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Re: filterless tanks (almost)

In a message dated 97-06-20 21:40:39 EDT, you write:

<< I just read the article titled "Plants and the natural aquarium" by Doug
Valverde in the July 1997 issue of FAMA.  Doug appears to be advocating
filterless plant tanks on the grounds that since "plants prefer
ammonia/ammonium and can use nitrates, but not as efficiently", there is
little need for ......... >>

Certainly, heavily planted tanks with a reasonable fish load and moderate
feeding require less biological filtration than non-planted tanks.  I
recently set up a 29 gal tank with only a Duetto 50 submerged filter.  The
maximum tank size recomended by the maker is 10 gallons.  I use it for
circulation and to shread CO2 into tiny bubbles (works very well for that).
 The tank was heavily planted from the start and had roughly 20 inches of
fish.  Most people would consider this a moderate fish load.  The tank was
"innoculated" with about 10 gallons of water from an established tank.

I monitored ammonia, waiting for a spike that never came.  The level stayed
at between 0 and 1 ppm.  I was adding nitrate to maintain a nominal 5 ppm for
the plants and changed 25% of the water per week.  The tank is now about
three months old and quite stable.  I doubt that small foam filter in the
Duetto could handle the load without the plants.


P.S. Don't hook a yeast bottle air line directly to the air intake on the
Duetto as it creates enough vacuum to collapse the 2 liter bottle!  E-mail me
if you want to know how I solved the problem.