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Activated Carbon and Planted Tanks
I have had several planted tanks up and running for about year. The tanks are healthy and doing well. However, lately I've read a lot of articles discussing the virtues of activated carbon as a filter medium. Up until now I've never used it in my tanks because I assumed that carbon would strip most of the trace elements from the water column. But since I provide the most important element, that is iron, via the substrate maybe this is not that important (NH4+, NO3-, NO2-, and P are not absorbed by carbon...as far as I know). The benefits that carbon provides, such as removing phenols and organic compounds in general, might out weigh its negative effects. What are other peoples experiences with carbon as a filter medium. Comments?