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filterless tanks



Hello,

I have been playing around with some interesting ideas on filterless
tanks, i.e. tanks with no filters, just plants.  On my 20g tank I have 2
strip lights, each full spectrum, a 201 powerhead with diy co2 injection
and a square plexiglass 'box' that I made for use as a reactor.  The Kh
is 5, Ph is neutral to a bit on the acid side, Iron is somewhere
between .1 - .5 (am color blind and it's hard to see the differences)
When I removed the wet/dry filter (wdf 3000) my nitrates was a bit below
50ppm, now they are between 12.5 and 25ppm (I havn't done any water
changes yet)  The plants are doing much better, they are bubbling (or
boiling as it looks) during the day and the new growth is very
noticable, overall they just seem alot healthier.  The fish has had no
signs of deficency in o2 as of yet.

From the looks of this test it would seem to me that the filter was
robbing the plants of needed nutrients and converting it into nitrates,
I may be wrong on this note.  This brings up a concern for me, if the
plants does a better job of filtration than conventional filters does
this mean that filters are NOT needed on a planted tank?

Ed