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No Tech Tank


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I promised my daughter we would go to our LFS today to look at some fish. They recently got in some large filament barbs I was going to pick up, but they closed early, which of course lead to her being upset about not getting to see fish (she’s 2.5 y/o) I decided to go to the nearest box store to look around and one thing led to another and I wound up letting her pick out her first fish, a $5 red veil tail betta.

I have a small 1 gallon acrylic box in her bathroom which we are using as a tank for a single cherry shrimp and 2 guppy fry to incentivize her to want to go to the bathroom for potty training. I put the betta in there for the night while I set up a spare 5g I have to replace it. Problem is there is no access to power near where the tank will be and no good way to run extension cord, so I am going to try my hand at a heavily planted no tech tank. I’m not concerned about heat or light since it’s inside near a window, but no air or filtration may make things hard (hence heavy planting and of course it’s of big water changes) 

many plants people recommend, I have a lot of dwarf sag on hand and some chain sword I will use, as well as an anubius coffeefolia, some pothos, and duckweed. The guppies will go back in the guppy tank, I’ll leave the single shrimp (if the betta is generous) and a single ramshorn to help with algae and food debris.



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Love the idea of bathroom buddy for toilet training.  And cunning way to get extra tanks in the house.

You don't have to be 2 and a half to throw a strop if you don't get to see fishes I'm with her on that. You promise fishes you'd best deliver.

So to the tank, I kept my goldfish (see avatar) without filtration or air for at least ten years. So it's doable and bonus about bathroom water changes are easy. Other bonus you have a Betta which is much smaller bioload and won't destroy your plants.

So I would give it a go with the expectation that small regular water changes are going to be involved. And that some algae is your friend (that's what kept my goldfish alive).

Keep an eye on the water temp and consider (because they exist now) maybe the nano air pump so you charge it else where then run it on battery.

Then you can use a sponge filter if you fancy it .

The lack of water movement means that gas exchange is minimal. You could always look at solar options I think there was a thread somewhere.

I have considered doing a filterless tank again but using swan mussels as part of the process but they don't seem popular in the US 

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I’d just turkey baster out food and poop and skip the large water changes. 

But as for plants that soak nitrates: 

lucky bamboo

duckweed or frogbit

sedge (dwarf species)


bettas are a great first ‘first’ fish for youngins since they are a bit more interactive 

battery powered USB air stone might be good to have too attached to a nano sponge filter

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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