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[APD] Carbon/Plants

Can anyone tell me wether the information I was given is right or wrong? Someone told a while back that if you have a planted tank then all you need in your filter is sponges or a place for the bacteria to live. You don't need carbon or anything else. Is this true??
I tried this. I was also using fertilizer at the same time. So, I don't know if I was over fertilizing or not using carbon and causing the bacteria bloom.  I have since put carbon in and may try again when my tank has been clear for a few weeks.  If I do try should I do it without fertilizers?? Or should I just can the whole idea and continue to use carbon?? 
What does everyone else use in there filters? How do you keep the cost cheap?
Lief Youngs

++++++++++++++++++++Lief Youngs++++++++++++++++++++
             Colorado State University
          Bioagricultural Sciences major
           Agricultural Business major 
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