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Posts : 12
Join date : 2016-07-03
Location : Smith Mountain Lake

PostSubject: Ecoquarium   Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:24 am

Anybody try to build a filter-less sustainable aquarium like this guy? Thoughts on his tank?

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Posts : 2006
Join date : 2012-02-04
Location : Richmond, VA

PostSubject: Re: Ecoquarium   Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:24 pm

Yes, I have done this sort of aquarium several times, from a 1 gallon bowl vase, to a ten gallon, to a 20 long.  Most of what dangerousfishbowl has done jives with what I did.  Instead of PFS, I've used regular play sand or flourite.  Plants and more plants are my filter.  They work brilliantly.  Usually I just stir the water; I haven't found just the right piece of equipment for mechanical water movement in a very small set-up.  

I've found that a plants-filter set-up works well with certain kinds of fish or inverts.  However, fish that need a long stretch of swimming space will not be happy, no matter how small they are.  Note how the fish in the video seem to be restricted in their movements.  Not all of them are happy in there. Some fish are fine weaving in and out of plants all day, but others like to stretch their legs!    

Bristlenose (common Ancistrus) babies would work for as long as they stay small, which is a long time.  One full-grown Bn might be okay.  IMO a team of Otocinclus would be a better choice, especially with good water movement.    

His video is really nice, and the plants look great. At about 16:00 a nice little hatchetfish appears. They are jumpers, I can tell you, so the acrylic shield is a good idea. Wink

This is just my two cents.  Others here have done this kind of set-up, so they might chime in.

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Join date : 2012-02-04
Location : Glen Allen, VA

PostSubject: Re: Ecoquarium   Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:43 am

I have a tank somewhat similar to this going right now, and I used to do a lot with what I would call a "natural" aquarium, in that it utilized the plants as filtration, though if I had a sunny home I'd use sunshine rather than electric lights as well, similar to the Victorian age aquariums, before electricity.

What he says is true, absolutely, about how to go about setting the tank up, for sure! Start out with a ton of plants, and using cuttings from others is a great (cheap) way to start. He's also right about the ones available commercially being grown in soil, in high humidity environments (tissue cultures, usually) to harden them off and make them able to tolerate being shipped and stored on the shelf for sale. They need to adjust to being completely under water before they are efficient growers.

I also agree with Deb about the fish you choose for these setups, and I like to stick with some of the super small species that don't require a lot of room, and don't mind wandering around in a forest, as it were. Endler's livebearers are my favorite, but ember tetras and some of the micro rasboras, etc. are good too. Bettas are good also, since they appreciate the lack of filtration blowing against their finnage, or so I like to think. My current natural setup has a nice male betta.

I think you can go as simple or as fancy as you want with these tanks, and everyone should try them. Next time you find a big fish bowl at a yard sale, grab it, throw some substrate in there, some plants, and set it in a sunny window, and even just put a male guppy or betta once the plants seem happy, or a mystery snail, like @Gabe79 (he's no stranger to this type of thing!) You don't have to have CO2, necessarily, or just the right collection of equipment or lighting, etc., though you can certainly set up a stunning larger tank without filtration if you plan things out carefully.

Thank you for sharing this video, and I'm going to subscribe!

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