Filtration free planted tank.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #1
kamikaziechameleon
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Filtration free planted tank.


I've seen the shrimp bowl design and I wondered if making a full on filtration free tank, say 30-90 gallons depending on what I settle on is possible. I love the filter feeders, the large fan shrimp and the freshwater clams etc. Would they be able to keep up in a medium or high light setup if my tank was 90 percent clean up crew or would I be left with a green water mess. I would only have some powerheads moving water for the filter feeders and that's it.

Let me know your thoughts this is an idea I've been playing with. I also considered doing such a tank with a timed filter to turn on once a week with a UV and everything to clear up the water a bit.

I really want to create a large scale aquascaped eco system.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kamikaziechameleon View Post
I've seen the shrimp bowl design and I wondered if making a full on filtration free tank, say 30-90 gallons depending on what I settle on is possible. I love the filter feeders, the large fan shrimp and the freshwater clams etc. Would they be able to keep up in a medium or high light setup if my tank was 90 percent clean up crew or would I be left with a green water mess. I would only have some powerheads moving water for the filter feeders and that's it.

Let me know your thoughts this is an idea I've been playing with. I also considered doing such a tank with a timed filter to turn on once a week with a UV and everything to clear up the water a bit.

I really want to create a large scale aquascaped eco system.
The idea is totally doable, sort of. I encourage you to read Diana Walstad's, ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM. Even if that's not what you end up doing, it's a great read for anyone into aquariums.

The rub comes with the medium or high light aspect of your plan. They critters may or may not be able to keep up...meaning they might live in there just fine, but your tank will be an algae farm. Essentially what you are doing is creating a pond inside of an aquarium, and that's totally doable...but it will look like a pond, lol.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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The idea is totally doable, sort of. I encourage you to read Diana Walstad's, ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM. Even if that's not what you end up doing, it's a great read for anyone into aquariums.

The rub comes with the medium or high light aspect of your plan. They critters may or may not be able to keep up...meaning they might live in there just fine, but your tank will be an algae farm. Essentially what you are doing is creating a pond inside of an aquarium, and that's totally doable...but it will look like a pond, lol.
Would you think a times filtration with UV would do well to keep it in check but still keep enough food in the tank for the filter feeders. I don't want to do this and end up with bunch of dead and buried clams :P I fear running a filter full on will detract to much from the water in the tank for potential filter feeders. Maybe I'm wrong but I perceive it that way.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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I'm not against dosing potassium and CO2 into the tank to spur plant growth but trying to make sure I can achieve an equilibrium with moderately serviceable appearance/clarity in my tank yet decent enough cultures of micro organisms to feed clams and shrimp etc.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Would you think a times filtration with UV would do well to keep it in check but still keep enough food in the tank for the filter feeders. I don't want to do this and end up with bunch of dead and buried clams :P I fear running a filter full on will detract to much from the water in the tank for potential filter feeders. Maybe I'm wrong but I perceive it that way.
The UV could help clear up the water, but that's not what I'm concerned about.

I think all the critters would be fine, but I think you would soon have every type of algae known to man stuck to everything inside the tank. The water is not my concern, looking at a big green bowl of crap is, lol.

I could be wrong, but I just don't think it's possible doing a medium or high light tank. That said, I know, for a fact it's possible in a (low tech) low light Walstad style tank.

Low tech is not a dirty word. There are some stunning low tech tanks on this forum running some stupid low light with no Co2 and minimal input. But once you increase that light to a certain point, things change quickly.

Check out some of these tanks...http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...-tell-low.html

Here is a tank journal you might find interesting...http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...k-updated.html
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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Lol, yeah algae fest is a concern for sure. I've been gone from planted tanks for a LONG time, lol. I'm getting back into them in a bigger way than before. I've been doing the low tech anubis/java fern/crypts thing with my cichlids to good effect for a while. Now I'm going to dive into inverts and medium-high planted tank. I've got two smaller planted tanks coming together as I've started this and I'm hoping to develope these two small tanks into two large tanks down the road, one a riparium the other a full on aquascaping master piece. Really trying to sort out my options and goals at the moment. If you think that a filter would not remove too much from the water column in a planted tank then I'm all for one. How much do filter feeders need? I get a notion that no matter what I'll end up experimenting with this extensively. :P
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:35 PM   #7
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Well I'm not trying to discourage you from anything, I'm just passing along information that I've read and or experianced. I think the idea sounds very cool, I just don't think it will work with a high light situation.

As far as filters go, they remove as much stuff from the water as you set them up to remove. There are people with large complex canisters and some with simple sponge filters, and both can produce awesome results with a planted tank.

I don't know anything about filter feeders unfortunately, but you have found the right forum. Somone on here has tried or knows something about anything you may be wanting to try. If you're serious about recreating a sustained natural aquatic enviroment I strongly suggest you read that book.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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I agree that high light might not work for such a set up. But filtration is a matter of stocking, so if you aren't including any fish it really might be unnecessary anyways. A UV sterilizer is a bad idea in a planted tank IMO. They oxidize substances that the plants would otherwise be using, and they'd be killing off what your filter feeders need to survive.

My only concern with the filter feeders is whether or not the tank will generate enough food for them.

Definitely an idea worth exploring further though.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
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Ecology of the Planted Aquarium will definitely outline for you how to go about achieving this, but you have to do it in the right manner. It really needs a soil substrate, which has certain buffering minerals mixed in for instance. And it's best to dry-start your plants to give them the upper hand over algae. Being that the plants are rooted in a rich substrate, once they're established and healthy they 'should' have the upper hand over algae. The plants benefit from the co2 produced by the decomposition of the soil and other things, but I believe it'd rarely be enough co2 to fully supply plants under high-lighting, and thus cue algae farm.

I'm running a few loose gallon jar trials. But off-and-in they sometimes suffer from blue-green algae. But I haven't had any problems with green water, which I believe is usually caused by ammonia from lots of fish and heavy feeding. Mine are in the sun for part of the day, so I was expecting some problems of course.

I think at least a nano powerhead would help keep things like blue-green algae down, and you could plug it into a sponge filter so it wouldn't be ingesting your micro-invertebrates.

Skip the UV unless you find you really need it.

And good luck!
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:42 PM   #10
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I agree that high light might not work for such a set up. But filtration is a matter of stocking, so if you aren't including any fish it really might be unnecessary anyways. A UV sterilizer is a bad idea in a planted tank IMO. They oxidize substances that the plants would otherwise be using, and they'd be killing off what your filter feeders need to survive.

My only concern with the filter feeders is whether or not the tank will generate enough food for them.

Definitely an idea worth exploring further though.
Well the UV would definitely not be on all the time, but more of a backup for green water and algae blooms. I mean I could just try under filtering the tank, let the powerheads move most of the water and let the filter/uv clean a little and leave most of the tank to the filter feeders.

I will read the book don't worry.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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I don't see why it wouldn't work. Filter bacteria live on all the tank surfaces after all. Filters provide a convenient place for a bigger colony of bacteria and provide good mechanical filtration.

High light+CO2+ferts+water movement+lots of those great detritus and filter feeders and the tank will be super fun to watch
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:08 PM   #12
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Ok my design is to get pristine water clarity, The filter will be a sump will minimal biological filtration, the overflows will drain through ejection hose(ejection hose is very soft and its natural state is collapsed, this should remove any cascading effect to keep essential CO2 in the water colum hopefully) into filter socks dual stage, 200 and 50 micron socks nested inside eachother. Then through some baffles with ceramic rings, over heaters, into pump, through a DE pool filter and then a UV filter (that will remain off unless their is a problem in the tank) and back into the tank. I might even remove the ceramic rings all together and just add buffer media in there depending on what I want/need for the tank. In the over flows I'll place some... raparium plants?? Don't know what you call it when its half in half out, like a calla Lilly and stuff perhaps, not sure on that yet.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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I have 5 freshwater mussels in my 10g. They were in there way before any fish got added, besides I'm sure there's other little critters in there if not the water. I used what essentially is lake water since we have 2 seperate water supplies. 1 being city water and the second is lake water for watering the yards. The mussels have been in the tank awhile now and are doing fine as far as I can see, I positioned them so that they can be noticed if they bury themselves and so I know exactly where they are in case I rearrange stuff.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:40 AM   #14
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I've got a 29 no tech tank. It's heavily planted and out on the back porch. It gets filtered sun through the screening. Only thing in it is a heater. I've got angels and livebearers. Been running for a while now with no real problems. Since it's so heavily planted algae hasn't been a problem.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaziechameleon View Post
Ok my design is to get pristine water clarity, The filter will be a sump will minimal biological filtration, the overflows will drain through ejection hose into filter socks dual stage, 200 and 50 micron socks nested inside eachother. Then through some baffles with ceramic rings, over heaters, into pump, through a DE pool filter and then a UV filter (that will remain off unless their is a problem in the tank) and back into the tank. I might even remove the ceramic rings all together and just add buffer media in there depending on what I want/need for the tank. In the over flows I'll place some... raparium plants?? Don't know what you call it when its half in half out, like a calla Lilly and stuff perhaps, not sure on that yet.
That's not much of a no-filtration design, is it? Though I don't blame you. If you want crystal-clear water, you have to use a filter. Walstad tanks witjout filters are nice, but they won't ever achieve that type of clarity.

And yes, a half submerged setup would be a riparium.
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