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Old 01-27-2016, 10:07 PM   #1
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No clean filter or water change aquarium?

Hi guys, since I leave to go to my cottage each summer and some weekends a year I want a aquarium that needs no cleaning. I want to make it not buy it. Could I use aquaponics? Wet dry filter? Sump? Other? I want something reliable & cheap🤑.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
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Not interested in automating a water changer?
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by joeyjoelyjoepro View Post
Hi guys, since I leave to go to my cottage each summer and some weekends a year I want a aquarium that needs no cleaning. I want to make it not buy it. Could I use aquaponics? Wet dry filter? Sump? Other? I want something reliable & cheap🤑.

Thanks in advance!

You could try the Walstad method. Encourage emersed growth. Under stock.


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Old 01-28-2016, 10:10 AM   #4
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No clean filter or water change aquarium?

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Not interested in automating a water changer?

If I don't have to many fish and the water level goes down it won't matter too much to me as long as the water is clean, also I want it cheap or my parents probably won't let me set my tank up. Do you know of a way to do this that is simple? I don't want something too complex that it is hard to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the quick replies😀
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:12 AM   #5
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No clean filter or water change aquarium?

Isn't the walstad method just a planted tank? because I want to do that also but how will that help in mechanical filtration ?
Is there any way to add mechanical filtration to it?
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
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If I don't have to many fish and the water level goes down it won't matter too much to me as long as the water is clean, also I want it cheap or my parents probably won't let me set my tank up. Do you know of a way to do this that is simple? I don't want something too complex that it is hard to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the quick replies��
Evaporating water will increase the TDS (total dissolved solids) and could spell disaster if left too long.

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Isn't the walstad method just a planted tank? because I want to do that also but how will that help in mechanical filtration ?
Is there any way to add mechanical filtration to it?
The plants help break down waste and utilize the byproducts of the nitrification process; nitrate and phosphate, helping to maintain water chemistry. They also provide a source of oxygen and utilize carbon dioxide.

Any type of mechanical filtration will require a degree of maintenance.

If you are leaving it unattended for a weekend, no problem.
If you are planning to leave it unattended for months, not so easy as you may think.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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I saw this video on youtube here is the link

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Old 01-28-2016, 11:54 PM   #8
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How often will you be able to get to the tank? And how do plan on feeding any inhabitants of the tank while you are away?
I would be very nervous of running any tank for weeks on end with nobody ever checking on it. If one small thing goes wrong and it's left for a week or longer you could end up wiping out your whole tank.

But you could--
Stock the tank on the light side, lots of easy plants, and a sponge filter. If stocked properly and enough plants you dont "need" mechanical filtration, sponge filters require very little maintenance and offer reliable bio filtration.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:44 AM   #9
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How often will you be able to get to the tank? And how do plan on feeding any inhabitants of the tank while you are away?
I would be very nervous of running any tank for weeks on end with nobody ever checking on it. If one small thing goes wrong and it's left for a week or longer you could end up wiping out your whole tank.

But you could--
Stock the tank on the light side, lots of easy plants, and a sponge filter. If stocked properly and enough plants you dont "need" mechanical filtration, sponge filters require very little maintenance and offer reliable bio filtration.

I could do that but what if I used a wet dry system that went through an aquaponics system? I also might be able to make an automatic feeder because the store bought ones I hear are very iffy.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:09 PM   #10
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If you wanted to do something like this you are looking at something that needs to be set up like an eco system. If you watch that guys video one major thing to notice is he has guppies and snails both of these breed like rabbits so he has somewhat of a food source for the inhabitants. The majority of the creatures your going to want in your set up are breeders and cleaners. A good setup might be something like.

55g
10 guppies: 3 males, 7 females
6 otocinclus
2 Mystery snails
6-8 shrimp
1 clown loach: you would have to work something out with an lfs where you could get a loach and once he got up to a few inches give him to the lfs in exchange for a new small one which is actually a interesting concept to try out.

Live Daphnia

Crap loads of low maintenance plants.

Have a lid that doesn't allow for much air exchange to reduce evaporation

simple wet/dry system that is also pretty air tight. Maybe even a canister filter should be something that can auto start back up just incase of power outage. So no differential syphon it would have to work off an equalized syphon.

The setup should be by a window so algae can grown well. And so if lighting fails plants still have a source to grow by.

You could really go on for days to make it as fail proof as possible. The problem is though when you get back your gonna have a jungle on your hands most likely.


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Old 01-29-2016, 11:40 PM   #11
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Hi ^please don't get only one clown loach for a 55. They are incredibly social. Why not suggest one of the almost-identical other species of botia like kubotai or striata that would get the same job done and be able to live in a healthy group long-term in a 55 gallon? Also, with loaches being susceptible to buildup of waste I would not recommend them for a no-maintenance setup like this.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:00 AM   #12
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Most anything is possible.

As an aside 55 is very different than a 500G. Have you considered a pond type set up? Guppies or something native/ok for your climate. If you had a pond type set up you could keep a bunch inside through the school year and then put them out in the pond while you are gone through the summer to hang out back with their friends.

Hundreds of gallons can be much more forgiving than 55G.

This is possible but I wouldn't start it until you got home for the fall. The 4-5 months now before you leave probably aren't enough time to work out the problems and fine tune before you would leave for the summer.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:20 AM   #13
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Hi ^please don't get only one clown loach for a 55. They are incredibly social. Why not suggest one of the almost-identical other species of botia like kubotai or striata that would get the same job done and be able to live in a healthy group long-term in a 55 gallon? Also, with loaches being susceptible to buildup of waste I would not recommend them for a no-maintenance setup like this.

Yeah sorry wrote this off the cuff last night.


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Old 01-30-2016, 09:10 AM   #14
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Hi guys, since I leave to go to my cottage each summer and some weekends a year I want a aquarium that needs no cleaning. I want to make it not buy it. Could I use aquaponics? Wet dry filter? Sump? Other? I want something reliable & cheap🤑.

Thanks in advance!
To effectively filter using aquaponics your plants would be over flowing when you leave- plus you're adding things that can have problems, leaks, etc. I ran an aquaponics system for 2 years and it's not completely autonomous. What's the longest you would be absent? I would go: light stock levels, a larger tank than necessary, full glass cover, and a canister filter.

I change water every 2-3 weeks (and I've gone longer). It depends on how much evap loss I have and how stained the water is with tannins. I also only feed 3-4 times a week. If you're up there once a month you could easily get away with a regular aquarium setup that requires fewer water changes.

The only downside to this is that you'd be doing a water change every time you visited during the off season. On the plus side, they aren't being fed daily, so your overall waste accumulation is less.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:19 AM   #15
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I saw this video on youtube here is the link



He leaves the entire summer and has a wet dry filter. what if i did the same thing as him except on a smaller scale with like a 55 gallon not a 500 gallon?
Notice his stock- these are all fish <3" in a 500 gallon system. You could do something similar, but I think a 75 or a 125 would be more appropriate since you're not keeping turtles (I assume). He also has lots of snails, plants, and even clams!
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:26 PM   #16
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No clean filter or water change aquarium?

My brother might be around for some of the summer so I can ask him to do basic care. I am still considering the stocking options. Would it be possible to have: discus/African cichlids/a community tank. Is there any way to do this?
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:39 PM   #17
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My brother might be around for some of the summer so I can ask him to do basic care. I am still concise ring the stocking options. Would it be possible to have: discus/African cichlids/a community tank. Is there any way to do this?
No.
Discus and African cichlids have almost opposite water requirements.
Nor would I recommend discus for this type of setup or as a first fish.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:12 PM   #18
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No clean filter or water change aquarium?

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No.
Discus and African cichlids have almost opposite water requirements.
Nor would I recommend discus for this type of setup or as a first fish.

Sorry that is not what i meant, discus OR African cichlids. Sorry if I wasn't clear

Also I already have a 20 gallon so it wouldn't be my first fish😊
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:55 PM   #19
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Sorry that is not what i meant, discus OR African cichlids. Sorry if I wasn't clear

Also I already have a 20 gallon so it wouldn't be my first fish😊
Discus are high maintenance, not in the setup you describe. For the low maintenance you're shooting for, you need a large tank, light stock. A 55 with small fish like: tetras, barbs, guppies, platys, our maybe a smaller number of mollies.

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Old 01-31-2016, 07:43 AM   #20
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Actually, if you had an automated water changer that continually changed water you could feasibly do a heavier/traditional stock. The main issue is that usually there isn't a drain where you need it.

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