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Re: [APD] RE: Chemical filtration -- Plants vs Carbon, etc.

Tom's words are wise. 

In a few cases where your tapwater comes with excessively
high levels of, for example, phosphates or nitrates, you
might want to use a targeted chemical filter to lower the
levels. Or mix the tapwater with some reverse osmosis water
to get the levels down. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is esentially
just prefiltering the water. When using RO water, you're
reducing (virtually) all the stuff in the water so be sure
to add back the essentials with a good trace mix and
maintain a good good levels and a balance of nitrates to
phosphates (roughly 10 to 1 respectively).

I know of folks that put phosphate absorbers in their
filters because someone said, "Phosphates are bad;
phosphates cause algae." This old "conventional wisdom", of
course, had unhappy results and these folks wondered why
their plants kept dying a few weeks after putting them into
their tanks.

Activated carbon is probably the last thing you want to put
into a freshwater planted tank system because activated
carbon is not targeted at all. Special cases where it can
be temporarily warranted are to remove meds after
treatments. While the carbon is working, yes your traces
get "sucked up" along with the organic compounds. Otoh,
activated carbon becomes fouled with bacteria film pretty
quickly, so after a week or three, it can stop perfoming
very well as a chemical filter -- at that point, it's
pretty much just a biofilter.

In a freshwater tank with fish and only plastic plants,
activated carbon is an ersatz "plant", making up for what's
missing from the mini-ecology, namely live plants ;-)
Plants are not only great filters, as Tom points out, they
are regenerating, can help fish behave less skittishly, and
they look nice too.

good luck, good fun,
Scott H.
--- Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net> wrote:
Boyd wrote:
> >I have a question about the use of chemical filtration
> media in planted
> tanks 
> >that I was wondering if any of you guys could help me
> out with.  Is it 
> >advisable to use chemical filtration media such as
> activated carbon, Boyd 
> >Enterprise's Chemi-Pure, Bio Chem Zorb, or Nitra-Zorb,
> etc., etc., and
> products like 
> >that, in heavily planted tanks?  Wouldn't that eliminate
> or remove most of
> the 
> >?trace elements, vitamins, and amino acids, found in
> commercial plant
> fertilizers 
> >such as Seachem's Flourish, or products like that? . . .

Tom replied:
> The plants _are_ the filter.
> They use wetlands to treat sewage and other wastewaters. 
> We add NO3, PO4 and traces, the plants remove them.
> Plants can remove heavy metals, toxic waste, all sorts of
> useful things to
> for environmental clean up.
> You do not need any chemical removers in a planted tank
> ever.
> All you do is take care of the plant's needs and the
> plants are happy, this
> makes the fish happy and that makes you happy and your
> life simple.
> Try selling plants vs spent NO3 removing resin sometime
> also.  
> Plants look better also:-)
> Regards, 
> Tom Barr
> _______________________________________________
> Aquatic-Plants mailing list
> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
> http://www.actwin.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/aquatic-plants

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