Essentially no, IF you have a soil substrate, decebt amount of faster growing plants, and especially if you have floating plants.
The substrate naturally reacts with droppings and decaying matter to turn it into usable substances for plants. Plants and especially floaters are mini beasts of nutrient absorbing machines which keeps the fish safe.. These work together like a natural habitat to keep the overall cycles going and balanced.
Filters became big and were necessary for fish tanks with no plants or substrate because the poop wouldn't break down without nitrifting bacteria in the water, eventually killing the fish. Plants like what fish produce and fishing food and what plants produce.
If you're very curious and want proof, order Walstad's planted aquarium ecology book which leans towards this type of tank with all of the raw, supporting science and explanation.