re:Plants and Ammonia

>From: Allen Sandifer <ibi007 at mail_connect.more.net>
>A friend of mine and I are having a decussion as to wheither or not plants
>can make use of ammonia. I an about ready to setup a new tank and I wasn't
>going to have any bio filter at all. I was planning on using a Magnium 350
>for the mechanical filtration and water circulation. He is saying that this
>will not work.

I'd have to say that my tanks will tend to disagree with your friend.

>I plan on having the tank pretty heavly planted with about 30 neons and some
>house keeping fish. The tank will be a 45g high with aprox 2 watts per gal

My tanks are now entirely stocked with "housekeeping" fish.  I tend to get fish
that are attractive to look at but basically are content to eat algae and
perhaps each other at times.  None of my tanks are large enough (I guess I
should actually say that I currently don't have reproduction loads high enough)
to support any third trophic level fish at this time (I'd love to add rams

I have a 5.5g with two juvenile platies.  They are pretty small compared to
their siblings in my 55g, so I suppose they aren't doing as well as they could
be, but they server their purpose well (clean up algae).

My 55g is set up as a bog tank with only about 10" of water in it.  This tank
has platies and apple snails.  The pearl apple snails I got from a co-worker
have made the adjustment to my tanks and are periodically laying eggs.  I
already have my first batch of baby pearls in my 20g.

My 20h tank is currently my leftovers tank.  It has plants that I didn't want
to move to my 55g, including at least two crypt wendtii that appear to be a
promising development.  It has two brown apple snails, an untold number of baby
pearl apple snails, and a number of ramshorns.  The fish include ottos, a few
baby platies, two kuhli loaches that have made their home in my settling tank,
and a single cardinal.  I have no idea what the kuhlis or the cardinal eat
because I don't feed them, but they seem to survive.

>The main question here is will the plants take care of the ammonia/ammonium
>and can a tanks be sucessfully setup without biological filtartion?

Mmmm, looks like I got off-subject.  Anyways, none of these tanks have any
filter media in them for bacterial nitrification.  I have 4w/gal over all of my
tanks.  My 55 was just planted last week, so my 20g is a little low on plants
and my 55 still looks a bit thin, but I have seen no problems associated with

My mechanical filtration is accomplished using settling tanks in my 20h and 55g
tanks.  My 5.5g has no forced water movement and is really an experiment on
zero maintenance systems (I add a few flakes and one Dupla drop once a week)
and is pretty wild looking, but I find it attractive and algae-free.  The other
two tanks haven't had enough time to get completely algae free, but I'm working
with them. :-)

David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc. Dallas, TX USA
(214) 575-3443 (voice)  MSGID:       DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax)    Internet:    dwebb at ti_com
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