I have 5 C. Hasbrosus and 5 Scarlet Badis in a 5g with a sponge filter nut I'm not happy with it. The tank does have live plants and has been established for almost a year so could I run just an airstone for water circulation and oxygen without an actual filter? I already do 2 50% percent water changes a week with a gravel vac to pick up loose debris. So is this enough?
What are you not happy with, the type of sponge filter or the way it filters?
I experimented with a 10g for several months with no filter; well-planted, a heater, and fish consisted of Corydoras pygmaeus (9), Boraras brigittae (9), 2 shrimp, a dwarf puffer [puffer and shrimp arrived unintentionally with the corys], and Malaysian livebearing snails which the puffer kept well controlled.:lol: This worked, though the water was not truly clear, so I added a Hydor sponge filter. I now have a single Elite sponge which is less noticeable.
The clarity aspect of the water is the benefit of a small sponge filter, plus water circulation. If you decide to go filterless, laying the heater (submersible obviosly) horizontally near the substrate along the back wall would create the best thermal convection currents. I would do this before using an airstone.
I'm just not happy with the job the filter was doing. It didn't clear up the water at all and the bubbles it produced are fairly large for such a small tank and really rock the surface of the water and anything near it like floating plants and fish. The filter is about 4 inches around and has a tube that extends about 6 or 7 inches upwards. It's the smallest my LFS has so that's what I went with because everything else was massive for a 5g.
I do have the heater for the tank laying horizontally already and have been running just an airstone for the past 2 days now. The fish seem to like it more and travel to that corner of the tank more often now. Sometimes even "play" in the bubbles. The surface also has a nice little ripple to it like you'd see in a stream rather than the big waves the sponge made.
I'm just wondering though if this will create enough oxygen for these fish and if this is something that can be done long-term? The sponge filter is still in there so I can easily switch back unless this will be ok then I will tank it out and add a couple more plants.
The oxygen is not the issue, assuming the plants are healthy. Water movement is important, and the heater horizontally will achieve this. I would be tempted to remove the airstone. But to the filter, I found the single Elite to be ideal. I suspect from your description you have an Hydro, I had that in my 10g and replaced it with the Elite simply for the space issue. The Hydro is an excellent filter, but so is the Elite only smaller and less obvious.
Hmm alright. I would love to try and run a filterless aquarium. The cories and badis can both breath from the surface right? Not suppose too all the time but can if need to right? I don't want to experiemnt with no filter and risk the fish lives. The plants are a bunch of Anubias, Lava fern and moss, a moss ball, onion plants, and crypt parva. All are fairly slow growing so will this be alright?
Aquarists had planted tanks with no filters (and no heaters) for decades. And many of the "natural" planted tank folks still say filters are not needed. But you are correct that the type of plants makes some difference, and stocking lightly or moderately fish-wise. We today are often "programmed" to think we need the latest stuff, aquarium-related or everywhere else. As I read through the pages of ads in TFH every month, I shake my head that some will spend money for all this periphanalia and jugs of chemical compounds to solve this issue or prevent that issue.
Hmm ok you've given me a lot to think about. I've been wanting to reaquascape for a little while now taking out a little bit of the anubias and adding some crockscrew vals and adding some floating plants. So I think I'm going to try using no filter but if that doesn't work will hook up the sponge again. I know what you mean though with the ads in TFH and its funny but a little ridiculous.
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