dirty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Hconqp8mc
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