Aquarium Without A Filter...

Is this this video explaining a real concept or is it a myth?

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TJ Perkins

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So I stumbled across this video on YouTube:
and I was surprised at the amount of likes on this video. Basically the fish store owner/manager is saying that you can filter your aquarium by simply placing cycled polyfilter or biomedia without an actual filter and he claims that this process is called passive filtration. I have never heard of "passive filtration" in the aquarium hobby but this guy has a lot of videos on it so I'm beginning to think that he doesn't know what he's talking about. If some of you can clarify if this is true, please let me know. Thank you all!

EDIT: My point is that simply placing cycled biomedia into an aquarium does not filter it. It needs something the push the water through. I know aquariums can be filtered using plants, but I'm talking about just using cycled media to filter a tank. Hope this clears up the confusion.
 

Mary765

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I have never heard of it before, I only know that if you want a tank without a filter you can do a "walstad" (super heavily planted) tank instead
 

Aqua Hands

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Very true IMO, I have actually seen one at my LFS. Plants and fish thriving only thing added was ferts every month or something like that ( I wasn't listening like a nitwit)
 
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TJ Perkins

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Aqua Hands said:
Very true IMO, I have actually seen one at my LFS. Plants and fish thriving only thing added was ferts every month or something like that ( I wasn't listening like a nitwit)
But wouldn't the fish thrive because of the plants and the plants thrive because of the ferts? Not because of cycled media simply being placed into the tank. Sorry, I probably wasn't clear what the point of my post was lol.
 

Aqua Hands

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TJ Perkins said:
But wouldn't the fish thrive because of the plants and the plants thrive because of the ferts? Not because of cycled media simply being placed into the tank. Sorry, I probably wasn't clear what the point of my post was lol.
OH, sorry I didn't read the whole part about Media. Then, I don't believe it would actually work without plants!
 

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The beneficial bacterial on the media will convert ammonia ->nitrite -> nitrate regardless of whether the bacteria are in a filter or in the tank.

The advantages of using a filter are many; mechanical removal of debris, flow rate maximises bacterial exposure to ammonia/nitrite, flow rate stirs/mixes water in the tank.

I can see how this would work with a low density of fish, I wouldn't do it in a tank as I like a heavily stocked tank.
 
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TJ Perkins

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TJ Perkins said:
So I stumbled across this video on YouTube:
and I was surprised at the amount of likes on this video. Basically the fish store owner/manager is saying that you can filter your aquarium by simply placing cycled polyfilter or biomedia without an actual filter and he claims that this process is called passive filtration. I have never heard of "passive filtration" in the aquarium hobby but this guy has a lot of videos on it so I'm beginning to think that he doesn't know what he's talking about. If some of you can clarify if this is true, please let me know. Thank you all!
Sion said:
The beneficial bacterial on the media will convert ammonia ->nitrite -> nitrate regardless of whether the bacteria are in a filter or in the tank.

The advantages of using a filter are many; mechanical removal of debris, flow rate maximises bacterial exposure to ammonia/nitrite, flow rate stirs/mixes water in the tank.

I can see how this would work with a low density of fish, I wouldn't do it in a tank as I like a heavily stocked tank.
Agreed, but there still needs to be water circulation right? It can't be still. In this video, he mentions nothing about water circulation and even says he places polyfilter in stagnant water betta containers.
 

oldsalt777

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TJ Perkins said:
So I stumbled across this video on YouTube:
and I was surprised at the amount of likes on this video. Basically the fish store owner/manager is saying that you can filter your aquarium by simply placing cycled polyfilter or biomedia without an actual filter and he claims that this process is called passive filtration. I have never heard of "passive filtration" in the aquarium hobby but this guy has a lot of videos on it so I'm beginning to think that he doesn't know what he's talking about. If some of you can clarify if this is true, please let me know. Thank you all!

EDIT: My point is that simply placing cycled biomedia into an aquarium does not filter it. It needs something the push the water through. I know aquariums can be filtered using plants, but I'm talking about just using cycled media to filter a tank. Hope this clears up the confusion.
TJ...

This type of thing isn't really new and like the Walstad method doesn't work long term. The fact is you can't maintain a tank without removing and replacing most of the water fairly frequently. There's a process called "oxidation" that means the chemicals in the water react with oxygen in the surrounding air and this changes the water chemistry. The longer the same water stays in the tank, the more it changes. Changes in the water are typically fatal to aquarium fish. Keep it simple with lots of large, regular water changes and your fish and plants will be fine.

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bgclarke

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Can't watch since I'm at work, but is the poly-filter it refers to the one that absorbs ammonia, nitrite, etc?
 

Mary765

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The reason we need filters is for a strong flow through the good bacteria so it can clean more water in a shorter amount of time!

If that stuff is truly concentrated in good bacteria enough to work in the slow flow of regular water then why have we not got it in tiny quantities in a power head to save us of the bulk of sponge and stone filter media?!

So no, I don't think it works..
 

oldsalt777

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Mary765 said:
The reason we need filters is for a strong flow through the good bacteria so it can clean more water in a shorter amount of time!

If that stuff is truly concentrated in good bacteria enough to work in the slow flow of regular water then why have we not got it in tiny quantities in a power head to save us of the bulk of sponge and stone filter media?!

So no, I don't think it works..
This problem with any filter system, is it just takes in polluted tank water and returns the water to the tank just a little less polluted. The longer water runs through a filter system, the more the water changes chemically. The filter moves the water and mixes in oxygen and the oxygen changes some of the trace elements like iron, copper, zinc and some others. That's why you need to replace most of the tank water regularly to maintain good water conditions for the fish and plants.

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Mary765

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oldsalt777 said:
This problem with any filter system, is it just takes in polluted tank water and returns the water to the tank just a little less polluted. The longer water runs through a filter system, the more the water changes chemically. The filter moves the water and mixes in oxygen and the oxygen changes some of the trace elements like iron, copper, zinc and some others. That's why you need to replace most of the tank water regularly to maintain good water conditions for the fish and plants.

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Huh... I've always wondered that you see I have high nitrates in my tap water (40-80ppm) so I have been doing less frequent water changes and my nitrate removal carbon have been taking out any produces by fish and water changes... so I guess I have to find that delicate balance between a healthy tank for nitrates and trace elements.......

Does plant fertiliser add all those trace elements back in? If it is a complete all-in-one that is
 

oldsalt777

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Mary765 said:
Huh... I've always wondered that you see I have high nitrates in my tap water (40-80ppm) so I have been doing less frequent water changes and my nitrate removal carbon have been taking out any produces by fish and water changes... so I guess I have to find that delicate balance between a healthy tank for nitrates and trace elements.......

Does plant fertiliser add all those trace elements back in? If it is a complete all-in-one that is
Mary...

Nitrate is in most tap water. What you want to do is to keep the water chemistry the same all the time. So, you need to work up to the point you're removing and replacing most of water every week. This will keep the chemistry stable with all the right mineral levels and that's all the fish care about. Nitrate is at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so a higher level isn't going to bother most healthy fish. Unless you keep plants that require very strong light, you don't need to add a fertilizer. Just feed your fish a balanced diet and they'll take care of fertilizing your plants.

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Mary765

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oldsalt777 said:
Mary...

Nitrate is in most tap water. What you want to do is to keep the water chemistry the same all the time. So, you need to work up to the point you're removing and replacing most of water every week. This will keep the chemistry stable with all the right mineral levels and that's all the fish care about. Nitrate is at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so a higher level isn't going to bother most healthy fish. Unless you keep plants that require very strong light, you don't need to add a fertilizer. Just feed your fish a balanced diet and they'll take care of fertilizing your plants.

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But... but that's not what I've been hearing at all from the other members in here. And there are certain species of fish which are sensitive to nitrates like shrimp and pea puffers. That just doesn't make sense at all to me..
 

oldsalt777

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Mary765 said:
But... but that's not what I've been hearing at all from the other members in here. And there are certain species of fish which are sensitive to nitrates like shrimp and pea puffers. That just doesn't make sense at all to me..
You are likely correct. But, I've kept shrimp before and had no problems keeping them in treated tap water as long as I changed a lot of water and did it weekly. Puffers aren't most fish like I said in my previous post. These aren't most community type fish and do better in a species only tank. They have specific feeding and tank size requirements, but I've never read anything on them that says they have to have a specific water chemistry. They're heavy waste producers like Goldfish, but as long as you keep the tank water free of dissolved fish waste with large, weekly water changes to keep the chemistry stable, you can keep these fish healthy.

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