Anyone use NO filtration?

Discussion about cichlid tank filtration

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Thomas T
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Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Thomas T » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:02 pm

Hello group,

I have a large pond (3,500 gallons) with about a dozen plants, rocks and small islands in it and partial shade. It is made of concrete, so any plumbing I do would be in plain view and rather unsightly, so I want to avoid going down that route if possible. I was thinking of just adding a few cichlids to spice things up.

My tentative plan is to add some well-hidden air pumps to keep DO high, and then do water changes when needed to keep any nitrogenous waste in check that the plants do not pick up. I will keep the fish count low to keep the bioload down and then add tap water that I pass through a carbon filter to remove chlorine (a large carbon filter, yes).

I am just doing some initial research just to make sure my idea isn't completely foolish, so I haven't tested the makeup water chemistry.

So my question is, is this a completely ridiculous idea, or should I bite the bullet and hire a contractor to plumb underground, through the concrete pool (ouch, my wallet!)? Thanks for your time.

--Thomas

Bas Pels
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Bas Pels » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:45 am

A cichlidtank will - almost always - need filtration. However think of this solution:

Image

the unit is made of glass, just as an internal filter in a tank, but the tank itself is omitted. I use sponze filtration, and a standard pump in the last, empty, clean water chamber

plug and play, that is

Dan Woodland
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Dan Woodland » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:12 am

I assume it's outside; what about adding a water feature like a river or water fall then you can build what ever you want and add as much filtration and UV sterilization you need. The waterfall could hang over the edge, in a cantilever style, hiding any pipes with the water it’s self or the membrane hanging into the water……

Maybe build a hanging shelf of Plexiglas placing plants on it to hide any pipes entering the pool etc.... When my daughter stops using the 8,000 gallon pool in the back yard I will turn it into a pond, I can’t wait!

Bas Pels
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Bas Pels » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:33 pm

Dan Woodland wrote:When my daughter stops using the 8,000 gallon pool in the back yard I will turn it into a pond, I can’t wait!
Just pwoerfeed her - 12 times a day and daily waterchanges :shock: :D

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by PsYcHoTiC_MaDmAn » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:47 pm

worth a read http://thegab.org/Articles/WalstadTank.html

I currently have a 6.5g set up like this, though it only contains shrimp currently, (considering getting some small gouramies for it)

I have seen breeding setups with no filtration, Bernd Degen showed slides from his tours around several discus farms in Singapore. where they performed 90% water changes daily, sometimes twice daily on the special ones (rather odd seeing 50-100 discus all on their sides waiting for it to be refilled)
Live in the UK?
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Then join the British Cichlid Association

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Ken Boorman
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Ken Boorman » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:27 am

To quote someone (Gary Lange) who agrees with me on the "Walstad Method":
I would totally ignore the comments made about the Walstad method for destroying rainbowfish. Not changing water is the absolute worse thing you can do for rainbowfish. She also writes a lot of fairy tales about getting rid of TB. You stress your fish by not changing water, dropping the pH and then you make them succeptible to the TB germ! Her comments about a UV lamp to remove a really sticky bacteria from an aquarium (it's not just free floating but also sticking everywhere) are also silly. I guess the only thing that I can ever agree with her on is that plants are good to keep with rainbowfish. Other than that, not changing water, ideas on TB and the horrific methods for hatching brine shrimp, are for what we say in the scientific community, totally without merit.
That was on a Rainbowfish Forum http://bowheads.org/forums/index.php, but the information applies to all fish. To try and get away with not doing water changes is IMHO, in most cases, sheer laziness. Sure small fish will live in a Walstad tank, but they won't thrive and I wouldn't contemplate anything bigger than a small tetra to subject the conditions to.

YMMV

Ken
A.N.G.F.A. North American Co-ordinator

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Bas Pels
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Bas Pels » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:43 am

Once I kept a 120 cm * 40 cm * 40 cm(4 feet * 1 1/3 * 1 1/3) over a year without any waterchanges. I also diod not feed the fishes. Which fishes? 6 playfish, living from the algae the 2 TLD (36 watt) provided. They thrived, but I don't think many of us would be satisfied with this tank. Besides, platyfish, (red ones) are quite resilient, more than many fish.

I fully agree with Ken, that water chnages is the most important thing of keeping fishes

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Dan Woodland » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:13 am

Bas Pels wrote:
Dan Woodland wrote:When my daughter stops using the 8,000 gallon pool in the back yard I will turn it into a pond, I can’t wait!
Just pwoerfeed her - 12 times a day and daily waterchanges :shock: :D
How did you figure out she is a Mermaid? :D :lol:

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Dan Woodland » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:23 am

Ken Boorman wrote:To quote someone (Gary Lange) who agrees with me on the "Walstad Method":
I would totally ignore the comments made about the Walstad method for destroying rainbowfish. Not changing water is the absolute worse thing you can do for rainbowfish. She also writes a lot of fairy tales about getting rid of TB. You stress your fish by not changing water, dropping the pH and then you make them succeptible to the TB germ! Her comments about a UV lamp to remove a really sticky bacteria from an aquarium (it's not just free floating but also sticking everywhere) are also silly. I guess the only thing that I can ever agree with her on is that plants are good to keep with rainbowfish. Other than that, not changing water, ideas on TB and the horrific methods for hatching brine shrimp, are for what we say in the scientific community, totally without merit.
That was on a Rainbowfish Forum http://bowheads.org/forums/index.php, but the information applies to all fish. To try and get away with not doing water changes is IMHO, in most cases, sheer laziness. Sure small fish will live in a Walstad tank, but they won't thrive and I wouldn't contemplate anything bigger than a small tetra to subject the conditions to.

YMMV

Ken
I agree water changes are important but what about natural habitats where fish/animals get no fresh water for months at a time and survive,even thrive? Say for example, a tank or habitat with an over abundance of plants and only a few fish and a powerful filter? I've seen this sort of set up with Angel fish and another with blue rams both tending fry.

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Bas Pels » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:41 pm

Frankly, I think this might be the way to breed some kinds of catfish, such as Platydoras, but don't dare trying preparing the parents to be this way

However, these kinds of circumstances are never semi permanent, but last for a few months, and perhaps half of the initial fishes die - so the octhers can breed, or thrive

I've heard Herotilapia multispinosa (An american cichlid, for those not familiar with them) actually let themselves be trapped in such enclosures, in order to prevent predation on their fry - but if the rains come too late, they all die (the semiadults are savely in the oriver, also as an baclup)

So, in some cases a tank where water is concentrated might help, but personally I would hope someone would try it before I do

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Alex Calder » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:28 am

I would imagine that a large enough body of water with a small enough bio-load would actually do okay in all honesty.
I recognize that many of you are quite further along on the educational scale than myself, however I did specialize in
water quality when I was in school (watershed management was the branch.) I know that here down in the deep south
there are a lot of Bass ponds, some as small as 30,000 gallons. Typically most ponds lack any serious amount of algae.
The last pond I was around held several Bass in the 6 pound range, likely 20-25 in the 2-5 pound range and a good 50+ in the 1-2 pound range. This same pond held enough hybrid bluegill to keep the bass fat year round. I would estimate the pond to have been 35,000 gallons on average. That is quite the bio-load if you think about it, while I can imagine that the trees and foliage were consuming nitrates I would believe that there had to be anaerobic bacterial colonies working on the nitrates as well. The pond bottom was muddy and caked in decaying plant matter.

So while I am a huge supporter of regular water changes in the fish tank the pond is a completely different beast.
Gas exchange will be the most important obstacle, however a waterfall can take care of gas exchange and filtration(as was pointed out.) One thing to consider is that a lower flow over filter media is more effective than a high flow, whereas a high flow rate increases gas exchange. I think if you can combine the two you would be better off. Aeration will rotate the water in addition to increasing surface area for gas exchange. 1 liter is 1000 cubic cm if each bubble were a cubic centimeter, assume it is a cube for ease of calculation, then 1 liter of air would yield 6000 square inches of additional surface area. In a body of water the size of a pond that can be crucial.

Alex

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Hudson Ensz
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Hudson Ensz » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:42 pm

Dan Woodland wrote:Ken Boorman wrote:
To quote someone (Gary Lange) who agrees with me on the "Walstad Method":


I would totally ignore the comments made about the Walstad method for destroying rainbowfish. Not changing water is the absolute worse thing you can do for rainbowfish. She also writes a lot of fairy tales about getting rid of TB. You stress your fish by not changing water, dropping the pH and then you make them succeptible to the TB germ! Her comments about a UV lamp to remove a really sticky bacteria from an aquarium (it's not just free floating but also sticking everywhere) are also silly. I guess the only thing that I can ever agree with her on is that plants are good to keep with rainbowfish. Other than that, not changing water, ideas on TB and the horrific methods for hatching brine shrimp, are for what we say in the scientific community, totally without merit.


That was on a Rainbowfish Forum http://bowheads.org/forums/index.php, but the information applies to all fish. To try and get away with not doing water changes is IMHO, in most cases, sheer laziness. Sure small fish will live in a Walstad tank, but they won't thrive and I wouldn't contemplate anything bigger than a small tetra to subject the conditions to.

YMMV

Ken
Sounds interesting where is it on the forum i couldnt find it i love arguments but this forum never has them! :wink: Man when looking at other forums there is so much disagreement this forum is the best!
Please visit my cichlid blog at passionate4pikes.wordpress.com
Tanks, 16gal, 8gal, 35gal, 200gal pond, T. candidi hospital tank 1 gal.
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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by Dan Woodland » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:27 pm

Hudson Ensz wrote: Sounds interesting where is it on the forum i couldnt find it i love arguments but this forum never has them! :wink: Man when looking at other forums there is so much disagreement this forum is the best!
Common sense goes a long way! :D

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Re: Anyone use NO filtration?

Post by baos780 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:32 pm

I didn't do a water change for 9 months. low bio load for a 90 gallon tank. But I kept charcoal filters running and cycled all the water through a hydroponics setup fed by natural light. Just refilled with ro water when it evaporated. iron must be added. I watched the nitrates, nitrites, gh, kh, ph. from memory and it has been some time I always had a reading for nitrates but it never got high. The ph stayed completely stable. When I tore down the system I found some baby corydoras sterbai. On a side note my charcoal seemed to go bad a lot faster than usual just based on smell. Replace charcoal and smell goes away.

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