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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i thought i'd start a new topic as this is very interesting! i fear i am overfiltering and not leaving any ammonia/nutrition for the plants, and so i am planning to remove the glass efi-substrat from the canister (2217) and perhaps eventually chuck the filter entirely! can this be done?

its a lightly stocked tank and low tech. see my last post search "bad luck with plants".

there is an interesting article by diana walstead regarding this but i can't seem to post any links as i'm new here. i don't really get the chemistry well though!

sagar
 

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It doesn't matter to the plants whether they get their nitrogen from ammonia, before any biofiltration, or from nitrate, a result of biofiltration. So, you can't have too much biofiltration, as far as the plants health is concerned. At least that is how I understand it.
 

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i thought i'd start a new topic as this is very interesting! i fear i am overfiltering and not leaving any ammonia/nutrition for the plants, and so i am planning to remove the glass efi-substrat from the canister (2217) and perhaps eventually chuck the filter entirely! can this be done?

its a lightly stocked tank and low tech. see my last post search "bad luck with plants".

there is an interesting article by diana walstead regarding this but i can't seem to post any links as i'm new here. i don't really get the chemistry well though!

sagar
It can absolutely be done. But IME I find that things grow slower and can get out of balance rather quickly. IME there is no replacement for good filtration, lighting and fertilization.

It doesn't matter to the plants whether they get their nitrogen from ammonia, before any biofiltration, or from nitrate, a result of biofiltration. So, you can't have too much biofiltration, as far as the plants health is concerned. At least that is how I understand it.
In agreeance with Hoppy I don't think you could over biofiltrate (is that a word?). I would think the more the better. As a matter of fact that is all I do in all of my tanks. I only use ceramic noodles and bio balls as media. I do use prefilters also. Everything is fine and dandy, fish are happy and healthy, and the plants are growing like weeds.
 

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I've read that plants prefer ammonia to nitrate. I don't know if this is true or not. I've read a lot of crazy stuff.

I have read that also. I think that it requires extra energy for the plants to convert the nitrate as there is an extra metabolic step involved. I read that on the internet so it must be true. ;)

But in the end I don't think that it really matters and that biofiltration (with filter) is more beneficial than none (sans filter).
 

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Yes, as I understand it, plants can use ammonia easier than nitrate. But, they adapt to whichever is available. Given that ammonia can trigger a green water bloom, I think it best to rely on nitrates.

Another aspect to this is that a well planted tank has enough plant mass to use any ammonia that shows up long before that ammonia ever sees the nitrifying bacteria in the filter. I think the plants metabolism, the bacteria on the plants, the bacteria on the substrate, the bacteria on the hardscape, all together are sufficient to do without any special bio filtering with bioballs, ceramic rings, etc. That bio filtering is just a backup capability, and the main function of the canister filter is to keep the water clean. (Filter floss is covered with bacteria too.) A fish only tank is another story of course.
 

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So, technically, I shouldn't worry about adding more bio stars that came with my XP3? I think there was only about 6...
ya, but u can use cheap ceramic rings or bio balls then the expensive bio start for XP... I'm using half a tray full of bio rings, and top w/ bio balls on my XP3. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
nice info, guys thanks, especially to the gurus! after i posted that i did some more scouring and found some more interesting things. there was a guy who never used filters on his tanks as plants do great by themselves! though i cant find it now. just google "plant filter" there's some articles on the krib too.

i have to say, i'm gonna try this! and save my 2217 for my home tank!

sagar
 

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It's definitely possible to set up a nice planted tank without a filter- but it can be a challenge. There's also the issue of water flow and mechanical filtration- both of which can help prevent algae issues.

If you're wanting the tank to be as low maintenance as possible, I'd put at least a powerhead/sponge filter combo on the tank to help with flow and mechanical filtration. Personally, I'd use the 2217.
 
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