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Old 07-31-2013, 07:24 PM   #11 
Laki
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Wait. The only thing I HATE about my non-filtered 3g is the debris that floats around at the surface and during water changes. Mine are heavily planted, not NPT. But I'm getting a filter for it pretty soon to deal with the "mulm" :/
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #12 
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Originally Posted by Laki View Post
Wait. The only thing I HATE about my non-filtered 3g is the debris that floats around at the surface and during water changes. Mine are heavily planted, not NPT. But I'm getting a filter for it pretty soon to deal with the "mulm" :/
Now I'm beginning to think I shouldn't do this.... :P
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #13 
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I have a planted 1.5, the hardest part for me is finding a suitable light bulb for the plants.

100% changes would only be harmful if you uproot the plants every time you pull a change, roots are sensitive and prone to breakage, also, you take all of the nutrients out of the water and your plants will starve. A 75% (at most) will be fine, a light vacuum for visible poo will be ok too. My guy is much happier with his live plants.

if you used any kind of sand, Malaysian trumpets stir it up and keep it from going anaerobic and turning toxic.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #14 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
I keep lots of Betta successfully in 1-2gal unfiltered soil based planted tanks without issue. Once the system is mature I don't even make water changes in the soil based but maybe 3-4 times a year other than top offs. Without soil and/or lots of active plant growth I would make at least 50% weekly water changes-vacuuming usually isn't needed when you have live plants-the mulm/debris will break down for plant use, however, in the smaller tanks it can start to look unsightly and you may want to remove it for that reason.
Oldfishlady has perfect advice that I am going to do in my spare 1 gallon. Although it won't have a betta in it for a couple months.

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Originally Posted by darkangel View Post
O_o I have no idea why they would say that...it doesn't even make sense.

plants are perfectly fine with water changes, they are are far less sensitive than fish so as long as your changing your water like you regularly do, there shouldn't be any problems.

your water changes should be based on ammonia tests, unless you know for sure your plants are keeping the water clean, you should do 100% every 3-4 days in a 1.5 gallon.
btw, you can do 100% water changes with plants if they are not the rooting kind. I have a bucket of horn wort sitting outside and I do 100% every single day because dead bugs fall in.

My 2.5 gallon has lots of plants and I test the water every week for ammonia, I get 0.25ppm after about 2 and 1/2 weeks so I do a 50% water change every 2 weeks so its always 0.

If you want hardy plants that use ammonia, hornwort, java moss and guppy grass are good ones. The popular ones like java fern and anubias don't grow very fast or use that much ammonia so they don't make a difference.
This actually does make sense because some plants don't like to be continuously uprooted and will die. The most you can do is a 90% change without hurting the plants at the bottom. If you do a 100% change you will also ruin the cycle, all the natural good bacteria will be gone and you would have to start from scratch; and would cause more problems making it unstable. If you cycle the tank it will stay healthy and if you do 50% changes every week you will get rid of the ammonia. Just test your water a lot in case problems arise.

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Originally Posted by Laki View Post
Wait. The only thing I HATE about my non-filtered 3g is the debris that floats around at the surface and during water changes. Mine are heavily planted, not NPT. But I'm getting a filter for it pretty soon to deal with the "mulm" :/
You can get a sponge filter if you're concerned about keeping up with the water changes too. But if you get a bubbler that will keep the film from growing at the top and the icky debris will be continuously pushed around.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:13 PM   #15 
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Originally Posted by Skyewillow View Post
I have a planted 1.5, the hardest part for me is finding a suitable light bulb for the plants.

100% changes would only be harmful if you uproot the plants every time you pull a change, roots are sensitive and prone to breakage, also, you take all of the nutrients out of the water and your plants will starve. A 75% (at most) will be fine, a light vacuum for visible poo will be ok too. My guy is much happier with his live plants.

if you used any kind of sand, Malaysian trumpets stir it up and keep it from going anaerobic and turning toxic.
That's what I was thinking. What plants do you recommend?
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:14 PM   #16 
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So right now:

-No filter but heated
-A few plants
-50% water changes weekly
-Gravel
-Do I need to vacuum? Some said don't because the plants "need" the poop..
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:51 PM   #17 
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Yeah you would want a small siphon or airline tubing, just to get all the debris and extra poop. It will also make it look better :)
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:34 AM   #18 
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Originally Posted by ismintis View Post
Yeah you would want a small siphon or airline tubing, just to get all the debris and extra poop. It will also make it look better :)
Okay, but wouldn't the plans need it?
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:26 AM   #19 
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IMO/E-You need to look at the soil based system as a complete system sometimes-Often failures with the soil based are related to doing too much-over thinking it-over cleaning...etc.....and this can be with any kind of system IMO/E.

I just tore my 75gal soil based down a few weeks ago due to over growth of crypts and I wanted to do a complete re-scape for my Angelfish.

It took me a week for the tear down and re-setup using soil I dug out in my back pasture I like to call black gold-along with some of my native red clay for added iron-I didn't even stiff it this time like I usually do-I just added it to the tank-about 3 inches and topped the soil with half to 1in of regular play sand-added my native wood I collected from my forest-one piece of wood I had in another tank for a couple of years that I had to use that black electric tape to tape a big rock to it so it would stay under water-I did replace the tape....Anyway.....hard scape went in then I planted-I like to plant covering at least 50-75% of the floor-Usually I use a lot of stem plants but this time I used more rosettes-I want a lawn in the front. I added my MTS, a breeding pair of BN pleco, 20 or so RCS the day I setup. Then 6 large Angelfish the next day. It has been 2 weeks and I have changed the water once the first week and plan to make a water change today. No livestock loss-everyone doing just fine and the plecos just spawned-Water prams 0ppm across the board and it usually will stay that way-rarely do I ever even have nitrate readings due to active plant growth even when I overstock. The pH, KH/GH are high due to my hard well water-

Point I am trying to make-as long as you start out right and you see active plant growth within the first week-you need to relax and allow the system to do its thing-by over thinking, over cleaning...etc.....you disrupt the little ecosystem you just created-it is still a closed system and will need some tending to-but not as much as you might think.

Often more harm is done by doing too much than not enough-the system and livestock will tell you when something is wrong and 9 out of 10 times-all you need to do is a 50% water ONLY change...IMO of course....MMV (millage may vary)
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:07 PM   #20 
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Originally Posted by ismintis View Post
This actually does make sense because some plants don't like to be continuously uprooted and will die. The most you can do is a 90% change without hurting the plants at the bottom. If you do a 100% change you will also ruin the cycle, all the natural good bacteria will be gone and you would have to start from scratch; and would cause more problems making it unstable. If you cycle the tank it will stay healthy and if you do 50% changes every week you will get rid of the ammonia. Just test your water a lot in case problems arise.
I said for non-rooting plants.....

the concept of you can't do 100% water changes because you will 'kill' the good bacteria is a myth. even in a cycled tank, 99% of the bacteria is your filter media and even if you do a 100% water change, you rarely will cause the cycle to crash. you are far more likely to crash your cycle if you mess with filter media. If you tank has insanely high nitrates or something, than its better to do a 100% water change than to risk poisoning your fish.

without a filter, there isn't really enough bacteria to make a difference. plants do not cycle your tank, they can't turn ammonia into nitrate, only bacteria can do that. the only thing plants can do is they can absorb ammonia which reduces the amount of water changes...

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Originally Posted by Namialus View Post
So right now:

-No filter but heated
-A few plants
-50% water changes weekly
-Gravel
-Do I need to vacuum? Some said don't because the plants "need" the poop..

plants don't need the 'poop', the poop decays to become ammonia which the plant can use but the plants cannot absorb all of the ammonia which is why you do water changes. fish create ammonia continuously through their gills too so there is really no reason to leave the poop there. you risk having too much decay and ammonia poisoning. I don't recommend gravel, they are such a pain to clean and end up hoarding lots of poop/debris which decay, but if you really want gravel, you will need to vacuum.

imo, you should try to get an ammonia test kit. its the best way to find out when/how much water you need to change. sometimes all you need is 25% wc a week if you got lots of plants, sometimes you might have to do two 50% wc if your plants don't use ammonia very well.
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