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Dave Gomberg wrote:

>Since there seem to be so many filtration advocates on this list I have
>some questions:
>In a tank with lots of plants and
>1.  no animals, is filtration useful?
>2.  very few animals, is filtration useful?
>3.  moderate animals, is filtration useful?
>4.  In case 3, what role does filtration play?  What objectives does it
>accomplish?  What bad would happen if you omitted it?

I can give you some anecdotal information.  I have twice in the course of
years turned off a filter for cleaning, on heavily planted, moderately
stocked tanks and forgotten to turn them back on after they werte replaced.
 I haven't noticed my error for as long as 8 weeks after the filter was
turned off. (What can I say, I'm lazy about cleaning filters<g>)
Absolutely _NOTHING_ positive or negative has happened to the tanks during
these periods.  The plants have continued growing, the fish have continued
swimming, and yes, even spawning.<g>  The water has remained clear, and if
there was more mulm on the bottom than usual, it wasn't enough more that I

I still use some form of filtration on my tanks because I think that
circulation _is_ important, and if you don't use a filter, you have to
devise a method of keeping powerheads from becoming clogged (i.e.
filtration)  But I don't worry much about what type of filtration.  I think
that if you have little enough nitrate that you need to supplement,
filtration is probably if little concern.  If you have to change water to
keep nitrate levels down, you are probably relying pretty heavily on
bacterial filtration, and removing it could cause problems.