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Old 04-11-2011, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Filter Media-less Aquarium

Anybody here running a lightly to moderately planted tank with zero filter media (ie carbon and ammonia chips) and no filter bag? I have read a few articles on doing it, but I'm still not 100% confident and would appreciate some tips and advice
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Filter Media-less Aquarium

Yes you can do it. I've done it and I actually had to trim the plants quite often.

I'm not sure why you only mention carbon and ammonia chips, but not biomedia. In any case - you can run a tank without any filter.

There are downsides to not using a filter. Find information about them (it's available). Or just learn on the run.

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Old 04-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Filter Media-less Aquarium


I'm actually planning such a tank. In a week's time, I should be able show pictures... the aquarium is still being built...

The tank will be 120cm by 80cm. Along the back wall (at a 25cm gap), a 25cm high partition will be siliconed in. This section will be filled with garden soil (already curing) and planted with Cyperus alternifolius. As I plan to fill the tank to the 40cm level, the swamp section will be submersed by 15cm.

I already used this system when I had a pond. Cyperus are most effective at drawing nutrients from the water. Also, their stems serve as "medium" for nitrifying bacteria. That's why papyrus is being used in waste water management.

The tank will only have a powerhead for creating a brisk current, but no additional filtration. In my pond, I kept tilapia; I plan on West African cichlids for my tank.

Here is a good article on a natural system, which could serve as inspiration for your project:

Greetings from Nairobi

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Filter Media-less Aquarium

If you already have a filter, why not put biomedia in it? It is a good "buffer."

I can understand Margit's case where only a powerhead is used so there isnt room for media, but it seems like you already have a filter so at the very least you could putplastic pot scrubbers in there if you are on a budget.

Is it that you dont want flow to slow down?
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