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Looks sweet. So I assume you have essentially a 75g or 1.6wpg. That's not a lot, are you using window light as well? I'm no expert at this size, for my 10 and 20, I don't use filter media, just use the power filter to generate some current. It looks so heavily planted, I would give it a go from what I have read. Just make sure you have something to move the water a little, tank that size need to have some water movement to evenly distribute the temperature and move carbon, oxygen and nutrients in the water around the plants.
 

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Still, I would give it a go. I did for my 10 gallon and all seems fine. His tank is so heavily planted, I don't see the filter sponge playing that much of a role. I doubt any significant role since he doesn't clean them at all. Besides, when he does filter sponge replacements, it's like the same thing going cold turkey with a new filter sponge. I would not even bother with this but you can do it slowly. Since it's canister, you have a staged filtering media. You can remove one stage at a time over course of 2-3 weeks or you can remove half the bio filter or whatever in steps.
 

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I have since switched to a water pump. I use to have 10 and 20 gallon with no filters. When the weather turned colder somehow my tank had green water and in a week they turned so green I can't see the fish unless they are a couple inches away. Don't know what happened but the fishes and the plants were doing well without filter. The water did have a little algae smell back then. Now the scent is less noticible. Currently I have the tank together connected by a siphon and water pump pumps the water between the two tanks. I still don't have a filter but I really really like the setup. The plants seems to grow a little faster and some of the fishes like to swim against the water current. Most of the fishes actually staying on the 10 gallon side right now. They haven't learn how to swim back to the 20 gallon side. A few guppies travel back and forth. I guess they are smarter than my platys,cory,barbs. Plus my water temperature is more evently distributed. I am still battling green water a little, it's not getting worse and I can see the tank from one end to the other but you can tell it's not remotely close to clear. I am using western facting direct sunlight now too since water hasn't worsen. Hopefully the water will sort itself out in a few months.
 

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Nice. Good looking aquarium. Gnarly roots. It looks like my tank water. Partially cloudy. Wonder it's algae or bact. Regarding the controversies you mentioned. I don't think there is one. Changing water is a given. We have to change water. It's the interval that varies because every aquarium setup is different. But the agreement is that the interval between water change is much longer than the traditional 2 weeks. Filtering is not needed since plants doing this job. Some who put filters are not really NPT. No controversy that I see. Her methods work for me and so I have no complaints. I like to hear the flaws that you mentioned on her method. Your professor may have validity. We can always improve and make things better. So let us know.
 

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I would like to hear of the "flaws" but if you are not interested in providing that's fine. I don't suggest you drink aquarium water! In wilderness survival books, most saltwater fish you can eat them raw but not freshwater species. That should tell you about the water. If you have uv sterilizer, it should be better but still I would not try. But yeah I get your point. Too bad I can't say the same thing about my tanks. I have an amazon sword in my tank. It's not growing too well. I have about 1.5 watts per gallon in my tank so it's on the low side. It's really slow in growth. Almost like it's just maintaining the current size. I have hard water with high ph. So the hard water plants I have are growing great. I think if your water is not very hard and more neutral ph with good current, your sword plant will grow well. It's one of those plants that have massive roots which indicate it grows in rivers with some decent current.
 
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