Setting up a tank without a filter?
What exactly would be involved in setting up a betta tank without a filter? All things considered, I would prefer to offer 5+ gallons, but I don't know how possible that would be to keep clean without filtration. I'm a relative beginner, so any insight would be appreciated.
Any particular reason why you don't want to have any filtration?
In this wikipedia article you can read about the advantages of using filters and different types of filtration systems; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_(aquarium)
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Without a filter you'd be more or less restricted to a Walstad method tank. For a single betta this could be done in the 5-8 gallon range. It would require a lot of fast growing plants, a light and preferably something to move the water around.
Can I ask why? The airpump which would benefit a walstad method setup could also be used to drive a sponge filter which would work well for a betta.
Even though bettas are often stored and sold without filters, that doesn't make it a good idea. While these fish can breathe air from the surface, making toxic unfiltered water safe*er* than for a fish that cannot do this, you will not find your betta reaching its full potential in terms of color, activity and lifespan. It is very simple to add a small sponge filter to such a tank to grow some beneficial bacteria and oxygenate the water.
If you do go filterless, you'll need to recognize that water changes are the only way to remove wastes from the tank. While larger is better because the waste can be diluted by more water, you'll still need to change almost all of the water at a minimum of once a week (twice a week is better). A lot of people only change the water when it gets cloudy, but by the time it is cloudy there already harmful levels of ammonia in the water.
I guess what I'm trying to say is it's probably more trouble to go without a filter, unless you do follow the above advice and go planted. Planted aquariums are super rewarding, but they require more effort to set up, and sometimes to maintain.
My partner has an auditory condition that often causes him to register quiet and ambient noises as distracting or unpleasant. While it isn't absolutely essential that I avoid a filter (he hasn't asked me to), I'd rather do so even if it's more work as long as it's possible to do well. I recognize that it would probably be easier (and possibly cheaper) to set up a tank with a filter than without, but that isn't really my goal.
Also, to clarify a bit, by 5+ gallons, I don't mean 5 gallons as a maximum. If it would be helpful to have a larger, planted tank, I'm open to doing so. I more wanted to emphasize that I know that people keep betta in tiny bowls or tanks, often without filtration and such, but that's not the setup I want.
Thanks for the advice so far. No worries, I won't buy a fish and stick it in a toxic environment.
if you are worried about sound, then an intank filter like this:
would be a great place to start, since its under water it wont make nearly as much noise as anything else.
i should also point out that i have something along the lines as your partner, but i doubt its as sever, and aquaclear filters (50 30 20) never make noise, the 70 and 110s are more noisy.
other things to consider would be a sponge filter (tho air pumps make noise often), any sort of power head filter (like the link) or even a cheap micro canister filter. sunsun make a great one for small tanks.:
i dont have any personal experience with those filters but on another forum i frequent they are the bees knees (i will be buying a larger one for my 55g sooner or later)
edit* forgot to mention the best thing if you go with canister filters, you can close them in something to block the noise. and theres no water dripping sound*
if you go with a planted no filter tank i would recommend frogbit, they love to eat up almost all the nutrients they can. but bettas might suffocate under them if you let them grow in. with a no filter tank the rule would be more plants, less fish, more space.
other small solo fish you can consider: ADF (not a fish but cool), and pea puffer.
Last edited by genocidex; 10-16-2013 at 05:57 PM.
KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
gotta love them bunnies!
I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!
I experimented with a tank having no filter and it is certainly possible, with plants. This was a 10g well planted, with no filter and (for a time) no light as it was in a south-facing window. Just a heater. Photo attached; I had 9 pygmy cory, 11 Boraras brigittae (one of the dwarf rasbora), a dwarf puffer (this wasn't planned, it came in with the corys), and later some Farlowella vitatta fry. I ran this tank for several months, with weekly 50% partial water changes, and had no issues. Substrate was regular play sand.
There is no reason this can't work for a single Betta. The plants do all the filtering, and more, that a "filter" does, provided the fish load does not exceed the plants' capacity. After all, in the decades before we had filters, fish tanks were so designed.
Now, having said that, I prefer having a sponge filter in small tanks, and my 10g now has one single Elite. The microscopic suspended particulate matter gets removed faster with a sponge filter, but this is not detrimental to the fish.
10g Aug 19-10 (2).JPG10g July 1-10.JPG
Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
An internal filter is an option but that first one.. I've seen it a few times, sometimes whisper quiet, sometimes noisy. QC seems an issue. Internal filters are scarce on the American market is seems but the eheim aquaball is available it seems.
I personally run the smallest eheim external, the 2211 and I've created a sleeve over it from insulating foam. That unit sits in the cabinet under the tank. Net result is more noise from the trickle of the water than the filter itself. With a slight modification on the outlet it's an option for tanks from 10 gallons and up.
Be sure to follow what these people said. When I had a betta it started out with no filter. It went into several new tanks but I think at least 1 of them had a filter. Your probably going to have to do frequent water changes to make up for the lack of the filter.
Living the fish life