Plant only filtration (why not popular in the hobby???)

duanes

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Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
For the last 4 months, our islands de-sal water plant was down for repair.
We flushed toilets with sea water, carried cleaning and drinking water from a small well down the street, and our bath tub, was the Pacific.
During the last two months, the level of the 180 tank dropped so low, the overflows to the sump was un-useable, so no filtration at all, no water changes, and make up water was only available when it rained.
The only water movement came from a small air pump.
fullsizeoutput_1926.jpeg
No fish were lost (tank contained 12 four to five inch cichlids, 2 similar size tetras, a Pleco, a few shrimp, and a 6-8" Eleotris goby).
I attribute the lack of deaths to heavy planting, and low stocking level, compared to tank size.
I fed very sparsely, maybe once every 3 days, to reduce nutrient load. Lots of leaves fell in the tank, and tannins were high, turning the water tea color brown
The water came back on last week, sump is now working, and I'm back to doing daily small water changes.
fullsizeoutput_195f.jpeg
 
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bobblehead27

Plecostomus
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Apr 15, 2010
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SE Houston
For the last 4 months, our islands de-sal water plant was down for repair.
We flushed toilets with sea water, carried cleaning and drinking water from a small well down the street, and our bath tub, was the Pacific.
During the last two months, the level of the 180 tank dropped so low, the overflows to the sump was un-useable, so no filtration at all, no water changes, and make up water was only available when it rained.
The only water movement came from a small air pump.
View attachment 1389666
No fish were lost (tank contained 12 four to five inch cichlids, 2 similar size tetras, a Pleco, a few shrimp, and a 6-8" Eleotris goby).
I attribute the lack of deaths to heavy planting, and low stocking level, compared to tank size.
I fed very sparsely, maybe once every 3 days, to reduce nutrient load. Lots of leaves fell in the tank, and tannins were high, turning the water tea color brown
The water came back on last week, sump is now working, and I'm back to doing daily small water changes.
View attachment 1389667
Wow! I'd imagine oxygen depletion, even with so many plants but I guess you said you have a small airpump too, did you happen to get a chance to read your parameters before adding water when it came back on? I'm curious of your parameters were still good or if they were borderline at that point...
 

duanes

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Jun 7, 2007
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Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
I checked right after the water came on, pH had dropped a little(from 8 down to @ 7.6), but nitrate was still below 5 (I was amazed). The water was quite tannin stained, now with daily water changes its slowly clearing.
And I've added some ocean shells to the sump to bring buffering capacity back up gradually.
fullsizeoutput_1996.jpeg
During the water plant down drought, there was no water movement in the sump, and only 2" of depth, now almost full, the shrimp are again appearing.
The come from pools the dry up seasonally in the hills.
 
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