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Re: Activated Carbon and Planted Tanks

on 01:48 PM 4/6/00 , Peter Bradley wrote:

>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?

Don't tell me, you read that article in Aquarium Fish magazine...

I think your experience provides its own conclusion. The tanks are doing 
fine, so why add something you're uncertain of to the mix?

Some people do use carbon, and I'm sure with the right fertilizer regime 
its negative effects could be minimized. But it seems like unless you see 
evidence that you NEED those benefits, it's just another unnecessary gadget 
to mess with.

As an analogy, some people use UGFs in their planted tanks, and with the 
right combination of other factors they can be made to work. But there 
would be no reason to add one to a tank that is already doing well...

michael moncur   mgm at starlingtech_com   http://www.starlingtech.com/
"My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot."
                 -- Ashleigh Brilliant