No Filter on a Ten Gallon Planted Tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Talking No Filter on a Ten Gallon Planted Tank?

I'm considering leaving off a filter for a newly planted 10 gallon. I will be adding shrimp and fish in a few weeks, but no filter, ...maybe. 'Why?', you ask. I've heard that filters and air stones deplete the co2 levels. And since I won't be adding co2, I need all I can get. But, I would like to have movement in the tank to keep the crud off the top and distribute fertilizers and other nutrients to the plants. Maybe a small powerhead. If you have any thoughts on the matter, please please help me out.

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Last edited by AWolf; 08-02-2015 at 06:59 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 06:35 PM
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This can surely be done. Biggest thing is to get the plants going well before putting live stock. A small power head is a nice idea.

Ensure its heavily planted too. Floaters and some fast growing stem plants will be important as well. Heat the tank in the mid 70s as higher temps reduce co2

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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This can surely be done. Biggest thing is to get the plants going well before putting live stock. A small power head is a nice idea.

Ensure its heavily planted too. Floaters and some fast growing stem plants will be important as well. Heat the tank in the mid 70s as higher temps reduce co2
Thanks! I thought I was on the right track.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 07:27 PM
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I don't know that anyone has tested it, but I'm pretty sure you're going to end up with LOWER CO2 levels in a planted 10gal tank without a filter/good water movement than you would on a tank with it.

The plants are going to be absorbing CO2, and the primary source of additional CO2 will be what is diffusing into the water from the atmosphere (livestock respiration will help, but an appropriately stocked 10gal tank is going to have a pretty small bioload...). Therefore the more water exposed to the atmosphere, the higher the CO2.





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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 07:32 PM
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I've done a dirt tank (29G) with plants, fish and no filter. Kept it for about a year until I needed to move it off the back porch. Growth was consistent and good. No water movement at all.

BTW Laura you need to change your sig.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I don't know that anyone has tested it, but I'm pretty sure you're going to end up with LOWER CO2 levels in a planted 10gal tank without a filter/good water movement than you would on a tank with it.

The plants are going to be absorbing CO2, and the primary source of additional CO2 will be what is diffusing into the water from the atmosphere (livestock respiration will help, but an appropriately stocked 10gal tank is going to have a pretty small bioload...). Therefore the more water exposed to the atmosphere, the higher the CO2.
I thought about that too, but figure a small power head will move the water enough to help with the exchange from the atmosphere, without depleting as much co2. Thanks for your input!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I've done a dirt tank (29G) with plants, fish and no filter. Kept it for about a year until I needed to move it off the back porch. Growth was consistent and good. No water movement at all.

BTW Laura you need to change your sig.
That's good news! Thanks!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 11:35 PM
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BTW Laura you need to change your sig.
Whatchoo talkin bout, Willis?


And I agree, a powerhead should be fine.

You can even stick sponge prefilters on some of them to help filter, too, if you want.





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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2014, 12:45 AM
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Whatchoo talkin bout, Willis?


And I agree, a powerhead should be fine.

You can even stick sponge prefilters on some of them to help filter, too, if you want.
Face it without me you'd be lost.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2014, 12:52 AM
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I don't see the difference between a power head and a sponge filter as far as movement, plus one will help keep nitrites/ammonia at bay. And you're going to be swimming in algae if you go with your plan now.

I had a beta in a 10g with just plants and lights. Dirted tank, no movement. Things got much better (including the beta's color and fin regrowth) once I added the sponge filter. I'm still fighting with the algae that is in there from the beginning.

Also, don't worry about diffusing CO2, unless you're injecting it.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2014, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I don't know that anyone has tested it, but I'm pretty sure you're going to end up with LOWER CO2 levels in a planted 10gal tank without a filter/good water movement than you would on a tank with it.

The plants are going to be absorbing CO2, and the primary source of additional CO2 will be what is diffusing into the water from the atmosphere (livestock respiration will help, but an appropriately stocked 10gal tank is going to have a pretty small bioload...). Therefore the more water exposed to the atmosphere, the higher the CO2.

I just want to reiterate what lauraleellbp said, in a tank, your source of CO2 is the atmosphere, the highest level of CO2 that you can aspire to have in your tank (without injecting extra CO2) is atmospheric levels of CO2. Your tank starts out with levels of CO2 equal to the atmosphere, then your plants deplete CO2 as they use it, the only way to replenish your CO2 levels is to have it diffused from the atmosphere, so you want water movement and surface agitation to keep maximal levels of CO2 in your tank.

The only time that you lose CO2 to the environment is if you have higher CO2 levels in the tank than in the atmosphere, and that only happens if you are injecting CO2.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2014, 10:48 PM
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2014, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cryolath View Post
I just want to reiterate what lauraleellbp said, in a tank, your source of CO2 is the atmosphere, the highest level of CO2 that you can aspire to have in your tank (without injecting extra CO2) is atmospheric levels of CO2. Your tank starts out with levels of CO2 equal to the atmosphere, then your plants deplete CO2 as they use it, the only way to replenish your CO2 levels is to have it diffused from the atmosphere, so you want water movement and surface agitation to keep maximal levels of CO2 in your tank.

The only time that you lose CO2 to the environment is if you have higher CO2 levels in the tank than in the atmosphere, and that only happens if you are injecting CO2.
But, the filter vs power head issue still bothers me. I've read that filters (sponge, charcoal, etc.), will scrub some co2 out of the water. So a power head seems the better option. Thanks for your thoughts!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2014, 07:33 PM
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C02 is just too small to be scrubbed out by a filter. On a molecular scale it is really tiny and light. Generally carbon filters out only the larger molecules. C02 compared to C6H12O6.

The bacteria on the sponge are consuming 02 and releasing C02 as they metabolize ammonia, nitrate and other organic wastes. Not that this will make much of a difference compared the the rate of diffusion of the gas into the water with the water motion.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2014, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWolf View Post
But, the filter vs power head issue still bothers me. I've read that filters (sponge, charcoal, etc.), will scrub some co2 out of the water. So a power head seems the better option. Thanks for your thoughts!
A sponge on a power head is a filter, like others have stated you will probably have less co2 in a low tech tank with no surface exchange.


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