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Why are plants the best filter?

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This is why


what are your favorite type of plants for filtering your tank? im a huge fan of all cryps and hygro species.
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To be more precise he should have said aquatic plants prefer the source of nitrogen to be ammonium [NH4+] over ammonia [NH3] because it does not require plants to use energy in converting ammonia to ammonium. Adding co2 is one easy way of converting NH3 > NH4+ .

He is spot on that a heavily planted tank does not need a filter.
 

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So, what constitutes 'heavily planted'? Is there a way to quantify that? I would be very interested in going without filtration. I suppose I could shut it down for a few days, and see what happens to the ammonia level...
 

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So, what constitutes 'heavily planted'? Is there a way to quantify that? I would be very interested in going without filtration. I suppose I could shut it down for a few days, and see what happens to the ammonia level...
That's easier to show than quantify. Google planted aquarium then look under Images. Now imagine what these tanks looked like when first planted so they could look like they look now. A starting point would be 80% of the substrate is planted.
 

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That's easier to show than quantify. Google planted aquarium then look under Images. Now imagine what these tanks looked like when first planted so they could look like they look now. A starting point would be 80% of the substrate is planted.
Hmm. I have ALL of my substrate planted, at least the parts that are not directly under stones or driftwood. But 40-50% of this is HC and other "carpet" plants that probably do not do a whole lot of filtering.
 
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