Fish load and filter question - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

Go Back   Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > El Natural

El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

Like Tree10Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-02-2020, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 18
iTrader Ratings: 0
Regis is a regular member
Default Fish load and filter question

I understand the need to balance a moderate fish load for the El Natural aquarium to function, and how a filter can be detrimental to the plants.
But I was wondering if I wanted to increase the fish load to more than what the plants and beneficial bacteria present can handle, would a filter help? Or would the heavy fish load and filter cause the whole system to crash?
Regis is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]
Old 09-02-2020, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 5,592
iTrader Ratings: 0
Michael is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Filters help primarily by circulating water and keeping dissolved oxygen levels higher, allowing us to keep more fish. I like to run filters with mechanical media only. They keep the water looking clear and, with no biomedia, they don't compete with plants for nutrients.
hoppycalif and Regis like this.
Michael is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2020, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,912
iTrader Ratings: 0
mistergreen is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Even if there was biological filter, It's only taking out ammonia, converting to NO3. Plants can still use NO3. I'm a believer in filters for keeping fish healthy.

I do weekly water changes too I like my fish and add extra ferts for the plants. I guess I'm not running an El natural anymore.
mistergreen is online now   Reply With Quote
 
Old 09-02-2020, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 18
iTrader Ratings: 0
Regis is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Even if there was biological filter, It's only taking out ammonia, converting to NO3. Plants can still use NO3. I'm a believer in filters for keeping fish healthy.

I do weekly water changes too I like my fish and add extra ferts for the plants. I guess I'm not running an El natural anymore.
mistergreen, I agree with you when it comes to a traditional aquarium. My El Natural is running perfectly without a filter and the currently fish load. But of course I want to add more fish I just don't want to mess up a good thing. Maybe I should just leave this aquarium alone and start a new one. There is always space for one more tank
Regis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2020, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
Moderator
 
hoppycalif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brentwood, CA, USA
Posts: 7,315
iTrader Ratings: 22
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

One of my pet peeves is the lack of a simple, logical, effective "formula" for determining what load of fish can be assumed to be healthy in our tanks. Maybe this has been done, but I never see it promoted as a good formula. We have several well qualified amateur scientists here who could come up with such a formula. I have found that I am not one of those amateur scientists.
hoppycalif is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2020, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 18
iTrader Ratings: 0
Regis is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Hoppy... I sure wish there was such formula. I have been adding one or two fish at a time, giving at least a couple of weeks in between, and check the water regularly. So far, everything is working fine. When the load becomes too much, that's when I would consider adding a filter. Or I can just remove the last fish added and put them in a different tank.
I just love letting Mother Nature do its thing and have to intervene to keep the aquarium healthy. It's pretty amazing.
dwalstad likes this.
Regis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 07:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 5,592
iTrader Ratings: 0
Michael is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

There used to be a fish load calculator at AqAdvisor, but it is apparently defunct. It assumed a conventional aquarium with biofiltration. When I ran my existing Walstad tanks through the calculator, it always told me they were WAY overstocked. So if you find such an online guide, expect it to be similar.
Michael is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 07:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
Moderator
 
hoppycalif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brentwood, CA, USA
Posts: 7,315
iTrader Ratings: 22
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

When a tank has too many fish what are the consequences? One of our members had a tank photo here a few months ago that looked like it had hundreds of fish in it, and it was doing very well. Some species just aren't good neighbors with too many fish in the tank. Others don't seem to be distressed by the density of fish. It is clearly obvious that it is a complicated subject. Ideally we could monitor the oxygen or nitrates, or something else and judge the fish density by that.
dwalstad and Regis like this.
hoppycalif is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 08:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,912
iTrader Ratings: 0
mistergreen is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Yeah, oxygen and ammonia level are problems in a crowded tank. The symptoms are chronic and steady decline in health. At night, the plants will take in oxygen too, less for the fish. I’m playing with a power head turning on at night.
mistergreen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2020, 09:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 18
iTrader Ratings: 0
Regis is a regular member
Default Re: Fish load and filter question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
At night, the plants will take in oxygen too, less for the fish.
Very good point. I always look at the fish first thing in the morning to see if anyone is at the surface gasping for air. So far, everyone looks fine and healthy.
dwalstad likes this.
Regis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > El Natural > Fish load and filter question

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1