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....has no life....
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the point really is a heavy bioload with little maintenance can be successful for years. Which to me is exactly what a new aquariumist should strive for.

Bob
Why is that the point that you seem to push? Not the smartest thing with someone new to all of this. What can be wrong with a heater and a powerhead to push water around and keep it circulated - at least? Why not? Is the point that it "can" be done? Or is it that you can set up a tank and not do anything if you don't want to? Is it that you can do it all and avoid cost of filters, heaters, or extra water? Why is that the point that should be pushed to a new aquarists...that here you go a great new hobby, and oh by the way, it doesn't require anything from you except to feed and top off water? Why even call it a hobby or something that you like? Its more like a piece of furniture that only gets care when dust settles on it.

Your tanks appear like something similar to a science experiment where you are out to prove to the world what "little" can be done while the majority of the people that do it waste their money. I am fairly confident the link to the pic that the tank looks more like an algae cave is what the true picture of your tanks look like over time and the video is shortly after a setup of one of your tanks, if it really is one of yours and not someone who may have used your methods. Everything in it is just too clean to be anything like you say, or maybe Aunt Pearl doesn't exactly like hideous looking things in her house either, not sure.

Why not a filter? I added 57 fish in one day to a tank that already had about 50 that never saw an ammonia spike or anything - not something you could do without a filter.

Why not a heater? I keep my house at 65 in the Winter. My Angels who like their water around 82 would put me in the poor house trying to keep my entire house the same temp. I don't get forced by a spouse to keep all of my tanks out of my house and kept in a small room that I could singularly control the heat/air condition to the room.

Why not water changes? It is proven that this is what keeps your water safe and healthy - whatever the reason may be. It may not be for you - in an unfiltered, no water change, no dechlor use, tank.

There are a butt-load of reasons to why you should do some of these things, but I only listed one. Only a few why you shouldn't and really only apply to a tank that is very delicate in its balance with low oxygen, non-moving water where it is an issue adding dechlor because it will deplete some oxygen or throw off the balance it took weeks to months to attain because the water is stagnet. If someone doesn't have the money to forego the extra expense and wants to prove to themselves that it "can" be done, your method may be worth a shot. It is a proven method many years ago before filters were around, but if it was the "best" way filters may have never been invented in the first place.

I don't believe however that it is something for new aquarists to attempt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Gee I guess we just disagree. *old dude

Clear water, no ammonia or nitrIte spikes ever not even in cycle. High oxygen low carbon dioxide, nice stable forgiving environment, the ability to go on vacation for up to 2-3 weeks and doing nothing special, the use of untreated tap water, in fact not using any chemicals at all. and all that with a very heavy fish load with most materials but in bulk from home supply stores.

So I guess we just disagree. *old dude

but then my stuff is only worth at most.


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What do fish think about?
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....has no life....
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Clear water - same with filtered and can even stir up the bottom (if you wanted) and watch it go away minutes later.

no ammonia or nitrIte spikes ever not even in cycle - same with filter, both require sensible stocking.

High oxygen low carbon dioxide - same with filter, but a much higher level of oxygen.

nice stable forgiving environment - same with filter, but more forgiving because the water is cleaned and circulated.

the ability to go on vacation for up to 2-3 weeks and doing nothing special - what is different here - same with any tank.

the use of untreated tap water - only because oxygen levels are lower in your tanks. Not an issue where the oxygen levels are many times higher and MUCH safer to add in the first place.

in fact not using any chemicals at all - user choice, tank setup doesn't dictate use of chemicals. Your method couldn't use - no means to circulate them.

all that with a very heavy fish load with most materials but in bulk from home supply stores - same with filtered.
All of this with plants, of course. To each his own I suppose. 99% of the comminity can't be wrong.
 

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We're all set in our own ways, and I doubt anyone will be convinced here - unless it's a new aquarist looking to move forward. I'd suggest, to the new aquarist, that you take beaslbob's approach with a grain of salt. If you are prepared to do a little research and choose species that have evolved to cope with low oxygen swamp environments, and you are prepared to stock those species at a one fish per five gallon ratio - this is a solid project.

Now, you can stock beyond that, you can keep some (limited) species alive. You can also put on a spandex body suit and air guitar around the room, but I wouldn't reccomend either, the first for the quality of life of your fish and the second for the quality of life of your family.

Everything beaslbob reports with an unfiltered tank is true of a filtered one - I go away for two weeks and my fry actually grow, technically unfed but foraging in planted, living (filtered) tanks. They grow twice as fast fed, and five times as fast with regular large water changes.

You can enjoy fishkeeping without heaters, without filters, without chemicals, without expensive lighting and without spending a fortune. You can't keep every fish that appeals to you, and you might not keep as many of your favorites. You can't avoid doing a little work though.

Then again, what's the use of a hobby where you can't fiddle around, do a few mindless easy jobs and make a few adjustments every week? You can run a really nice fishtank with no more than 20 minutes a week needed to change water as you should and clean your front glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
All of this with plants, of course. To each his own I suppose. 99% of the comminity can't be wrong.
Geee.

does that mean I finally made it to the 1% *old dude
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
FWIW

Here is cycle parameters of a 20gl I started with these methods only using aquarium gravel instead of the peat/sand/pc select I now use.

In this tank kh and gh did rise to 30 degrees. Later tanks with the peat moss had the kh at 4 degrees and gh at 9 degrees for over two years.

IMHO this is the almost classic silent cycle a planted tank experience.

Again straight untreated tap water, no circulation, no filters, no water changes.

The pH was probably higher as I was using the api low reading test kit with a max of 7.6. A couple of years later the pH was measured at 8.4-8.8 with the high range test kit.

the fish added were platys and 6 months later the tank had 20-30 fish.

I also added 5 silver hatchedfish which lived of amost 2 years until The tank temperature dropped to 55F (it is on a back porch and I forgot to plug in the heaters. LOL)





 

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The problem Bob is that your method seems almost an experiment in chemistry. I'll come from another extreme - I don't own a test kit anymore and I couldn't care less about the cycle. I stock very lightly and change a lot of water, and nothing dies.
My concern is fish behavior, which interests me a lot. From observation of nature, I can tell you that water moves. It flows, it splashes and it rolls over. In a stagnant tank like yours, it sits.
Since fish behavior comes from the evolutionary history of the creature, you have to assume it responds to an environment. If you want to see a reasonable facsimile of the behavior it would show in nature, then you have to examine water movement.
What you are doing certainly works, and I have no questions about that. But it is a system with a very limited application - to those rare fish that have evolved in stagnant, non-moving water. Since nature seems to lack lids, such water tends to evaporate, and rarely provides a real environment for our fish. A water body that doesn't regularly get refilled vanishes.
In a seasonal rain environment, fish get trapped in stagnant pools as the rivers recede, and they can usually survive for a period in the hope of rain or flooding saving them. 99% of the unlucky trapped fish either eat each other, get eaten by water bugs or birds, or dry out. They can survive until then.
But they breed, grow and flourish when they aren't in the trap, but in the moving, vibrant environment.
Fish from planted environemnts should be in planted tanks, from softwater in softwater tanks, hardwater in--- etc. Moving water fish should be in moving water tanks. Other than a few labyrinth fish and annual killifish, you aren't going to be able to point out too many stagnant water species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
The problem Bob is that your method seems almost an experiment in chemistry.

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I would guess that to some extent all aquariums are. *old dude


my .02
 

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Is there a way to do this without fishes? I would implement this with my 10 gallon. Long story short i would use the 10 gallon for natural filtration and have my 20g up top with the fishes pump water between the two (after the 10g stabilised) so could i substitute a little of the bottom level fish water/vacuum suck off for the fishes themselves in there every so often...?
 

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Your kh went to 30 due to lack of water changes. I love how you talk about how extreme of conditions you have put your fish through and brag as if it is a feat you took them to half of their normal lifespan. Maybe thriving is not the word you should use for most of your descriptions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Is there a way to do this without fishes? I would implement this with my 10 gallon. Long story short i would use the 10 gallon for natural filtration and have my 20g up top with the fishes pump water between the two (after the 10g stabilised) so could i substitute a little of the bottom level fish water/vacuum suck off for the fishes themselves in there every so often...?
Yes you can do that and in fact reef tanks do exactly that only for a marine environment with macro algaes.

It's called a refugium/sump setup.

I have heard of one doing that for a 120g discus tank.

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Your kh went to 30 due to lack of water changes. I love how you talk about how extreme of conditions you have put your fish through and brag as if it is a feat you took them to half of their normal lifespan. Maybe thriving is not the word you should use for most of your descriptions.
KH of 30 was when I used just sand for a substrate. With peat moss which I now consider part of the beaslbob build, kH stayed at 4 degrees and gh at 9 degrees for over two years.

my .02
 

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KH of 30 was when I used just sand for a substrate. With peat moss which I now consider part of the beaslbob build, kH stayed at 4 degrees and gh at 9 degrees for over two years.

my .02
Gravel doesn't raise kh quite that bad. My point was, with water changes kh doesn't continue to climb. Peat, just like any other method out there (driftwood, oak leaves, etc) is only temporary. It may affect the tank for a couple of years but eventually will wear off, even without large water changes.
 

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Peat's great - and it removes metals and other sources of hardness from tapwater. I used to treat hard tap of 140 ppm for breeding Apistogramma by putting it in 20 gallon tubs over 8 inches of peat, and it would drop to 40-60 ppm in a day. The pH would fall from 7.4 to 6-6.5 in that time. The peat was good for about 3 months before it had to be replaced.
Ditto for spaghnum moss Bob - give that a try. It does really interesting things.

Now, your platies come from Mexican and Belizean rivers over limestone. I tested water from a Belizean stream at pH 7.8, and a hardness up around 300 ppm. It was hard, clear water (flowing steadily). I also saw platys swimming around logs in a green river, just as hard water and flowing steadily - a boat would drift at a good clip on it.

So Bob, please give a shot at this inconvenient question. Why would you keep a hardwater riverine fish from flowing oxygenated water in the kind of stagnant, peaty, acidic conditions your build produces? You understand your chemistry - I have no problem with that. But you could do these experiments in a glass of water.

Why involve inappropriate fish choices? Why not take the extra step, do some reading on fish ecology, and make decent choices of tank inhabitants? Why not go after South Asian peat swamp fishes to see if it would work? You're spending energy as a saleman for your idea and playing the devil's advocate, but does your system offer anything to anyone who wants to learn about fish, and not about readings on a dipstick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Peat's great - and it removes metals and other sources of hardness from tapwater. I used to treat hard tap of 140 ppm for breeding Apistogramma by putting it in 20 gallon tubs over 8 inches of peat, and it would drop to 40-60 ppm in a day. The pH would fall from 7.4 to 6-6.5 in that time. The peat was good for about 3 months before it had to be replaced.
Ditto for spaghnum moss Bob - give that a try. It does really interesting things.

Now, your platies come from Mexican and Belizean rivers over limestone. I tested water from a Belizean stream at pH 7.8, and a hardness up around 300 ppm. It was hard, clear water (flowing steadily). I also saw platys swimming around logs in a green river, just as hard water and flowing steadily - a boat would drift at a good clip on it.

So Bob, please give a shot at this inconvenient question. Why would you keep a hardwater riverine fish from flowing oxygenated water in the kind of stagnant, peaty, acidic conditions your build produces? You understand your chemistry - I have no problem with that. But you could do these experiments in a glass of water.Why involve inappropriate fish choices? Why not take the extra step, do some reading on fish ecology, and make decent choices of tank inhabitants? Why not go after South Asian peat swamp fishes to see if it would work? You're spending energy as a saleman for your idea and playing the devil's advocate, but does your system offer anything to anyone who wants to learn about fish, and not about readings on a dipstick?
Already have.

a 1g tank tank with peat moss/soilmaster select did start out with a pH of 6.7 or so. Then a day later pH was 7.2. A few weeks later it was over 8. neon tetra lived for over 2 years.

I also did a test with quart jars with various substrates (sand, peat, crushed coral) with some jars plants in light and others kept in darkness some planted.

In the lit planted jars ph rose to over 8.0 with all substrates.

In unlit jars it stayed way way under 8. 7.-7.5.

Feeder guppies lived for over 1.5 years in the planted jars.

I simply do not agree these methods produce low oxygen sulfur filled tanks.

but in order to accept that you have to realize there are other methods of oxygenating water then by mechanical circulation or by fast moving currents.

Additionally neon tetras, silver hachetfish, anglefish have lived for over 2 years with these methods.

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
So you took a fish (neon tetra) that lives 10 years in good conditions and killed it in 2. I'm not seeing the benefit here. Angels should live 7-9, not 2. I'm not sure about the others.
Tanks/jars were torn down and fish given away after 2 years.

funny I hear neons are considered annual fish in the wild but in aquariums can live up to 4 years. First I've heard of 10 year old neon tetras.

my .02
 

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....has no life....
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No way is the oxygen as pelentiful as it is in a tank that is filtered. You obviously consider the amount of oxygen in your tanks an issue. Otherwise, you wouldn't worry so much about what little oxygen a dechlor product would lock up.

I can see your tank actually having dead spots in it with absolutely no flow. Stagnet water in rivers/ponds always have low oxygen - that is a fact. Despite the fact that plant life around those spots are plentiful. I used to read about it all the time when I kept track of certain water types when doing freshwater fishing. Ask any marine biologist. Your plants put off oxygen when your lights are on and consume it when they are off.

There is no doubt your tanks are low oxygen.
 
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