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Old 12-26-2010, 12:19 AM   #1 
LucyLoofa
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Is a filter highly recommended when starting a smaller NPT/Walstad?

Is a filter highly recommended when starting a smaller Walstad?
I'm very intrigued and slightly worried.
I threw my older faulty (or should I say forceful?) filters away due to Patriot's finrot and a new filter is quite a bit of money.
Would an airstone work just as well?
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:12 AM   #2 
baylee767
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Depends on the tank size.... how large is your tank?
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:21 AM   #3 
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I have a 2.5 and 3 gallon NPT. I have never used filters on them and they are doing well. There isn't any kind of water movement except what the fish or shrimp create. In my 12 gallon I use a filter without any media (except a little polly-fill, but that's mostly to keep the water from splashing around), but it is mostly for my fish as they acted better with it running. When it wasn't running the corydoras weren't eating or being as active.

From your other post, I believe you are working with a 2 gallon tank. I would say you are fine without a filter. The first few weeks to months you may need to do frequent water changes, but once it is settled and balanced, these are great little tanks. I love them.

I posted this on your other thread, but here is an article by Diana Walstad about her 1 and 2.5 gallon tanks.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:17 AM   #4 
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On my small natural planted tanks and even some of my bigger ones-I may or may not use any filtration or water movement on start up-it depends on how much scrum develops on the surface from the organics-and then I may add some type of water movement to keep it broke up until the tank settles/matures some and start to take care of it itself in a sense.....

As MoePaac posted-you will need to make several water only changes in the beginning and this will help keep the organic controlled and the surface scum limited to a degree...I usually make 50-80% water only several times a week the first week or so and reduce the number as needed until the tank matures and the soil starts it life underwater-this can take 2-3 months...it varies due to stocking, soil type, dept, plants, other livestock in the tank, anaerobic spot, decomp rate...etc.....

If I do use filtration or an airstone on start up I usually take it out once the tank is mature and more balanced....so you don't have to have filtration or an airstone...but it can help on start up.....and tweak as you go...a lot of this method is a bit play by ear...so to speak....each one will be different IME......

Also, most everything you know about the nitrogen cycle is changed or different but the same..... when it comes to natural planted tanks......this is a mini ecosystem and the soil is alive, plants produce oxygen and function as a filter......its still a closed system so some intervention is still needed by the hobbyist.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 12-26-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #5 
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Thanks OFL, Thanks MP, I was just worried the plants wouldn't get the heat and nutrients they needed if the water wasn't moving.
I think I'll use one to help with startup though. I'll see if my whisper still works :) I'll just take the filter material out of it so it's simply just water movement. It's okay to keep a heater in there right?
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:22 PM   #6 
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Yes, you need the heater and thermometer to maintain/monitor a stable water temp- not just for the livestock but for the plants as well-most of the plants need tropical water temps to thrive and grow well-some plants not all...if they get too cold will either go dormant or die-decreasing the photo period can sometimes do this too-it can make the plant think the season has changed.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #7 
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That's so wonderful! :) Thank you so much for telling me!
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