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Re: [APD] Filters

1- A filter may or may not be necessary—see below—but it won't do any  

2- Plants will remove biological waste from the fish extremely  
effectively provided you have enough plants. You can consider filters  
as a plant replacement or plants as a filter replacement when it  
comes to dealing with  biological fwastes. You need to have enough  
for your fish load and it doesn't matter whether that biological  
capacity is supplied by a filter, by plants, or a combination. Having  
extra filter capacity won't hurt or do harm and may even help, but  
not having enough will cause problems. Having some mechanical  
filtration is a good idea.

3- You need water movement for oxygenation. If you're not using a  
separate powerhead or pump to supply that, a filter will do the job.  
If you have the water movement from a pump or powerhead and you have  
enough plants, you're fine but, as I said in 2, having a filter won't  
harm anything.

4- Provided the filter provides sufficient water movement and  
mechanical filtration, I don't think the type of filter is all that  
important. Whatever fits with  your tank and appearance needs, and is  
easy to look after will be fine. If that happens to be a hang-on  
filter, then go with that.

I ran my tank without a filter for a long time, just using a  
powerhead for water circulation. I'm back using a filter. The tank  
seems to run just as well with or without a filter provided there are  
sufficient plants for the fish load. Having a filter may let you  
handle a slightly larger fish load than the plants on their own  
would, but it isn't a good idea to push fish load to the limits in my  
view. I think the water looks a little clearer with a filter, but  
that's probably because there's a bit more sponge volume providing  
mechanical filtration (as well as biological capacity) in the filter  
than I had with the powerhead on it's own. You can try with and  
without yourself and go for whichever one suits you, or just run with  
a filter like most people do. It's really your choice provided you  
have enough plants and the fish load isn't excessive.

David Aiken

On 01/10/2006, at 7:47 AM, Holly Wagner wrote:

> Hi All,
>   I'm getting ready to set up a new 55 gal planted tank.  In the  
> past I've never question the need for a filter.  On my current tank  
> I use a HOT Magnum with the outlet under the water line.  I've had  
> issues with the prefilter getting clogged.  Now that I'm getting  
> ready to set up another tank I'm thinking:
>   1. Is a filter *necessary?"
>   2. Under what conditions is a filter truly needed in a planted tank?
>   3. If I choose to use pumps or powerheads for water movement,  
> does that make any difference in my need for a filter?
>   4. If I need a filter is a cannister filter of some kind  
> necessarily the most effective or the best choice for a planted  
> tank?  All these years I've hat HOT Magnums on two 55 gal tanks.  I  
> like the design and the fact that it hangs on the back of the tank  
> where it's not visible.
>   Thanks in advance for any input or ideas.
>   Holly

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