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Plants as a filter?

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by SarahAnn, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. SarahAnn

    SarahAnn Registered Member

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    Hi, guys! I'm a new member here but have been coming to this site for a while now. I've recently moved into a house with a very limited amount of power and was wondering if it was possible to make a planted tank where the plants would produce all the oxygen the tank needed. I have both a 10 and 36 gallon tank. I'm mostly curious about the 36 gallon, but am worried it will not work since it is my Goldfish tank (3 mid sized goldies, one very small one, and then a 7 inches bristlenose). I'm just wondering if its possible and if so, what plants would be needed?
     
  2. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Well, that seems like a very overstocked 36g already, or will be when the fish grow. To have a plants only as filtration you'll need to be VERY lightly stocked with fish. Look up the Diana Walstad method. It can be done, but it's not easy if you want more than a few fish.
     
  3. tanker

    tanker Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!

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    Besides that, the Goldfish will eat all the plants.
     
  4. SarahAnn

    SarahAnn Registered Member

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    It does currently have plants in it. Honestly though, they are mostly for the goldfish to munch on since they ignore any and all veggies I try to feed them. They also are for the pleco since he prefers to sit under them and eat his meals beneath them.
    I totally wasn't aware it was overstocked! I had a much more experienced fish keeper help me set it up (who prefers GF) who told me the tank was perfect for them as long as I kept up with water changes and provided the filtration and oxygen for them.
     
  5. OrionGirl

    OrionGirl No freelancing!

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    Goldfish are usually best kept with 20 gallons per fish, at least. While the fish may be small now, even the fancies can get to be 8-10 inches, and that's a lot of mass for a 36. Long run, you're going to need to upgrade tanks.

    With goldfish, there isn't an option to use just plants that wouldn't require a bunch of external and supplemental setups. You could, for example, add a sump and pack it full of plants with high light, but that's at least 2 power needs (pump to return the water, light). Truthfully, I'd probably go that route if I wanted goldfish inside, simply because of the bonus water volume and oxygenation from the water agitation.
     
  6. LisaBagwell

    LisaBagwell AC Members

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    you need a filter...
     
  7. LisaBagwell

    LisaBagwell AC Members

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    at least it will much healthier for the fish
     
  8. OrionGirl

    OrionGirl No freelancing!

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    Plants are a perfectly viable filter option for many setups. As noted above, it's a challenge for goldfish since they will view plants as a snack.
     
  9. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh AC Members

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    Yep. I have a 55g with goldfish. For a year or so, a large clump of java fern made it in this setup. Java fern must taste awful, because it seems to be the last plant any fish will eat LOL.

    I do have a plastic basket of pothos clipped to the inside/top of my goldfish tank. They do nibble at the roots a bit, but can't get at the plant since it grows out of the tank. This of course does nothing for O2 in the tank, but IMO, you shouldn't rely on plants for this anyway. Any surface agitation of the water should supply all the O2 your setup needs.
     

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