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Re: Filterless tanks/bacteria questions


> .....My first thought
> was OK the bacteria sets up housekeeping  in the gravel in the tank. Then I got
> to thinking if that is correct then why would we even need filters? (I am
> thinking of ammonia only, not mechanical filtering) Why wouldn't the bacteria
> just set up in the gravel and do its job....

> Do the bacteria need the water flow for oxygenation or for to bring their food
> (ammonia) to them?

I'm no expert on bacteria, but it's my understanding that they colonize pretty much
everything in your tank, including the surfaces of the plants, and decorations, and
the gravel. I believe the theory behind most filters is to give the bacteria more
space to colonize, hence more bacteria, and improving their living conditions by
providing more oxygen to them, so you have more aerobic then anaerobic bacteria.

Any way that's my understanding, personally I don't use filters in my planted tanks
(though I do have a few bare filtered tanks for breeding some fish, mostly to keep
them sterile enough so the eggs aren't eaten.)

Oh and thank you Roger for that nice plug on my website. :) On a side note, I
finally have my new camera and have figured out how to use it. I got a few nice
slides back the other day, and I intend to take a few down to be made into prints to
scan for my web site, so hopefully, if all goes well I should have some new tank
photos up by the end of the week. The ones on their now are not nearly as nice as
the tanks are now, and are 4 years old.

Also on the comments on fish loads in filterless aquariums. I would have to say that
even if I had filters on these tanks I wouldn't cram anymore fish in them. They are
quite full as it is, even without filters. They don't start that way, but my fish
seem to multiply a lot. :)

And while I'm going on I'll make a plug for water changes. I've tried most of my
life to try to get out of the darn things, at least as much as possible. I used to
be lucky to get them done every couple months. When I got things going in our new
house I warmed up to about once a month, now I'm working on every 1-2 weeks. I hate
doing them, but it's a lot easier now that I have a python.

I have a little trick I've been using with the python lately that really makes it a
lot easier. I just took an old knee high, nylon stocking, and put it over the end of
the python. Then I pop them in the tank turn it on and let it drain, I don't have to
worry about the fish getting sucked in or the plants. And the thing doesn't get
jammed up every few seconds. It also alows me to set it up then go about the rest of
the tanks, pruning or moving fish, or on real nice days just sitting in a chair and
watching it drain. :)

Anyway water changes do help in plant growth, reducing algae growth and improving
fish growth, and health.

Guess I've rambled on enough, I just felt I had to chime in on the unfiltered
aquarium topic. :)


ALA - http://petsforum.com/ala/ FishNet - http://go.compuserve.com/fishnet