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Discussion Starter #1
Hello TFK...

Thought I'd post a picture of this 100 gallon tank that has no mechanical filtration. I dropped some house plants into the water with a large air stone and introduced a variety of fish to see if the plants could keep the tank water clean enough to sustain the fish. There's no filter other than the plants. I have some fancy Goldfish, Comets, Guppies, White cloud and Rosy minnows. There's probably 75 fish in there. After eight months, and weekly water changes, there are no traces of ammonia or nitrite. The nitrates are a steady 10 ppm.

The plants are thriving by using the nitrogen from the dissolving fish waste and the fish are living in near pure water conditions.

M

https://imgur.com/lEBJPou
 

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congratulation.

sounds like a very effect system.

My only concern is that you used house plants most of which are really not aquatic. But whatever you used seems to be working

my .02
 

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or possibly you just put the roots in the water and the rest of the plants above. That would seem to work as well.

my second .02
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello bea...

I removed the potting mixture from the plants and immersed the roots in the water. The leaves stay above the water. i ran an air stone attached to an air pump underneath the root ball to maintain oxygen to the roots. The roots are constantly being fertilized by the fish, so the house plant gets much larger than it would with potting soil. I've seen this type of plant in offices, but nothing as large as in this tank.

M
 

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Ok that should work.

The only "drawback" is that the plants above the aquarium are not directly removing co2 from the water as true submerged aquatic plant would. To me that is important.

But in terms of balancing out and stabilizing the system nitrogen cycle wise, the plants would still consume ammonia first then nitrates. And eventually bacteria will get the ammonia and the plants start using nitrates for nitrogen. Which is very good.

Actually I had a beta bowl with peace lilies which ran for years and years.

Best tank ever.

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello again...

Good point about the CO2. Actually, I wasn't concerned about it because of all the oxygen being produced by the air stone. It seems the added oxygen is diving off the CO2. The plant has gotten quite large and my guess is, the plant is using the nitrogen from the dissolving fish waste faster than the bacteria can. I'm not sure there's much of a bacteria colony in this tank. I don't think I can ever remove the plant. If I did, I'd likely have a water chemistry problem.

M
 

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don't change what's working.
 
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