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Do you need a filter on a planted tank?

5248 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sir_BlackhOle
Hi all. I am setting up a 20g tank and while I'm trying to limit expenses, I'd also like to do this right. I sold my 35g tank a few months ago and with it went my very nice Eheim professional cannister filter, leaving myself with just a cheap (Whisper I think) hang-on-the-back style filter, which I would prefer to not use, since it will probably get in the way of the lighting and such.

Will I really need filtration if I plan on heavily planting the tank? I'll have a powerhead(not too powerful of one) about an 1-2" below the surface to minimize surface disruption. I know that plants serve as natural "filters" in nature and a well-planted aquarium, so as long as they are healthy, will I even need a filter? Something's telling me its not absoutely necessary. Thanks.
-Ryan Ingram
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FIlters in moderately to highly planted tanks mainly function as mechanical filters. PLants for the most part take care of biological filtration.

If you plan on going the powerhead route, you might want to do so such that you can use the hagen quickfilter attachment. This will let you clear out suspended particles when they become an annoyance.
Yes you will... A filter will remove particles from the water and help to keep the water clean.
And also help with ammonia as a back up when the plants are not doing well.
It's probably not neccesary in a shrimp tank, but fish produce a lot of waste and sometimes if your plants aren't doing well your filter will act as back-up to get rid of harmful ammonia and nitrites.
Get Diana Walstads book, "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium." I believe she discusses planted tanks without filtration.
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