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Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:08 pm
by moondog
I have read in various posts that many of you do not use carbon in your filters in planted tanks . Why not ?

Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:21 pm
by Schmidtsie
It takes essential nutrients that your plants need out of the water column.

They (the plants) also serve as chemical filtration. Marshlands are natural water treatment areas of nature.

Unless I'm off my rocker on wobbly pops once again...

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Schmidtsie
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Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:12 pm
by moondog
What types of nutrients does carbon take out ? I have Anubias , Java Fern and Willow Hygro growing in my tanks , they seem to be doing OK . Also , doesn't carbon take care of some unwanted chemicals from tap water ? Is there something else I can use that does what carbon does but doesn't eliminate plant nutrients ?

Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:57 pm
by Schmidtsie
What Carbon Does

Adsorbs a number of dissolved contaminants such as chloramines and chlorine, phenols (odours), tannins (colour) and medications.

What Carbon Doesn’t Do

There are several toxins that activated carbon does not remove. It does not remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Heavy metals, such as iron, are also not effectively removed. That's why there are water treatment products for use before putting water into the aquarium or people use Reverse Osmosis systems if their water isn't suitable for fish.

I used to use carbon before getting plants but have seen no real difference in tank smells just tannins in a couple tanks with driftwood can get a little dark but is easily remedied by frequent water changes.

I just keep carbon around now to remove medications.

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Schmidtsie
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Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:01 am
by Diana
Activated carbon does not remove most plant nutrients. It has a small affinity for chelated iron.

Activated carbon tends to have an attraction for other molecules that have carbon in them. Technically these are referred to as organic molecules, because carbon is often associated with living things. Not always, though.

Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:23 am
by moondog
Thanks for the carbon lesson . The plants are healthy and the tank and fish look good , so for now I will continue to use it . Like the saying goes " If it aint broke , don't fix it " .

Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:47 am
by freshfish
I don't use carbon just because it's not needed, the plants themselves are great chemical filters.

I *do* use Purigen chemical media, though, because it's so great at pulling discoloration (like tannins) out of the water. Many people are shocked when they realize there is actually water and fish in my tanks, the water is so clear.

Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:11 pm
by Schmidtsie
How often do you have to recharge the purigen? Do you buy the prebagged or loose purigen? If loose what works best as a bag?

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Schmidtsie
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Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:56 am
by freshfish
I always buy the pre-bagged because it can be a pain to find a bag with small enough holes sturdy enough to stand up to being repeatedly bleached/regenerated.

I usually keep a few extra bags on hand and swap out bags every time I clean my filters- so about once every other month or so.

Re: Carbon In Planted Tanks

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:04 am
by Crazygar
I've never used Carbon in a planted tank, in fact, never any type of media other than floss, sponges, bioballs and ceramic noodles.

Gary