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Re: filterless tanks

In a message dated 1/23/99 1:52:10 PM Mountain Standard Time, Aquatic-Plants-
Owner at actwin_com writes:

> 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,

Well, yeah, sort of, but not quite.  The plants can still use the nitrates,
but they will use ammonia/ammonium first if it is available.  And there will
not be an O2 deficiency because of the presence or absence of plants.  O2
levels should be higher in a planted tank and drop off at night when both
plants and animals are utilizing it.  But I suspect that it would take a lot
of biomass to create a deficiency even just before dawn.

>  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 .

Not any better at removing ammonia, but definitely a better job of removing or
not even creating nitrates.  Filters are needed only when the fish excrete
more nitrogenous waste than the plants and algae in the tank can reuse.

Bob Dixon