whats up everybody.. name is blake and im from greenville nc. i saw dustins videos on youtube and came over. i have a 150 gal that has not been up and runnin for about two years. it used to be a fish only saltwater setup but i really dont have the time or money to keep up a large saltwater tank the way i would want. i was starting to clean it and set it back up to be a planted freshwater tank but my in line pump is done so i need to get a new one. any suggestions? and also witch substrate to use? it has a 25 gal wet-dry filter with about 3 feet of tubing from old pump to tank...if that helps any. thank you so much for any input..website is dope..

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Comment by GSP on February 29, 2012 at 8:10pm

Welcome to FTTV Blake.

Well I haven't used them myself, "Reeflo" pumps are considered to be one of the best pumps on the market. Never heard a bad thing about them. Also people like to talk up the (Japanese made) Iwasaki pumps. Don't take my word for it- do some google searches for more comprehensive reviews. I don't think you'll find too many opinions on FTTV on external pumps, based on the user base here and the common tank types.

Also, if you are doing a planted tank, wet dry filters (although great at converting nitrates for plant use) are extremely efficient in adding oxygen and dispelling very the desirable carbon dioxide from the water. Something to think about when you converting the tank to FW. Any successful planted FW tanks with sumps are carefully designed to have no disturbance/gurgling in the overflows, and no splashing or cascading into the sump.

Comment by Ryan Medric on March 4, 2012 at 1:23am
Comment by Robert Jango on March 4, 2012 at 6:53am

For what its worth Blake I don't use a filter or airstone in my 180 and the fish are fine.  Diana Walstad in her famous (by aquarist standards) book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" pointedly chose not to recommend filters either. I've heard that she later amended here position to say it was ok to use a filter if you wanted.

Have you ever noticed a filter in your local pond or in the places where our fish come from? Of course not!  And the bigger your tank is, the closer it comes to mimicking these natural conditions. I have a 20,000 gallon man-made pond in my backyard with no pump and everything I put in it breeds like rabbits.

I will say this though:

1) DO put as many plants in your tank as it can hold. Plants are nature's best filters.

2) DO change your water - the more often the better.  The best water you can get comes from your municipal water supply - with some notable exceptions. Have you ever seen a municipal water treatment plant? Now that's what I call a filter!  Google your town's water analysis report to find out everything and more you ever wanted to know about your water. 

3) Its TRUE that filters DO speed up the processes that occur in nature - namely the oxygen and the nitrogen cycles, but what's the hurry?  Instead of stuffing 50 fish in your 150, keep 30.

The aquarium trade is big business. Much of the "concern" about filters is fueled by profits and perpetuated by ignorance. It took an unassuming German scientist, a woman Diana Walstad who also just happened to enjoy aquariums, to shed some light on the overhyped subject of aquarium filters. Don't believe the hype!  I didn't find out about the Walstad method until it was too late and after a lot of expensive trial and error. Remember: plants, water changes, and no overcrowding.  

Comment by GSP on March 4, 2012 at 11:18am

As Robert pointed out there's as many ways to do things in this hobby as there are companies competing for your business! There's never just one correct or on best method either. Each will have advantages or disadvantages over another, though one method may suit your needs or more easily make your intended dream get to fruition, than another.

Also, don't blindly follow suit and copy what everyone is doing for their Natural Planted Tanks (or Walstad's Tanks), you will only be learning the application and not the theories behind them. By grabbing a copy of Diana's book you can learn how and why Natural planted tank methods can be applied to your hobby, and what is going on "behind the scenes" within your "glass boxed slice of nature".

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