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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the best filter media for aquascapes (assuming the tank will only house a couple fishes - not many)?

For aquascapes are we mainly focussed on mechanical filtration or chemical filtration or both?
 

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All tanks are aquascapes of one form or another, unless it's just a bare glass tank with a filter and a heater and nothing else.

Regardless, the aquascape does not affect filtration. If you're keeping live animals in an aquarium you should always have good mechanical and biological filtration. Chemical filtration is optional but generally not needed.

Some filters use the same media for mechanical and biological filtration (ie, hydrosponge filters). Those are good filters too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All tanks are aquascapes of one form or another, unless it's just a bare glass tank with a filter and a heater and nothing else.

Regardless, the aquascape does not affect filtration. If you're keeping live animals in an aquarium you should always have good mechanical and biological filtration. Chemical filtration is optional but generally not needed.

Some filters use the same media for mechanical and biological filtration (ie, hydrosponge filters). Those are good filters too.
Sorry what I meant I guess is highly planted tanks. Is it even necessary for mechanical filtration then if there isn't any live animals?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd definitely stick with mechanical filtration to keep the water as clear as possible. You don't even want shrimp in there?
Shrimp I will keep most definitely but I think I want to keep it at a minimal for this scape. Thanks for your advice mistersprinkles.
 

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Shrimp I will keep most definitely but I think I want to keep it at a minimal for this scape. Thanks for your advice mistersprinkles.
Ok then you will need a filter which first filters the water mechanically, then biologically.
Or you can use a hydrosponge that does both things as the water travels through the foam.
Hope I'm making sense... little tired.
 

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planted tanks need some circulation of the water so you don't get dead spots which can allow BGA. Get a filter for the tank size. Just because a filter for a 10 gallon would be enough bio filter for a 100 gallon doesn't mean it is a good idea, a filter for a 10 gallon won't move water enough and problems will happen
 

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just treat your planted tanks like any other aquarium, the more bio filter the better. you can get away with less and no one will hunt you down for it, but remember leaves do die off and they do rot - the more bio the better for maintenance as well.
I use ehfisubtrat in almost all my tanks, but hear only good things about seachem matrix.
only thing i recommended for your filter are prefilters, i find a sponge or SS guard makes maintenance much easier. keeps the big stuff out where you can see them and remove.
also no carbon is needed, people have stated they can polish out the good stuff as well in a planted tank.
 

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If your tank is going to be planted with no livestock or heavily planted with a very low bioload from very little and small livestock then you don't need a filter at all...your plants will be you biofilter. That even includes any occasional dieing plant matter...the living and growing plants will suck up any ammonia that might be produced. The only thing you will need in the above scenerio is a powerhead or pump to circulate the water or a filter(to do the same) to provide mechanical filtration if you care or it.
 

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If your tank is going to be planted with no livestock or heavily planted with a very low bioload from very little and small livestock then you don't need a filter at all...your plants will be you biofilter. That even includes any occasional dieing plant matter...the living and growing plants will suck up any ammonia that might be produced. The only thing you will need in the above scenerio is a powerhead or pump to circulate the water or a filter(to do the same) to provide mechanical filtration if you care or it.
Remember everyone has their own definition of "lightly stocked" - it's still best to recommend a biological backup. Heck I've had tanks with no plants done with zero - minimal filtration, but to recommend a filter less setup without knowing his tank size or any specs can be a rocky path.
You don't just consider the livestock, but I've seen planted tanks that are heavily planted to a point where the build up of detritus and leaf litter reaches ridiculous proportions.
Besides bio swings happen all the time, you want to leave some margin for error.
Sometimes the cheapest route isn't the best route, filtration is a good example - sure you can have a beautiful planted tank with just one pump, but what if you are someone who isn't always on top of his maintenance?
And I'm pretty sure everyone's term of heavily planted varies a great amount ;), I've seen two swords and stem in a 20g considered heavy :D. Also certain plants would be more demanding of biological filtration as they generate more waste, but again that's me speaking from personal experience.
 
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