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CarissaLynn

Question Regarding Planted Tanks & Filters

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I have a 5g tank that normally is the house for my cherry shrimp and betta fish - but atm my betta fish is in another tank so the tank only has my 9 adult cherry shrimp and 3 babies - as well as some pond snails. The tank is decently planted I think - not a ton but isn't just one single plant either. It uses a HOB filter w/ bio-rings, sponge, and carbon in the filter.

 

I've been reading this book regarding planted tanks and the author talks about how in low stocked planted tanks it may be better for plant growth to not have a filter going and to let the plants do all of the filtration - I've been sorta curious to try and was wondering what everyone's thoughts would be on if I were to take the filter off that tank that just has the shrimp/snail and if I was - would I need to add a bubbler or something to get the water to be moving at least a little bit?

 

Any insight would be appreciated!

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Well regarding the basics, plants need a few things to grow, light, CO2 and nutrients. As long as they are getting all of those in sufficient amounts they should grow. The max speed at which a plant grows depends on the species of plant in relation to the amounts of nutrients it can receive. Then it depends on how your specific plant feeds, for root feeders flow would matter less as most nutrients, would be coming in from their roots, but they need fresh CO2 to be brought to them, for water column feeders flow is more important as that is where their source of nutrients get to them. In regards to filtration, different filters can provide different results depending on what you want them to do, they can clarify water, aerate the water, provide a area for UV sterilization, a area for pH modification etc. They also house the bacteria which can convert ammonia to nitrite then to nitrates. The book probably refers to the conversion of ammonia to nitrites and nitrate part, as ammonia is the preferred food for plants. It is also extremely toxic to fish and shrimp at neutral pH and higher. Plants, however can utilize nitrates and nitrites as well and they do as nitrates are utilized in most fertilizers. In regards to safety, having a good filter with lots of bacteria can prevent ammonia levels from skyrocketing by providing housing basically for all the bacteria within the bio rings, sponges etc and helps them grow by bringing flow and nutrients to them. The filter will also provide some mechanical filtration to clear up the water and the flow will remove some dead zones. Judging from your bioload you can remove the filter and have a bubbler, simply because shrimp and snails unless in high numbers do not produce much waste at all in comparison to fish. You may cause a bacteria bloom in the process as you are going to be removing most probable source of major bacteria within your aquarium, depending on the amount of nutrients in the water, but it will either balance out in time or the plants will take care of it. Either way most likely your tank will be fine as you have a low bioload to begin with and you are using fertilizers in the tank, which should mitigate most of if not all the issues from the filter. In my opinion filters of any kind are always better for the aquarium inhabitants, the tanks are just so much more stable, they can house more fish and the water quality is better as well. They are by no means necessary as I do run tanks with nothing in them, but there are so many simple issues within tanks that can be avoided by using a filter. 

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Quote

a area for pH modification

Please explain this PH modification in more detail.

 

Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium By Byron Hoskins.

https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/member-submitted-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/

 

 

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I was regarding canister filters in those aspects where you can bag peat moss/ sphagnum moss or crushed coral to change the pH over time instead of just leaving them there within the tank, it can also be done with almond leaves for tannins as well if you do not want to deal with the debris from the leaves. 

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3 hours ago, Revaria said:

I was regarding canister filters in those aspects where you can bag peat moss/ sphagnum moss or crushed coral to change the pH over time

Yes technically correct, but these things will not lower the PH by much and using them causes the PH to fluctuate.

 

I would actually want to lower and stabilise the PH before adding it to the tank not after.

 

The only safe way to lower PH is to use  RO or distilled water then remineralise it to your requirements.

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On 6/28/2018 at 11:57 PM, NickAus said:

Yes technically correct, but these things will not lower the PH by much and using them causes the PH to fluctuate.

 

I would actually want to lower and stabilise the PH before adding it to the tank not after.

 

The only safe way to lower PH is to use  RO or distilled water then remineralise it to your requirements.

 

Yeah ideally you would want to do that, and maybe add  almond leaves and moss to your water storage area for a few days or weeks to lower the pH to your liking prior to the water change, but I don't have the space for that so I have to deal with the cards I got. 

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On 7/2/2018 at 8:56 PM, madcrafted said:

If you have any leftover substrate, you can also add that to a mesh bag or nylon stocking and place that in your storage water. This way you are adding water with similar pH to your tank.

 

Hey madcrafted,

 

I used to do this but I think I may have killed some of my shrimp as the substrate leeched a little too much Ammonia in my storage water :(

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On 7/29/2018 at 9:12 PM, edwin_the_elder said:

 

Hey madcrafted,

 

I used to do this but I think I may have killed some of my shrimp as the substrate leeched a little too much Ammonia in my storage water :(

 

Oh no. I'm sorry to hear that. I should have been more clear. My advice was based on using substrates such as SL-Aqua, Controsoil/Brightwell, FSS or any other substrate that doesn't leech ammonia. 

 

Truth be told, all you really need to do is drip your r/o water in slowly. pH shouldn't swing too much. Alternatively, you could seal your storage container after filling or place your r/o water in jugs...fill to the top, seal and let them sit for a few days before you use them. This will allow carbonic acid to build up in your container... hence lowering your pH closer to your tank. 

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9 hours ago, madcrafted said:

 

Oh no. I'm sorry to hear that. I should have been more clear. My advice was based on using substrates such as SL-Aqua, Controsoil/Brightwell, FSS or any other substrate that doesn't leech ammonia. 

 

Truth be told, all you really need to do is drip your r/o water in slowly. pH shouldn't swing too much. Alternatively, you could seal your storage container after filling or place your r/o water in jugs...fill to the top, seal and let them sit for a few days before you use them. This will allow carbonic acid to build up in your container... hence lowering your pH closer to your tank. 

 

HAHAHA it's alright. This mistake was made back when I was really clueless about shrimp :( caused a few of my shrimp friends their lives unfortunately. 

 

P.S. "ADA is gr8, just be sure to w8" (for the tank the cycle) :) 

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