| | Re: Need advice on filtration.
Welcome to APC! Filters on planted tanks are primarily for keeping the water clear, filtering out microscopic particles. Traditionally they also have bio balls, etc. in them to allow lots of nitrifying bacteria to live on. And, some people use Purigen to help keep the water from being brown from the wood pieces in their aquascape. But, none of those things are essential, as far as the occupants of the tank are concerned. I think, if I was in your shoes, I would keep no more than coarse sponges in the filters while I was away for so long. I think the occupants of the tank would do fine with that.