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Re: Activated Carbon and Planted Tanks

I've had a negative experience with activated carbon in a tank I used to have: a 180 gallon Tanganykan tank. My featherfin cichlids developed hole-in-the-head with the carbon in place; it largely cleared up when I removed the carbon and added trace element mix.

I believe there's been some talk about the same issue with discus. I don't know about non-cichlid fish.

Maybe pre-filtering the water with activated carbon, and then adding trace elements, might be a better way to go.

-- Stephen

> Hi folks,
> 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?
> Peter
> Ottawa