Anybody else NOT use filters Question 

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Butters

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I don't use filters in my tanks anymore... just wondering if anybody else dosen't use them. Before you start flaming me about this, my tanks are all planted and I do 25% water changes twice a week and the fish have shown no sign of being any worse for it.
 

JustinF

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So do you have any water movement in the tank, sounds like it would work if the water wasn't stagnant? I guess it's like a natural type environment.
 

Jaysee

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Flaming's not allowed My tanks are all filtered.
 
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Lucy

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I think MissMTS has/had one started. You might want to check her blog.
For those who don't know about natural aquariums, here's a interesting read:
Natural Aquariums
 

proudtobeafarmgirl

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I have often wondered this myself, my grandparents raised guppies way back when in a big glass jar with sand in the bottom and a live plant. The jar sat on their counter year round and they were so overrun with babies that they supplied half the town with fish. Mom says that she can not remember them doing any water changes either, they had the fish like that for years.

I do know from learning the hard way that cory catfish do not survive without a filter but I did not have live plants at the time.
 

Fishies-for-me

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I had went on a vacation one time.... some one was to feed my fish... I had 2-3 dozen guppy fry in a gallon jar by the tank that were to be fed and water changed every day... I had workers in the house while I was gone and one of them moved the guppy fry onto a counter in front of a window.. I came home and the fry had not been fed or cleaned while I was gone for 2 weeks...also sitting in full sun and water as green as grass, I thought they had been cooked by the sun. They were alive and thriving...lol . The healthiest fry I ever saw. The warm ( I imagine hot at times) water did not hurt them and they lived on the algae.
 

Tigerfishy

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Wow fishies-for-me, amazing story, who would have thought that!!

All my tanks are filtetred too by the way.
 

TedsTank

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Nothing wrong with an all natural tank!!! They work!
 

LyndaB

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I concur that no flaming is allowed here.....

I think the idea of a natural tank is pretty fascinating..... especially when you have fry and you worry about them getting sucked into a filter.
 

sirdarksol

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My largest tank is almost completely unfiltered. I have an internal filter rated for something like 15g, just to provide some water movement. Other than that, the surface area of the plants provide space for nitrifying bacteria, and weekly 50% water changes keep the water pretty clear.
One of these days, I'm going to take the filter out of my shrimp tank, as it's almost completely overgrown with plants, and shouldn't need it.
 

Shawnie

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my tanks are overstocked and I still do 3 water changes a week with filtration....id dare not stop using it..also, depending on the type of stock you have, id say it can/cant work for some....and I agree...some type of water movement should be added so you don't get stagnant water..glad it works for others tho!
 

TedsTank

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Over stocking is always a greater concern with natural balanced tanks....with these "balanced" is the key word. We can push it the filters and gizmos in regular tanks.
 

yallyall1

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I love the concept... NOT FLAMED!

I agree that you can't have stagnant water... so an air stone should be used.

My problem is that (like most beginners) I want more fish, but (like most children) I don't have the money for another tank... so I end up investing in a cheap filter!
 

kuhliLoachFan

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If you had a gravel substrate and were quite good about vaccuuming it, and you fed very sparingly, you could get a very stable aquarium without a cannister or HOB filter. You would still have a biofilter, but with reduced capacity, because your tank itself, especially the plants, would do some of that for you. Your reduced water movement would reduce oxygen levels. The reduced surface-to-air exchange of oxygen with the water would reduce the in-tank oxygen levels ONLY if you do not have enough plants and light to balance it. It is a question of balance. An unplanted tank without a filter, is cruel.

But a heavily planted, heavily monitored, carefully cleaned planted tank with good lighting, and light stocking should be fine. If you don't have enough healthy plants, enough light, or you have too many fish, you are heading for disaster, even if your water changes are good enough.

Everything old is new again. Welcome to the Fishkeeping of the 1920s. Seriously. That's how they did it. And it worked fabulously up to a point. And you would be doing more water changes than they did, as the "old water" theory ruled the roost until people began to understand that, at some point, you will hit 300 ppm of nitrates, and your fish WILL die. But if you keep the nitrates reasonable, and your plants are healthy, you will have healthy fish.

My fry get about 50% of their food from what grows naturally in their tanks. The hornwort and hygrophilia are particularly easy to grow plants that are doing a great job keeping my fish alive. NEvertheless, I filter heavily, overfilter in fact. I put enough filters for a 100 gallon tank on each of my 20 gallon tanks.

You are welcome to keep fish your way, and I'll do it mine. No flaming. But some day you might hit a wall, and your system might crash. I happen to think the Natural Aquarium method is risky. It's not for everyone. As long as you're sure your fish are not suffering, and you're not exposing them to ammonia, or nitrites, or very high levels of nitrates, I'd say, rock on. Do it your own way.

W

P.S. I think a powerhead with a venturI introducing air into the aquarium would be better, than a mere airstone, to keep the surface of the tank agitated, and increase internal oxygen flow. So, while I might some day consider a no-filter tank, I would not consider doing so with just an airstone. I would use at least a powerhead with an air-tube drawing air into the water, and forcing oxygen into the water.
 
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