Anybody running without filters?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Low Tech Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-21-2013, 12:39 AM   #1
Rich Guano
Planted Member
 
Rich Guano's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arnoldsville, GA
Posts: 216
Default

Anybody running without filters?


After reading Diana Walstad's book, I have become obsessed with the idea that my filters are in direct competition with the plants. I don't see the point any longer in running them and I am on the brink of disconnecting them.

I want to see if anybody else has successfully run a tank with only a power head to move the water. NO FILTER.
__________________
Have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Think outside the glass box.
Rich Guano is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-21-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
bikinibottom
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 115
Default

Back in the day I ran my saltwater tanks with no filters. And I did a 25% water change maybe once every 3-4 months. And I never had a fish loss or coral loss until I lost power for a week straight during the derecho.
bikinibottom is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
Rich Guano
Planted Member
 
Rich Guano's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arnoldsville, GA
Posts: 216
Default

Your a brave soul. From what I read about salt tanks, proper filtration is the biggest push. Sorry to hear about the power outage messing up your tanks. What problem put an end to you run? Loss of lighting?
__________________
Have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Think outside the glass box.
Rich Guano is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
funkman262
Algae Grower
 
funkman262's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 124
Default

I only used a filter until my plants were able to keep up with the bioload on their own. I had a heavily planted tank with no filter, no water changes, nutrient dosing, and CO2 running for nearly 2 years (would still be running like that now but had to restart when I moved for a year and left the gf in charge of running the tank...).
funkman262 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 02:11 AM   #5
manzpants92
Planted Member
 
manzpants92's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Oconomowoc WI
Posts: 209
Default

interesting thread. I too just read the ecology of the planted aquarium and the idea is pretty crazy but it all makes sense. I'm planing on doing a small set up and was thinking about not running a filter
__________________
Travis
manzpants92 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 AM   #6
Rich Guano
Planted Member
 
Rich Guano's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arnoldsville, GA
Posts: 216
Default

@funkman Way to go! Thats what I talking about.

I have a 38G that has been running continuously since 2004. I have always used Marineland BioWheel Filters on this tank. Prior to having plants (added Feb 2011) The BioWheels always had a thick layer of bacteria growing on them. After the plants became established, the biowheels became void of bacteria, and since have been removed.

I would like to ween the tank off the filters entirely and reduce them to simple power heads moving water around internally.

I recently read that a engineer knows his work is finished not because anything else can be added to the design, but that nothing else can be removed. Its simplicity that I seek.
__________________
Have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Think outside the glass box.
Rich Guano is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:05 AM   #7
Dtitus1
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39
Default

Idk, I still wouldn't do it, the reason saltwater works without a filter (I still run one in mine regardless) is because your live rock builds up bacteria colonies that break down the waste.

Your plants aren't going to break down waste into usable nutrients, they're just going to use them, but if there's nothing to grow bacteria on to break down the waste it's just gonna build up and look nasty.

Now there should be some bacteria in your substrate, but this isn't really an efficient place for them to colonize in large numbers, so it would work to have no filter if you had incredibly low stocking in livestock, but still I'd just have a filter and more fish.
Dtitus1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:10 AM   #8
Dtitus1
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39
Default

Just thought about it, you could get dry rock and use freshwater live rock with the powerhead, same theory as saltwater. Wonder if anyone has ever done that....
Dtitus1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:15 AM   #9
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,993
Default

I have run plant only tanks with just a power head. (often Koralia style)
My tanks that are infested with fish, though, all have filters of some sort. At least a sponge over the intake of the power head. (traditional style PH with a place for a sponge).
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:19 AM   #10
funkman262
Algae Grower
 
funkman262's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtitus1 View Post
Your plants aren't going to break down waste into usable nutrients, they're just going to use them, but if there's nothing to grow bacteria on to break down the waste it's just gonna build up and look nasty.
A little confused here. Why would breaking down the waste via bacteria be better than the plants actually consuming the organics? Plants are much more efficient at nutrient and waste removal than bacteria is, which is why more research is being put into constructing wastelands or algae ponds for the use in wastewater treatment in which bacteria removal is currently the conventional method. Certain species like duckweed varieties especially are being researched for their ability to remove heavy metals.
funkman262 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:25 AM   #11
bikinibottom
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 115
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Guano View Post
Your a brave soul. From what I read about salt tanks, proper filtration is the biggest push. Sorry to hear about the power outage messing up your tanks. What problem put an end to you run? Loss of lighting?
Combination of things. One major stress was the temperature -- it was like 104 degrees after the storms, and the corals have a pretty narrow thermal range. Fish didn't like it either. Probably the next biggest stress was no water movement, meaning low oxygen. More of a problem for the fish, but corals do rely on water movement so that sediments don't settle on them and irritate them. No light -- corals depend on light for their nutrition. So everything combined was just too much.

One reason I was able to get away with no filtration is because I kept small tanks, less than 50 gallons. My filtration was totally biological -- lots of "live rock" and sand. The filter I currently run on my planted tank is just some sponges and the little ceramic rings -- yeah, I'm catching more of the fine debris and cleaning it out monthly, but really what you're doing is creating more surface area for bacteria -- biological filtration. You could achieve the same thing by creating more area in your tank to perform the same function.
bikinibottom is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 03:28 AM   #12
funkman262
Algae Grower
 
funkman262's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 124
Default

Since we're also discussing a bit of SW here, I'll add that the only filter I run on my 27g reef is a biopellet reactor (which is essentially a biofilter that provides a consistent carbon source for improved growth).
funkman262 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 04:00 AM   #13
aokashi
Wannabe Guru
 
aokashi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 1,490
Default

Ive done plenty of such filterless tanks. I love to keep a flow but there have been tanks that are stagnant and still do very well. I've never had a problem with things breaking down in the tank. if its a dead leaf or something, they snail will be sure to process it further.
aokashi is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 AM   #14
Dtitus1
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
A little confused here. Why would breaking down the waste via bacteria be better than the plants actually consuming the organics? Plants are much more efficient at nutrient and waste removal than bacteria is, which is why more research is being put into constructing wastelands or algae ponds for the use in wastewater treatment in which bacteria removal is currently the conventional method. Certain species like duckweed varieties especially are being researched for their ability to remove heavy metals.

Plants don't remove waste, they remove the nutrients after the waste breaks down from the biological processes occurring in your tank. Not saying filterless won't work, but when you take out your main biological filter solid wastes are gonna build up. Like I said, like 1 or 2 small fish in a 10 gallon could probably work out nicely, but seems to be a method that people use for tanks that are mainly focused on the plants.
Dtitus1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2013, 05:36 AM   #15
aokashi
Wannabe Guru
 
aokashi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 1,490
Default

detritus really doesnt hurt a well planted tank
aokashi is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012