No Filter? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-27-2011, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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No Filter?

To start, I have a little 3 gallon Eclipse 3 aquarium. Wouldn't suggest them, and if you have one and have money/space for a new tank, dump it. My filter just bit the dust last week, and replacements are hard to find and not worth the cost.

So, I'm stuck without a filter at this time. I don't have room for a new, better tank at this time, but will be moving in November and hope to get a decent tank then. But, because of that and the cost of a new filter ($15 when the whole aquarium was $30, and I just dumped $10 on a new bulb), I'm hesitant to replace this one. What are the ill effects of not running a filter? I've stepped up my water changes to 30% - 40% every other day. I've monitored parameters, and they seem OK for the most part. No ammonia or nitrates, and nitrites are staying around 25 ppm. However, I've noticed hardness drop to about 30 ppm, and pH is down below 6.5, which is not the best for my fish.

I also know another important job of the filter is to oxygenate the water, but that doesn't seem to be an issue. Between my frequent water changes and the plants, I think that's being covered. The fish are acting normal, eating well, and showing no ill effects. I had a female die last week, but that was due to an illness/injury she had when I got her and occurred before the filter issue. I thought she would make it and improved considerably, but never seemed to be 100%.

So, am I issuing a death sentence to my poor fish by waiting on filtration, or will the frequent water changings, stringent feeding, and close monitoring suffice until I get a new tank set up?
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-27-2011, 10:26 PM
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Mind if I ask what fish you have in your 3 gallon?

My house is my own private zoo!
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-27-2011, 10:43 PM
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How long has the tank been running? A cycled tank should not have nitrItes unless your tap water has it in? You sure that nitrates are 0 or is the nitrites 0? Another thing you could for filtration on that size tank is a small sponge filter that runs off an air pump. If you are doing that many water changes and the parameters stay good you can manage for a little bit without a filter I would think.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 10:39 AM
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Yes, it is do-able. I had a 10g planted tank full of fish with no filter. Your parameters are good for soft water fish, but we need to know what is in this tank in the way of fish and plant species.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, Boredomb, simple typo. Nitrites are 0, nitrates are 25 ppm.

Regarding the fish and plants, I have three forktail rainbow fish (pseudomugil furcatus). I know they prefer neutral to alkaline and slightly hard water, so I need to figure out how to raise the pH and hardness. The plants are four small cryp wendtii. I'm looking at adding more, possibly some floating plants and a couple of small foreground plants. I figure I need it heavily planted to help with the natural filtration.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-28-2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefin08 View Post
Sorry, Boredomb, simple typo. Nitrites are 0, nitrates are 25 ppm.

Regarding the fish and plants, I have three forktail rainbow fish (pseudomugil furcatus). I know they prefer neutral to alkaline and slightly hard water, so I need to figure out how to raise the pH and hardness. The plants are four small cryp wendtii. I'm looking at adding more, possibly some floating plants and a couple of small foreground plants. I figure I need it heavily planted to help with the natural filtration.
With more plants, that will work. As someone mentioned, stem plants are fast growing and thus use nutrients fast. Crypts are relatively slow growing. If you can find pygmy chain sword, one plant will soon carpet the substrate with runners and plantlets. Corkscrew Vallisneria is also good, will make a nice background wall of green. Water Sprite floating (floating plants also use nutrients fast, and get CO2 from the air).

On the water, a small amount of crushed dolomite, limestone, marble or coral will raise hardness (and corresponding pH). Usually this works best in the filter where the water passes over it, but a small amount could be mixed in with the substrate. Crushed coral looks like sand, so it would blend in with most substrates. The other substances would be white, not so good in a substrate. When I say it doesn't take much, I mean very little. You would have to add a bit and check the results over a week or two. I have added a couple degrees of hardness and pH with just 2 tablespoons in the filter of a 90g tank.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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