Interesting Observation - Optional Filtration

Uber Archetype

I turned off the filter pump in my to rescue some fry that got through. Then I got distracted and forgot to turn it back on when I was finished with that little task. A week later, I did a nitrate test before water change time like usual - all good. That's when I noticed the filter had been off with zero circulation for a week. Horrors! But no, all was well.

This tank has 5 Pygmy Cories, 4 Striped Loaches a lonely Giant Danio and probably between 50 and 100 Guppies in various growth stages. I would estimate the overall bio-load for 60gal to be average, whatever that means. It has a fairly good grass bed with a few Swords and some Java Moss - probably a moderately planted tank, but again, I have no real yardstick for that measurement. In retrospect I should've done a couple more tests, but it didn't occur to me at the time before I had already started the water change process.

Did I just catch it in time before it went bad, or has this tank's habitat somehow become naturally balanced? Probably something in-between, but an interesting observation, nonetheless.
 

Cichlidude

I don't understand. You had a 'powerfail' and you got the power back a week later. All is well as it should be. What were you expecting as this has happened to millions with no issue.
 

Rtessy

Filterless tanks have been around a long time. Well, sort of filterless. Your tank itself acts as the filter. BB lives all over the tank; the walls, substrate, decorations, plants, and just everywhere. Around 90-95% live in the filter, but it's entirely possible to run a tank without a filter and keep it cycled. My 10 gallon has ~15 bettas and I've only done one 5% water change, and I've had it since September. I have two more betta tanks, one 5.5 one 7, and neither have traditional filters, just plants and substrate.
 

david1978

Forgot to plug the filter back in. Yea I think we have all done that. I think the longest I went was 4 days and that was since we didn't have power. No bubbler, no filter, no heater. Nothing. Out come all good.
 

Uber Archetype

I don't understand. You had a 'powerfail' ...
Right. Actually, it was more of a "brainfail."
 

david1978

The more I think about it the nitrates shouldn't really go up since with no flow threw the filter the water wouldn't be flowing threw the bacteria to break down the ammonia.
 

PoorBigBlue

You should have done an ammonia test - there'd be no bacteria (or not a lot of them) to break down the ammonia into nitrite, and then break the nitrite down into nitrate. So your ammonia levels would be rising, while nitrites and nitrates stayed the same.

Filterless tanks definitely exist - look up Diana Walstad. Her's is probably the most common way of doing a filterless tank, although all you really need is a light bioload, sufficient dilution, and ammonia export. So, don't stock too heavily, have enough water to dilute the ammonia before it gets toxic, and have a way to get rid of that ammonia, whether it's plants or water changes - or better, both.
 

Cichlidude

Plenty of bacteria doing their job on the glass, substrate, ornaments, plastic plants, intake tubes, etc. Close to 50% is in your tank alone.
 

danhutchins

I turned off the filter pump in my to rescue some fry that got through. Then I got distracted and forgot to turn it back on when I was finished with that little task. A week later, I did a nitrate test before water change time like usual - all good. That's when I noticed the filter had been off with zero circulation for a week. Horrors! But no, all was well.

This tank has 5 Pygmy Cories, 4 Striped Loaches a lonely Giant Danio and probably between 50 and 100 Guppies in various growth stages. I would estimate the overall bio-load for 60gal to be average, whatever that means. It has a fairly good grass bed with a few Swords and some Java Moss - probably a moderately planted tank, but again, I have no real yardstick for that measurement. In retrospect I should've done a couple more tests, but it didn't occur to me at the time before I had already started the water change process.

Did I just catch it in time before it went bad, or has this tank's habitat somehow become naturally balanced? Probably something in-between, but an interesting observation, nonetheless.
I have seen many moderate to heavily planted tanks last years without a filter.
 

SegiDream

I had my CPD outside all summer from end of may to september, in a 10 gallon patio container and no filter. Just a ton of hornwort and a water pump. I kept 4 chilI rasboras in a 5 gallon the same way but without a pump at all. All fish did fine and even spawned so must have been doing pretty good.
 

Whitewolf

I bet if you tested the nitrates again they woukd be sky high. Guppies are messy fish. It never worked for me to keep a lot of juvinilles in one big tank. Not saying you will fail. I like the live plants idea. Taje that filter pad off and rinse the crappie out of it every week.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
14
Views
1K
PatientStars
Replies
5
Views
732
Natalya
Replies
8
Views
2K
GettinTanked
Replies
7
Views
924
Lucy
Replies
8
Views
341
JPH1970

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom