Need for filtration in planted tanks
While reading Steve's instructions on growing Ellodea, I had a few
thoughts about need for filtration in heavily planted tanks. In
particular, it seems to me that filtration may not always be such a
good thing after all. According to my understanding of the N-cycle,
fish produce predominantly ammonia --- which is also what the plants
prefer. A biological filter then forces the bacteria to compete for
ammonia with the plants, which is not a good thing. So it seems to me
that it is better to leave it up to the plants to remove the ammonia and
only remove the nitrates with water changes.
I have a tank which has been running in this way for abot half year
now. The tank is about 40 l and started with a few fancy guppies
and a few corscrew vals. There is no filtration, no areation and no
CO2 and the tank is lit by a single 11W fluo light. Usually I do one
large water change 20-30% and often one small change 10% each week.
Currently, the tank has a heavy load of guppies and lots of plants -
both seem to do well and multiply even further.
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