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Re: [APD] Carbon/Plants

Carbon, when is is working, adsorbs trace elements as well
as other things that you'd jsut as soon leve in the water
for the plants. Once the carbon becomes covered with
biofilm (probably in a few weeks, or a onth or so, it
pretty much acts like any other fine structured "rocks"
that serve as a surface for biofilm.

A biofilter is necessary only to the extent that you
aquarium tends to have more nitrogen than your plants can
use -- for example, if you have a heavy fishload. So
biofilter medium isn't as important is it would be in a
plantless tank.

More than anything else, you probably want some mechanical
filtration to catch the excess detritus that can build up,
especially if you have a heavy fishload or never vacuum the

As you can se, planted tanks are much less fussy about
filtration than are plantless tanks.

Some mechanical filtration and some biofiltration to handle
excess, and you should be fine in most situations. The
least useful for plants is the activated carbon.

For mechaincal filtartin, floss fromthe fabric store or
urethan foam sponge material is relatively cheap -- the
sponge because yo can use it over and over. The floss and
felts and other polyesther materials tend to clog more and
more quickly each time you try to reuse it -- best to toss
it out and replace it each time it becomes loaded.

Skip the carbon.
Use lots of plants and, when setting up a tank, spike it
with some mulm from an established tank if you can get it
to get the biofiltering bacteria going -- it lives not jsut
on filter media but on virtually all surfaces in the water

hope that helps,
Scott H.
--- Lief Brittan Youngs <liefy at yahoo_com> wrote:
> 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++++++++++++++++++++
>    http://geocities.com/SouthBeach/Mansion/4739
>              Colorado State University
>           Bioagricultural Sciences major
>            Agricultural Business major 
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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