No maintenance tank

zack 7

Member
I’m thinking of starting this hobby up again. But I hate maintenance and the sound of a filter. What if I put a dozen neons in a 10 gal with just a bunch of hornwort in a sunny window. Can I avoid a filter and water changes?
 

magentatooth

Member
  • Thread Starter

zack 7

Member
How about 5 platies? I got the right hardness, pH and room temps for them
 

LadfromLondon

Member
No maintenance tanks need to be very heavily planted
 

magentatooth

Member
I'd be interested to know if it could work, no experience of no maintenance tanks, but I'd also be quite surprised if it did. Is it just the noise you don't like about the filter? Or not wanting to clean it?
 

aWildGarbageCan

Member
honestly this hobby is just wonderful, welcome back if you decide to get back into it!
From my experience with hornwort, that plant sheds like no tomorrow...And really grows like no tomorrow too! (you may need to trim it)
I don't believe the neons would work, but 5 platys will likely work fine- though you'll have to expect babies if you have a male with females so potentially have a backup plan if they grow to join your fish family!

I don't think a completely 100% maintenance-free tank will work (someone correct me if I'm wrong LOL), but VERY low maintenance ones can work really well depending on how the tank was set up - usually with lots of live plants and some careful planning with the right materials.
From what I've heard, direct sunlight can cause algae to grow aggressively so you'll probably want to keep it out of the window's way or for very limited amounts of time.
A filter will probably make everything a lot easier maintenance-wise getting rid of the gunk/keeping the water chemistry healthy/providing some water movement so it might be worth looking into a quiet filter of some sort (personally I adore sponge filters)... but going without a filter can technically work out well too though I can't speak from experience on that one hah! (youtuber Foo the Flowerhorn does a phenomenal job with filterless nanotanks for example and even made a video explaining this)
If you're just getting back into the hobby though, I'd definitely recommend filter + live plants since tackling a filterless tank might be a pretty big challenge with lots of obstacles to start with, but pretty darn cool when it works out!
 

SnookusFish

Member
You would need a lot of plants from established tanks and have to do a lot of water changes for the first few weeks. I woldnt recommend it unless you are very experienced
 

MomeWrath

Member
Filterless tanks are not "no maintenance" they are just different maintenance. The plant mass required to keep the water healthy will require a lot of maintenance. If it's just the sound of the filter making you want to do this, maybe try a canister filter or an in-tank filter like this one from Penn Plax where there is no falling-water sound and no air pumps. I get it - buzzing humming splashing filters make me crazy also.
I also find the Whisper EX model filters to run very silently for a HOB as well and have large media areas. I honestly think they stopped making them though :/
If you truly want a zero maintenance aquarium, and I say this with all the understanding in my heart, buy one of there: Jellyfish Lamp
Fish are animals and all animals in our care need our care.
 

AllThingsPets

Member
Check out FooTheFlowerhorn on YouTube to see how to set up and maintain a filterless tank. They have some great vids!
 

SnookusFish

Member
AllThingsPets said:
Check out FooTheFlowerhorn on YouTube to see how to set up and maintain a filterless tank. They have some great vids!
They still have lots of maintanance though. There is no, no maintainance tank
 

Bubble

Member
No, a no maintenance tank isn't possible if you want to add vertebrates.

One thing that might be possible is a planted tank with no animals, or just small snails.
I've got a few pond snails living in a bowl with java moss, all that needs is refilling when the water evaporates. I've heard of people doing similar things with shrimp.
Something like a jararrium might work, but not with fish. Just small invertebrates.

If you're not willing to do maintenance keeping fish might not be the right hobby.
 

MacZ

Member
I agree with Bubble.

Also, putting it near the window is a desaster waiting to happen. Extreme temperature swings and a high likelyhood of a heavy algae bloom are among the problems that will occur.
 

Koenig44

Member
zack 7 said:
I’m thinking of starting this hobby up again. But I hate maintenance and the sound of a filter. What if I put a dozen neons in a 10 gal with just a bunch of hornwort in a sunny window. Can I avoid a filter and water changes?
Agree with others. To be honest, I don't think there's a pet out there that is maintenance free.

Smaller / nano tanks are going to be the highest maintenance there is. There's less wiggle room with water quality. Being the fish geek I am, I enjoy smaller tanks for this reason. I have to be more involved with them. I enjoy big tanks too, but that's neither here nor there.

Aqua Clear HOB filters are LITERALLY no noise. I love ACs....and it's a big reason why they're so popular. Not to mention, they're very efficient as well, and high quality.
 

Fisheye

Member
Didn't see it mentioned but wonder if you are referring to a Walstad type tank- the inspiration for Foo the Flowerhorn, that was mentioned. Dustin's Fishtanks was also a big fan of "dirted" tanks, back in the day.

This type of tank is not maintenance free but as close as you are going to get.

Diana Walstad's extensive book details how to put an enclosed ecosystem like this together. What you save in maintenance down the line is frontloaded in the beginning: building of substrate, plant selection, heavy plant load and patience before adding any fish or invertebrates. If you enjoy science and understanding how everything works together in an aquarium, her book will probably blow your mind.

On a good day, Foo the Flowerhorn's videos are fantastic to watch and learn from. On a bad day, his videos will truly soothe your soul!
 

FinalFins

Member
I don't want to sound rude but part of the hobby is taking the responsibility to do maintenance. Filter or no filter
 

e_watson09

Member
I do not believe there is such thing as a no maintenance tank. Regardless of what method you use. I'd argue that most of the filterless tanks take MORE WORK than my 29g established community tank. (It also has a silent internal filter so no noise).

The fishkeeping hobby is caring for the fish so the thrive and you can watch their behaviors. If you're taking out the caring for the fish part and meeting their needs you're really just collecting fish like you would a baseball card collection.

I personally am one that wants to share this hobby with everyone. I love when people get back into the hobby but just make sure that you're really wanting to get back into the hobby. Hobbies often require some work
 

Kevinthebreeder

Member
This might sound cruel but back then i had betta fish living in super small tanks and I never changed the water for months but they were still alive and healthy. 1 died because he was stuck at a plastic plant and the other one died during my first water change where I accidentally thrown him out and got him absorbed by the sink hole.
 

mrsP

Member
How about doing an enclosed ecosphere, like Life in jars? in youtube does? They are closest to no maintenence tanks I can think of, since all tanks do need at least some.
 

MacZ

Member
mrsP said:
How about doing an enclosed ecosphere, like Life in jars? in youtube does?
He also makes clear that they won't work with fish in several videos.

Also the thread is over six months old and the OP hasn't logged in since May 30th 2020.
 

mrsP

Member
...and this is what happens when I haven't had my 3rd mug of coffee yet... ops:
 

MacZ

Member
mrsP said:
...and this is what happens when I haven't had my 3rd mug of coffee yet... ops:
It's fine. At least you didn't dig up the thread.
 

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