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Re:Carbon Filtration

Steve wrote: 
> It is true that carbon filtration will remove chelated Fe from your
> water but it won't affect Fe available in soil substrates. Since it is
> not important to maintain nitrifying bacteria in a filter, you can ..

Depends on your fish load, If you have a lot of fish or poor plant
growth keep your bio-filtration going at all costs. An efficient
bacterial culture takes time to establish- if you spot an ammonia spike
it may be too late.
Most carbons will saturate all their sorbtive sites pretty quickly, I
just leave mine in. The prills seem to make an excellent substrate for
Many of the sorbed chemicals will slowly be exchanged or decomposed and
leach back into your aquarium. In practice the result is about the same
as a sponge filter.
> it may not be best to filter it continuously as it also serves useful
> purposes to inhibit algae and bacteria. In excess it also may inhibit
> some of your plants and some compounds like phenol are not healthy for
> fish in large quantities either.

Activated carbon's perfect for getting rid of phenolics. Unfortunatly I
suspect the antimicrobial properties of good peat extract are largely
due to the phenolic compounds in the humic/tannic acids. If you keep
black-water species as I do a little 'yellowing' is ideal -I have to
work hard to get it.
The plants won't mind so long as they still get enough light and the pH
is not too low. Few plants can grow in true 'black water' but try
spawning cardinals without it <g>.
>rinse the filters in hot water to kill the nitrifying bacteria since I want >the ammonia to be available for the fish.
of course you meant to say 'for the plants' <g>.
> you might just remove primarily Ca which I think has a higher
> affinity for chellants. Chemists, keep me honest! ;-)
It depends upon the chelant. You're right for most of the common ones
but there's quite an industry producing chelants with an affinity for
ions like say mercury. Of course the easiest way to lie is through
ommision and generalisation <g>.