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Old 09-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #11 
thekoimaiden
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In a smaller tank or a newer, there is a lot of BB in the filter. Keeping it submerged was a good move. Is the filter an internal filter or external? If it's been physically in the tank the entire time, you really don't have anything to worry about. It's been in contact with the same water the fish are in. If it's external, you might want to replace the water in there and see if you can save any of the BB.

Power outages are just another reason I like sponge filters. When the power goes out I just hook up a battery-powered bubbler!
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #12 
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To whoever said there is more beneficial bacteria in your gravel than filter is incorrect. Beneficial bacteria require an oxygen rich environment to grow. In an aquarium, this is your filter, where water is being continually pulled in and passed through it.

Just be careful you don't get an ammonia spike once you switch your filter back on. Some of the bacteria may have died off and this can be blasted back out into your tank once the filter is turned on. I would just test my water for the following couple of days and do a precautionary water change or two.

Otherwise you should be okay.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #13 
Alcemistnv
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It's an internal filter. WOOT! :D

Glad to know I averted a crisis
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:48 PM   #14 
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Internal filters FTW!! You might still get some small spikes because the filter was lacking the flow, but the plants should be able to handle that.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #15 
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There are DEFINITELY a lot of beneficial bacteria in the gravel, enough to keep the tank going for 24 hours. Yes, they need oxygen but oxygen depletion in water does not happen overnight. This is why many people successfully keep fish tanks without filters, just with lots of bubblers. Obviously those kinds of tanks take a lot more cleaning because the filter does the majority of the cleaning. A filters 3 jobs consist of bacteria breaking down unwanted toxins (those bacteria also live within rocks and decorations within the tank), mechanical cleaning to rid of waste and matter, and thirdly, to put oxygen back into the water. Plants also act as a natural filter. So in reality, there shouldn't be any change in your water at all. Plants photosynthesize to create more oxygen from the carbon dioxide within the tank, however if there isn't enough carbon dioxide in the water, the plants will use photorespiration, where they take oxygen from the water and convert it into energy. However, they don't normally do this unless they are in desperate need.

Needless to say, in reality, you don't necessarily need a filter if your tank has plants in it and bettas, that being said, more water changes and cleanings should be done to maintain water quality.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #16 
teeneythebetta
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You'd need more than just two small plants for there to be no water changes needed.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #17 
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The reason you can get away with having no filter in a planted tank is because aquatic plants will take up ammonia in preference to nitrates. Therefore, if your stocking is appropriate for your plant mass, there is no need for a filter as you don't have any ammonia present to start the cycle.

The lion's share of beneficial bacteria does live in the filter. This is why you can take all the gravel out of an established tank and not see any spike in your readings, but you cannot take a filter out and rely on your gravel to keep the cycle going.

Of course this doesn't work if you are using an under-gravel filter as your substrate then becomes your biological and mechanical filtration.

I have left filters off for 24 or so hours and never had any issues with my parameters afterwards. However, I would think once you hit 2-3 days you would start to see a significant die-off unless you had a battery powered air pump to get oxygen moving over your media.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #18 
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Oh well yeah!!! If you don't have a filter, and just plants, you still have to do water changes, even WITH a filter you should water changes. :]
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