fish filter ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mathematics!, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    I know that fish take in water , pass it thru the gills which uses oxygen and expel CO2.

    I also know that fish digest there food and excrete nitrates/ ammonia back into the water.

    So in theory if one just change the water before the fish drowned in its own feces/**** you would not need a filter.
    (I.e the purpose of a filter is to purify the waste out so the fish can breath )

    Conditioners / water softeners are another store but let use focus on just water filters.

    Question if one wanted to not have a filter and just uses a sump pump and a water hose to continually pump fresh water in the tank as the sump pumps the waste water out would this work?

    Question 2
    How does the water filter actually clean out the waste all I see is a air filter mess which I would imagine the waste would just go thru the mess just like an e-coil bacterial or something. For example take a bottle of ammonia and pour it thur the mesh as I see alot get thru ? So is it the air it pushes in the tank that mixes with the waste water in some chemical reaction that kills all the nitrates/ammonia ??? I just don't understand it.

    Currently I am trying an experiment on how long I can keep fresh water aquatic life living without a filter. Just using fresh tap water , water conditioner , fish food, fix temperature, and changing the water on a fix schedule so the waste doesn't build up. Currently I am having no problems and they look in great condition.... So if I keep doing this will it be equivalent to me just being the filter and not any improvement if I got a filter???

    Question 3
    The above was just talk about freshwater fish but same question for salt water. Provided everything is kept the way it should lighting , temperature , salt to water ratio ,...etc just manual changing from one salt water tank to the next i.e manual switching water tanks/preparing 2 tanks to switch back and forth from. Will there be any benefit in the fishes health in using a filter other then the transportation / transition stage of moving from one to the other tank and obviously the convinances for the human.

    What all this is getting at is I think in theory the filter is not necessary if one really wanted to go thru and change/configure water manual every so often for the fish just like feeding a fish. Though I am wondering if in practices if one was committed to keep up with this chore would it work as well or close to as well as a filter.

    And does anybody know how a filter actually clears the atom/molecule like waste out of the water ?

    Thanks for any help maybe you fish experts out there will know currently I haven't found anybody at pet stores that fully know the inner workings of a fish filter but I am assuming once you know that maybe it is similar to a water filter for humans works (like the brita water filter or something) but all confused currently on this
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  2. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    I've only ever had fish that were too big to be filtered. They kept getting stuck in the mesh. I did find that they won't squeak or rust if you use fish oil on them.
  3. GetDeviceInfo

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 7, 2009
    There are tons of very good sites on the chemistry of aquaria. Although a filter may in fact trap particulates, it's larger function is to act as a support media for micro organisms that process the chemicals. Introducing oxygen hastens the process. A well balanced aquarium will tend to regulate itself, with partial water changes. Large changes will shock the fish with abrupt changes in chemical composition.
  4. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    We had a small fish tank that was never filtered; water was exchanged periodically. The fish are still alive, but grew so big I transferred them to a garden pond we have. No filtration there either. It is a self-contained ecosystem.
  5. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    Some filters use activated charcoal, which traps organic molecules. It needs to be changed frequently or it fills up and does nothing. Also, when moving fish from one place to another, it is advisable to leave the fish in a baggie for about an hour to equilibrate the temperature (for minimum shock to the fish).

    For salt water aquariums, I've heard that it takes a week to condition the water properly, before you put any fish in the tank.
  6. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Ok, but in theory if you kept changing the water with a fresh new batch of water that has all things equal (i.e temperature , light , food , ...etc ) would imagine that the fish would live out a full life or not die because there was no filter.

    Though from your post it makes more sense that the function of filters for fish aquariums kill of the waste nitrates /ammonia by harvesting bacterial for the most part that does the job for them while circulating the water to promote oxygen and good water flow.

    So in real life why won't leaving fish in a bucket of water and feeding them not last as long normally is it because not enough bacteria from the air get into the water to kill off nitrates or is it lack of oxygen in the water or some other reason... i just don't get this because there is no filter in ponds and the temperature changes maybe it is the lack of oxygen in which case blowing air at a certain rate into the water would be all that is required?

    Don't know anybody out there care to explain
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  7. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
    I knew a farmer's wife who kept goldfish/carp, in a huge outside water tank. Every winter, the tank would freeze solid.
    In the spring, the fish started swimming like nothing happened. Put them in suspended animation, problem solved.:eek:;)
  8. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    1. Fish that are raised in ponds are more hardy than tropical fish that you buy at the pet store, and can better tolerate changes in temperature and oxygen levels.

    2. Ponds are much bigger than glass tanks, and therefore are more resistant to the "pollution" and oxygen depletion caused by fish, as well as to temperature changes.

    3. Ponds contain live plants and microbes to help balance the effects of fish.

    4. Ponds are naturally aerated by rain and naturally replenished with water by rain, springs, and/or runoff.

    5. Some ponds are artificially aerated by pumps that either pump air into the water or water into the air (like a fountain,) which aerates the water.

    Despite all this, ponds also can have fish kills due to depleted oxygen levels.

    Now, I have a question for you. How were you treated at the pet store?
  9. GetDeviceInfo

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 7, 2009
    Most aquarists come to recognize that partial water changes are highly advantageous to the health of their fish. Filters help to stabilize by chemically buffering the water, via the microbiology growth they support. This growth also occurs in suspension in the water, in magnitudes of the filter capacity. Objectionable imbalances will build up, and partial changes will reduce those loadings, while not destroying the wanted suspensions. Too large of a water change will deplete the suspension, reducing the buffering capacity, which increase chemical swings.

    Fish, or any organism, exist where conditions are met for their continued survival. Observing healthy fish in a healthy environment is highly educational. Attempting to relocate an organism that evolved within an environment, to somewhere else, is fraught with extreme mortality rates, demonstrating how delicate life is without it's environmental support.
  10. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I have a goldfish in a 3ft diameter kiddie pool on my back porch, under the roof run-off. He's been there going on 2 years and I've never filtered or replaced the water. I keep him in the shade so it all doesn't evaporate and we get enough rain around here that I've only had to add tap water twice during the summer. The water is disgusting green with floaters. When there's not enough oxygen in the water, he gulps air from the surface. I've never fed him any fish food, or anything at all. He survives off mosquito larvae I assume, and probably dead bugs that fall in the pool. Maybe he eats the green algae too. He's grown from about .75" when we got him to about 3" or 4". I'm curious how he will fare this winter since its supposed to be a cold winter. Maybe we will get a chance to test the "suspended animation" claim.
  11. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Fish filters do not remove most of the waste in the water. All they do is remove large particles, which for the most part are relatively harmless when compared to the ammonia excreted by a fish. Ammonia is a deadly poison to fish.

    Fortunately the world abound in bacteria that transform ammonia into nitrites. However, nitrites are almost as deadly as ammonia to fish.

    Fortunately the world abound in bacteria that transform nitrites into nitrates. Nitrites are relatively benign to fish, and make a stellar plant food.

    So keep the water moving over any substrate with a lot of surface area, get something green to grow in the tank, and you can have fish for extended periods of time.
  12. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Ok, one last thing if the filters job is to promote bacterial growth to kill of the nitrates / ammonia does this bacteria give off oxygen?

    Another words what I am getting at is what replenishes the oxygen in a lake , pond , fish tank...etc

    mostly concerned with fish tank though you guys where very informative in giving me the complete picture.

    As for the pet store they where great

    I would imaging the fish even if the bacteria prevented them from drowning in there p I s s/ s h I t they would still drowned in lack of oxygen in the water....

  13. GetDeviceInfo

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 7, 2009
    Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many other gasses are given off or taken in at the interface of the imbalance. In your fish context, this means surface exchange. This is often improved by creating a current to carry water over this interface, or by pumping air bubbles into the water to increase the surface contact. Different fish have different needs. Some gulp air, some are lethargic and can live in low oxygenated water. Others are frantic and have high oxygen needs. Temperature plays a large roll, as does the blooms of organisms that compete for oxygen, or generate toxins. Overfeeding is a common condition, which quickly pollutes a fish tank with undesirable organisms.
  14. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Ok got it so would blowing bubbles with a straw do anything or am I just blowing co2 into when I take that breath

    thank you for the help