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-   -   Fish load and filter question (https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/144871-fish-load-filter-question.html)

Regis 09-02-2020 12:53 PM

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?

Michael 09-02-2020 02:20 PM

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.

mistergreen 09-02-2020 04:27 PM

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.

Regis 09-02-2020 04:33 PM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mistergreen (Post 1009165)
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 :D 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 :D

hoppycalif 09-02-2020 06:44 PM

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.

Regis 09-02-2020 06:56 PM

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.

Michael 09-03-2020 07:45 AM

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.

hoppycalif 09-03-2020 07:55 PM

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.

mistergreen 09-03-2020 08:05 PM

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.

Regis 09-03-2020 09:13 PM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mistergreen (Post 1009213)
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.

GadgetGirl 09-09-2020 07:21 PM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael (Post 1009163)
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.

Michael, what kind of mechanical filter medium do you prefer?

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

Michael 09-10-2020 06:48 AM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
I have Aquaclear filters, and normally use the sponge that comes with the filter, or somewhat coarser sponges cut to fit.

GadgetGirl 09-10-2020 06:52 AM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael (Post 1009405)
I have Aquaclear filters, and normally use the sponge that comes with the filter, or somewhat coarser sponges cut to fit.

Yes, I also like Aquaclear! Been using them for years. Do you stack the sponges to the top or just leave the extra space empty? I thought maybe putting filter floss on top the sponge.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

tiger15 09-15-2020 09:28 AM

Re: Fish load and filter question
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael (Post 1009163)
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.

I also run my filters for mechanical polishing only, no bio media. Not only that my plants provide bio filtration, all surfaces exposed to oxygenated water are essentially in situ bio media. So good circulation is important for CO2 and O2 gas exchange.

My preferred filters are Marineland Penguin which I can use their refillable cartridge cage to clamp DIY filter pads I cut from polyester batting. I run them for mechanical only without installing the bio wheels

http://www.marineland.com/products/r...ia-refill.aspx

I keep dirty cichlid with plants and the bio load is off the cart, 60 fish in my 125g filtered by 3 Penguin 350 and a circulation pump on the left to provide cross longitudinal flow. Many say high bio load will invite algae, I have none. But I replace filters and do large WC weekly to keep clean.


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