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No filter tank

JxsPxxle

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I have been watching this youtuber who creates self sustaining tanks which require no CO2, no filter, no ferts or anything but a heater. He adds live plants then he had drilled two holes in the clear lid and put sweet potatoes in them. They had grown out and the roots into the water. I have a spare 5.5g tank so would i be able to do this? I plan to use Giant Duckweed, Hornwort and add some amano shrimp and a betta fish. Would this work out in the long run? It requires a 50% water change weekly and the roots need to be trimmed every so often. This seems like a great idea and the tank the person had created looked amazing.
 

Byron

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It is certainly possible to have an aquarium with no filter but live plants. The concept of terrestrial plants that have their roots in the tank has been around quite a while; this is really the nexty step beyond surface/floating plants. CO2 would not be needed (in the tank presumably he means) because plants assimilate CO2 through their leaves, not the roots. Floating plants on the surface have the aerial advantage because they do this and it is four times faster than submersed leaf assimilation of CO2. The fish and water changes will provide nutrients for the potatoes.

You do have to be careful of the plants used, as some are toxic and can poison a tank of fish; I doubt sweet potaotes have this problem, but plants like Philodendron (going from memory) do. But aside from this, and with a minimal fish stocking (as one Betta) there is no reason this cannot work quite well.
 
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JxsPxxle

JxsPxxle

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It is certainly possible to have an aquarium with no filter but live plants. The concept of terrestrial plants that have their roots in the tank has been around quite a while; this is really the nexty step beyond surface/floating plants. CO2 would not be needed (in the tank presumably he means) because plants assimilate CO2 through their leaves, not the roots. Floating plants on the surface have the aerial advantage because they do this and it is four times faster than submersed leaf assimilation of CO2. The fish and water changes will provide nutrients for the potatoes.

You do have to be careful of the plants used, as some are toxic and can poison a tank of fish; I doubt sweet potaotes have this problem, but plants like Philodendron (going from memory) do. But aside from this, and with a minimal fish stocking (as one Betta) there is no reason this cannot work quite well.
Great! Thanks for the advice. Currently on my way to my lfs to try this out I will keep updating on how it goes.
 

AbbeysDad

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With the stock level you describe little ammonia is generated and with a 50% weekly water change, it would likely work without a filter or plants! A potential downside that I see is w/o a filter, air stone, or powerhead, there's little circulation or gas exchange (you might need an air stone).
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There's another YouTuber named Lucas Bretz (LRB Aquatics) with a couple of hundred tanks and he doesn't use any filters, just powerheads in larger tanks.
Filters are sometimes overrated as they make water clearer, but no cleaner.
We do however want circulation and gas exchange. Plants, especially fast growing floating plants that convert ammonia into plant tissue are always an asset. AND if we stay on top of routine partial water changes of sufficient volume and frequency, water quality can be maintained.
 
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