NPT... how "natural" do ya dare get?? Filtration question
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
ilovelucy
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NPT... how "natural" do ya dare get?? Filtration question


I'm in the very beginning stages of my 75 planted tank(see signature) and I have been much more concerned with getting my plants, lighting and substrate figured out but now the question of filtration...

I like the idea of El Natural tanks, but I can't help but think that anything I set up without ANY filtration would be an epic fail. I have a Fluval 405 canister which is completely out of the question to use. I have a couple HOB's that I'm feeling lukewarm about. So, I'm thinking of getting a powerhead with a sponge filter...

Does anyone have an opinion on this? Would a small powerhead rated for a much smaller tank suffice, considering my plan for a tank with low filtration? Or what size would be appropriate for my 75 NPT? If I should go larger, would it be best to get one larger powerhead, or two smaller ones?

Or should I just go for no filtration? I have read of many people's positive experiences El Natural, but no filtration kinda frightens me.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Anyone have thoughts on this?
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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I have/had tanks ranging from 2.5 to 20 gallons with no filtration, some have no water movement at all. Not much difference from those with canisters.

I wouldnt worry about it, theres plenty of surface area inside the tank for bacteria to colonize.

and plant heavy.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:08 PM   #4
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I have several systems with the largest being 80g using small 5w power heads equipped with sponges and I'm happy with the results.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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NO water movement at all isn't natural.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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i agree with dogfish there should be some movement definitly
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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A 29 planted with no filtration and no water movement at all. There is a heater in there though since it's outside. Convection currents supply any water movement and the fish stay where they like the temperature. Which seems to be every spot in that tank. When working on it I feel the difference in temp from top to bottom but these guys are all over the tank.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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i always think that some movement is better than none at all
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
NO water movement at all isn't natural.
i never said it was. i just said it's doable.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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nonconductive - My post was directed toward the OP, and not a comment on your efforts. I should have been more clear.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for the responses! I think I will start wit a small powerhead and see how it goes. I love the idea of my very own self-sustaining ecosystem. Of course, I'm my head it all works out perfectly... I hope it works out that well then it all comes together. I have a pretty significant amount of plants on their way as we speak, I hope its enough to knock out any big ammonia spike.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovelucy View Post
Thanks so much for the responses! I think I will start wit a small powerhead and see how it goes. I love the idea of my very own self-sustaining ecosystem. Of course, I'm my head it all works out perfectly... I hope it works out that well then it all comes together. I have a pretty significant amount of plants on their way as we speak, I hope its enough to knock out any big ammonia spike.
The ammonia spike will subside with time and bacteria. With an NPT like you are doing I have only these thoughts of caution. As many plants as you think you need, double that number. As many fish as you want, cut that number in half.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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Ooh, sorry about the grammatical errors! I don't often post from my phone. Damn auto-correct! Ya get the idea, anyway! Lol
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 plants incoming, and I have about 6 leftover from a torn down tank. Is that not enough?
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovelucy View Post
I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 plants incoming, and I have about 6 leftover from a torn down tank. Is that not enough?
I wasn't being literal, lol. Just trying to make a point.

NPTs are awesome! Self sustaining, low cost, low maintenance...heck water changes are almost optional when they are done right. The thing is a lot of people start a real good NPT, then they stock it like mad and throw off the "balance". We like fish, and most of us try to get as many fish as we safely can in a tank...I'm guilty of this as well. However a proper, balanced NPT will have lot's of plants and a few fish.

I think this is one reason wkndracer's tanks work out so well. He doesn't cram 50 neons and 8 angels into a 55...his stocking is moderate and his tanks remain balanced.

That's all I was trying to get across.
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