Aquarium Forum
 


Menu
  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Calculators
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

Articles
  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food

User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    13

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default Keeping an Aquarium With No Filter


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello AC...

    If I set up a tank and used lava rock and an airstone with an air pump in place of a mechanical filter, would the tank support fish if I just performed large, weekly water changes? The reason I ask, is the bacteria would just grow in the lava rock instead of the filter media. And, the water change would remove dissolved fish waste and the airstone would mix oxygen in the water.

    ot
    Last edited by oldtimer; 03-27-2019 at 05:01 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    6,784

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Glad you tracked down the coral killer - mch1984   sorry to hear about your twin spot. - bpete   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holidays to you! - Boundava   
    Emphysema - Lung Cancer - Lung Disease - Multiple Sclerosis - BluewaterBoof   Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - BluewaterBoof   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    @oldtimer

    Yes, this will work if set up properly and you don't go crazy with stocking or fall behind on maintenance.

    Lots of folks try out the "Walstad Method" with varying degrees of success. You can look into that (if you haven't already) for ideas of how to set up a contained and fairly self-sufficient system that minimizes both equipment used and maintenance.

    If you are working with a freshwater system that doesn't involve destructive animals, incorporating live plants will work wonders when paired with a responsible maintenance schedule. The more plants you have, the more biomass you have that is consuming things like nitrates, ammonia, minerals. As a nice bonus, live plants provide an amazing aesthetic to the tank.

    If it was me, I'd toss the air pump and just get a powerhead/circulation pump. You'll have better water movement and oxygenation. Many folks believe the bubbles from an airstone are what oxygenate the water but it is really the surface agitation as they break the surface of the water that creates gas exchange. A powerhead or other type of pump that is angled towards the surface to create ripples is going to be much more effective and ensuring the tank is adequately oxygenated.

    That being said, if you like the aesthetics of an air stone and can tolerate the sound of an air pump, by all means go ahead with that route. I just know a lot of folks don't like the hum/buzz of a lot of air pumps out there.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    3,523

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Congrats on 3,000, have an oyster! (?) - Slaphppy7   For giving your daughter a tank, scaping rights included! - RiversGirl   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holidays to all of you! - Boundava   sorry to hear about your knee. since you dont drink herea a slice - bpete   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    A biological filter is basically just a lot of surface area on which beneficial bacteria can anchor, and current to move water over said surface area. If you can provide that in some other way, there should be no problem. Even massive water changes probably aren't necessary, especially if your tank is planted.

    Natural ponds and streams don't have filters; they have substrate that is slimed up with beneficial bacteria and other critters that take care of waste and keep the water liveable. The only reason aquariums generally require filters is because the stocking density is so much greater than a natural body of water.

    My tanks are all Walstad-ish. I am fascinated by her method, but it requires a low stocking density. Since I like lots of fishies in my tanks, I put filters in them. But once the plants really get going, I'm pretty sure I could shut the filter off and the water quality would be OK.

    Good luck!
    Thomas

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    13

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello Whis...

    I researched the Walstad method several years ago and tried it. The nutrients in the dirt were exhausted in just a few months and I had to use root tabs. Root tabs in a dirted tank is a mess. So, I found this method has a flaw for the nutrient reason. I set up a 60 gallon tank and used a couple of house plants to filter the tank water and the constant nutrients from the fish waste material caused the plants to overgrow.

    ot
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    5,378

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   My fish say thanks - KoryKat   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    Hello Whis...

    I researched the Walstad method several years ago and tried it. The nutrients in the dirt were exhausted in just a few months and I had to use root tabs. Root tabs in a dirted tank is a mess. So, I found this method has a flaw for the nutrient reason. I set up a 60 gallon tank and used a couple of house plants to filter the tank water and the constant nutrients from the fish waste material caused the plants to overgrow.

    ot
    Which house plants did you use? Ambient sunlight or overhead light?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    13

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello Rock...

    I used Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema). I believe these are the Gemini variety. Anyway, these plants used the nitrogen from the fish waste so fast, that the nitrite bacteria didn't have anything to convert to nitrate. So, nitrate was nearly zero. These plants will do fine in room light, but I hung a four bulb shop light above the plants. The combination of stronger light and constant nutrients from the dissolved fish waste in the water caused the plants to get much larger than normal. They're the size of a large beach ball.

    ot

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    5,378

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   My fish say thanks - KoryKat   

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
    Hello Rock...

    I used Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema). I believe these are the Gemini variety. Anyway, these plants used the nitrogen from the fish waste so fast, that the nitrite bacteria didn't have anything to convert to nitrate. So, nitrate was nearly zero. These plants will do fine in room light, but I hung a four bulb shop light above the plants. The combination of stronger light and constant nutrients from the dissolved fish waste in the water caused the plants to get much larger than normal. They're the size of a large beach ball.

    ot
    Have you tried pothos? If so, are these better than pothos in the amount of nitrates being consumed?

    Substrate free?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    3,523

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Congrats on 3,000, have an oyster! (?) - Slaphppy7   For giving your daughter a tank, scaping rights included! - RiversGirl   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holidays to all of you! - Boundava   sorry to hear about your knee. since you dont drink herea a slice - bpete   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Interesting about the soil petering out. I've never had that happen in my dirted tanks, one of which has been up and going for over three years. I find that the soil replenishes itself.

    I like the house plants! I've always wanted to try that (I would call it a "botanical filter" because it sounds cool) but never have yet.

    T

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    13

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Rock...

    Yes. I tried pothos, philodendron, nephthytis and Prayer plants too. Their root systems were too small and the plants never grew large enough to make a difference in the level of nitrates in larger tanks. I suppose the smaller plants would work in a small tank. The roots of the Chinese evergreen have gotten quite large, to the point I can only keep very small fish in this tank. There's no room for a larger species.

    ot

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    inland northwest, U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,021

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Have a great Birthday! - discusluv   Merry Christmas! - discusluv   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The AZ00 non-stop air pump is silent.

    I took the filter out of my 20 gallon, because it is nearly all live plants and only 8 tiny White Clouds, a few small shrimp and some snails. I don't have to change the water nearly as often, and it hasn't affect the quality, at all.

    My main fear with the Aquaclear 50 I had on that tank was that it might one day leak while we were on vacation, and we would come home to a water-soaked mess. It never happened, but that was always in the back of my mind. It sealed completely, yet, I always dreaded that possibility, and besides that, I got tired of cleaning it.

    I still have my air pump and 4-inch airstone, and get plenty of surface agitation.

    I plugged up the filter opening in the lid by placing a clear piece of plexiglass over it and taping it down with duct tape.

    If you can get by without a filter and maintain good quality, that's the way to go. Only experienced aquarists should try that, however. Newbies tend to overstock. I did, when I first started.
    20 gal. high: planted; 5 white cloud minnows, 4 golden White Clouds, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •