No Filter, No CO2, No Fert: Organic Aquascaping is Flooding the Web

The seemingly obscure hobby of creating self-contained aquatic ecosystems is having a big moment right now, and we have some theories.

"Instant serotinin." That's how one zenned-out twitter user described the YouTube video 24th Month – (Carrot Feeding Frenzy) NO filter, NO CO2, NO Ferts 5 Gallon Nano Tank. The video, posted by petfluencer sensation Floo the Flowerhorn has attracted a convergent audience of aquarists, lo-fi chillers, and ASMR fans alike.

At first glance, it can be hard to understand why a video of calm aquarium maintenance set to impressionistic piano music has garnered over 15M views. But this is no ordinary fish tank: it's a self-contained thriving ecosystem of plants, minerals, shrimp, fish, and soils––held together by the careful balancing of Earth's natural carbon cycles. Take a deep breath and let yourself submerge: Things might start making a little more sense.

This is the world of filter-free aquascaping, where the soil bacteria are just as regarded as the charismatic beta fish swimming amongst the swaying fronds of ... uh... hornwort. Could this be part of the same eco-conscious "back to nature" consumer counter-revolution that has brought us trends like biodynamic orange "skin contact" wines, plant-based aromatique hand resurrection balm, co-working spaces in climbing gyms, and ... Wow ... wait, is that shrimp giving birth? Sorry, lost my train of thought here.

We'll be sure to follow up when the "25th Month" episode drops. Until then, we're going to watch this swarm of tiny Amano shrimp eat this carrot. #nofilter

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