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Re: Chemical Filtration
On 6/3/97 Mark Shelton <mark_shelton at pobox_tbe.com> wrote:
>Subject: Chemical Filtration
> Like most people (I think) on this list, I do not use any form of
>chemical filtration (e.g., carbon, etc.) for fear of plant nutrient loss.
>Between weekly or biweekly water changes, the water becomes noticeably
>yellowish and dingy as expected without the carbon. I would certainly like to
>use a filtration media that would yield a continuously colorless water.
>anyone using carbon, perhaps in small amounts, in their plant tanks without
>causing significant nutrient deficiency ? If not, are there any other
>media that can be used successfully (e.g., Purigen, Renew, etc.) that are
>absorption/adsorption selective ?
What I've done for yellowing a couple of times is to steal a trick which
Julian Sprung recommends for removing colouring from water in reef tanks
and just drop a bag of carbon into the back of the tank. Don't place it
into a filter, and don't force water through it, but just place it where
you get good water flow over it. Julian Sprung recommends sump placement
for reef tanks, and notes that it does not seem to cause significant
nutrient loss in reef tanks. I've done the same thing with both carbon
and the small bags of Purigen and it's quite effective. Purigen
discoloured quite slowly and lasted quite a long time between
This technique removes the yellowing quite well and doesn't seem to
interfere with anything else. You should notice significant results
within 24 hours. It's also cheap since the media lasts longer since it's
not being used as heavily as it would be if you were constantly forcing
water through it. If it does remove any nutrients, it will probably
remove much less than would be removed if you actually forced the water
through the media.
I haven't had to do this recently, however, since my water has remained
extremely clear since I increased my planting level some months ago, and
removed my sole piece of wood. I think that the standard recommended
"heavily planted tank" clears the water on its own quite well, but that
may not be the case if you have wood in the tank since that seems to add
a lot of yellowing from the humic acid it leaches. A high fish
load/feeding schedule can also result in a high level of organic wastes
and some colouring of the water.