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Carpe Diem
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I am struggling with a decision on whether to go filter-less for my first ever riparium in planing. Starting a separate thread soliciting advise did not produce much useful information. hopefully this thread will get more attention.
 

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Filterless Tanks

The attached pic is a 20 G. Nothing fancy. Just room light for the emersed plants. The ferts are just what the 30 or so Fancy Guppies in the tank produce. No water changes or mechanical filtration, just top off the tank a couple of times a week and trim the plants. The plants thrive in the pure water conditions as do the fish.

B
 

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Amazing tank Bigtom! someday i want to setup one just like yours
are the tanks in this thread run without Co2 too?

here's mine


Holly he'll is that val up back? If so I'm ripping all my stems out and letting the vale take over
 

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Here is my 3 gallon bowl. Its about 4 months old today.

Inhabitants are tons of MTS, tons of zebra nerite snails, and currently 3 RCS. I'll be adding more RCS soon. No heater, no filter, and 6,500 K light ~8 hrs. a day. I do a ~30% water change roughly every two weeks, or whenever I remember. The water stays around 65-68 degrees. I don't measure anything else.











 

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Going back to freshwater after keeping saltwater tanks for a while, I completely forgot about the need for a filter. I believe it is more reliable to have all of the nitrifying bacteria colonize on the substrate and hardscape (especially something as porous as driftwood) vs. having them mostly contained to a small area outside of the tank that could easily fail.

with the tank I just set up, I may end up slowly removing the filter media and try running filterless.
 

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hi MurphyC,
yup those are valis. be careful thou, it could easily take over your tank.
I have taken the plunge. All stems gone... Got val up back, wendtii in mid and dwarf hair grass n a few swords up front...
 

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Heres mine. No filter, no heater, Light 7 hours a day. 6 gallon

Pink butterfly rostail betta + mts. I had some RCS in there, but the betta ate them all =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
How do y'all keep the water so clear without a filter? We tried running filterless on our ten-gallon and it just turned into a mud puddle.
You can cheat and run a filter with nothing but filter floss for a few hours to clear it up initially.
 

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Xiaozhuang, those are absolutely amazing. That first tank is a real piece of art. If you have time, would you mind sharing your details? substrate, lights, ferts, etc.

So lovely!
 

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Hey thanks~

Both tanks are grown under a 150w metal halide pendant (so much for low tech) about 2.5 feet above. For the first tank, substrate consists of a thin laterite base layer, garden soil topped off with ANS planta soil (relatively lean artificial soil). I used excel for first couple of weeks. I dose about 4ppm of NO3 a week using KNO3, maintaining nitrate levels of around 15ppm. Phosphates and traces are only dosed when signs of deficiency occur.

I find that an issue for many soil only tanks is that plants don't survive the initial shock when they are first planted, whereas for high tech CO2 setups plants have a higher chance of adapting to the new environment. When setting up a soil tank, using samples from a high tech tank with the same soil and water parameters give higher success rates in a soil only tank. Even seemingly difficult plants such as HC, HM and crypts can be successfully grown in soil tanks if they can survive the transplant shock.

On lighting, my personal experience is that if fish load is low and tank is planted densely, more light doesn't cause algae issues. Thus I use metal halides for all tanks, regardless of size or whether CO2 injection is used.
 
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