Aquarium without filter
I think it’s not worthwhile to describe in detail the process of filtration in the aquarium itself, let’s just define the basics of the moments. It is known that filtration in an aquarium can be of several types: mechanical, chemical and biological. With mechanical filtration, everything is relatively simple, it is the removal of large particles of dirt from the water, chemical removal of unwanted elements dissolved in water, including drugs, after the treatment of fish with the help of special adsorbent substances. There remains a biological filtration, it is in a simplified version, the decomposition of harmful substances that accumulate in the aquarium, during the life of the activities of the inhabitants of the aquarium, with the help of various bacteria.
For biological filtration, they use quite expensive, compared to other aquarium equipment, external filters, they come in various designs, the most common are external canister-type filters. The main function of the filter, to provide space for the filler, the filtering material, on the surface and inside of which, the very bacteria settle by means of which the decomposition of harmful substances into less dangerous ones takes place. Is it possible to make an aquarium without a filter, and to abandon the filter is not to the detriment of the aquarium itself?
To answer this question, we need to figure out where else, except in the filters, these useful bacteria can struggle. In fact, they are distributed throughout the aquarium, regardless of whether the filter is in the aquarium or not, bacterial colonies settle on the walls of the aquarium, plants, decorations and the largest colonies, on the ground and inside it. Accordingly, by installing a filter, the bacteria are provided with only an additional area and conditions are created for their reproduction and, therefore, effective performance of their functions of processing harmful substances.
Conditions required for the operation of the aquarium without a filter.
Let’s now figure out what needs to be implemented in an artificial reservoir, so that an aquarium without a filter could normally exist and develop. The most important thing to create and maintain in the aquarium, balance, balance between all its inhabitants. Depending on the volume of the aquarium, its population should be adequate to this volume, in other words, with a small population of the aquarium, the overall load on the aquarium also decreases because fewer inhabitants allocate fewer waste products and the aquarium system is able to cope with it quantity, that is, recycle.
The next very important point, an aquarium without a filter, should be as densely planted with plants as possible, the plants are used for their nutrition, substances secreted by fish. Moreover, part of the plant must be growing rapidly, the faster the growth rate of the plant, the more actively it consumes nutrients for its development, thereby preventing the accumulation of harmful substances to dangerous values. The fastest growing plants include such unpretentious plants as: elodea, valisneria, pterygoid ferns, and others. It is desirable to have in the aquarium without a filter such plants as, for example, echinodorus, possessing a powerful, developed root system, they prevent silting and acidification of the soil and help maintain the overall biological balance of the system. Slow-growing species, such as various types of mosses or ferns (Thai fern), because of their slow growth, are involved in the process of consumption of substances, are not so active, however, in combination with other species, they certainly can be used to organize an aquarium without filter.
After the aquarium is running, the ground is filled up and after a while the plants are planted, it is necessary to give the aquarium time to mature, the biological balance should naturally be adjusted, as a rule it takes several weeks. After this period, you can hook up the fish, once again I want to note that in an aquarium without a filter there should be a moderate number of fish, the system should cope with the load itself, and this is impossible with a large population. It is also very important to make periodic water changes, 10-20% of the volume of the aquarium, in parallel with the substitution to carry out a siphon of the soil on the bottom areas not planted with plants. With this approach, an aquarium without a filter will function normally for a long time, nothing is different from aquariums equipped with a filtration system.
An example of an aquarium without a filter.
As an example, let me give my 60-liter aquarium without a filter, there is absolutely no equipment in this aquarium, only the heater, which this year was switched on only once, when the water temperature in the aquarium dropped below 22 degrees C. using two energy-saving lamps, 15 watts each. each, warm and cold light. The soil in the aquarium is natural, coarse sand, from the shore of the Gulf of Finland.
In the aquarium, the simplest and most unpretentious plants grow: this is an elodea, a small bush of a Thai fern, floats on the surface, riccia and a fern, which is also called water cabbage. From the population of guppies that are constantly breeding and as they grow, they move to the upper aquarium, with a volume of 360 liters. They also live, cherry shrimps, in my time I got 8 pieces in exchange for aquarium plants, now there are certainly more of them. Live food, frozen bloodworm and dry food in flakes. Replace in the aquarium once every two weeks about 20% of the volume. Algae no species in this aquarium has never been.
In the photo, the aquarium after the global weeding, the old photos unfortunately did not survive, a little later I will update the photos, as the aquarium will again grow.
Let’s talk a little bit now, when setting up what aquariums, the absence of a filter most likely cannot be recommended. In the first place, it is of course aquariums where planting is impossible or difficult, these are aquariums with cichlids, goldfish. It is also necessary to have filters in aquariums with such water-demanding fish as discus fish, although here options are possible, instead of using external filters, it is possible to organize a canal or install a fit filter.
I’ll update the article a little, about 8 months have passed since the launch of the aquarium as of September 27, 2015; there were no problems with the aquarium. The plants described above and growing in this aquarium constantly weed as they grow, guppies and shrimps also reproduce cherries, algae do not cause any problems, they are simply absent in this aquarium. Frankly speaking, water changes are not very regular, sometimes I change the water every week, sometimes in a month, then I just add the required amount to replace the evaporated one. The lighting is the same, that is, energy-saving lamps, I did not do tests, although I am going to, it is so simple for the sake of interest.
Several photos of the aquarium today.
Well, that’s all I wanted to talk about. I want to draw your attention that everything stated in the article, an aquarium without a filter, is based on my personal observations and experience in maintaining a freshwater aquarium, write your questions and comments in the comments.