re: My 2 cents on filters
>>Trickle filters and skimmers are not for us plant lovers, they both drive off
Not only is this not necessarily true, but in some cases the exact opposite may
be true. In a tank without CO2 injection, where the water contains less then
the atmospheric ratio of CO2 due to plant use a TF can actually increase levels
of CO2 and can cause pH to remain stable. You have to remember the air we
breath is not composed of just O2, but contains nitrogen, O2, CO2 and other
gases. Take a look at a stream with fast moving water. Plants in there are
under full sunlight yet the water contains sufficient CO2 to keep them alive.
In one area I can think of the water in a small river comes from an aquifer. As
is it is almost totally devoid of dissolved gases. By being exposed to the air
it picks up O2 and CO2 as well as other gases. And this is what allows both
fish and plants to live in the headwaters of this river.
I use a large TF (if you want to still call it that bioballs are all removed and
only a very coarse thin plastic filter material is used to quieten the sound of
falling water.) on my main tank and having done so I will add the same to my
other tanks as time and money permits. Unlike George I do find I have to add a
very small additional amount of CO2 to maintain the same rates as I did on the
tank before I used this filter, but the other advantages far outweigh that.
Heaters are out of sight in the sump and now easily accessable. I use an IV bag
to drip nutrients and top off water in and that is out of sight. Water changes
are a breeze as I can syphon out of the top of the tank while adding water into
the sump. I don't have to stand there and watch with the result being I tend to
do larger and more frequent water changes. I inject CO2 into the intake of the
pump and it is dissolved as the water makes its way back up into the tank.
These advantages to me far outweigh the additional $2.50 I spend on CO2 a year.