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Take the Carbon Challenge
Here is another one of the challenges to the conventional net wisdom of
"Do not use carbon in the plant tanks."
OK For the last 2 years I have not run carbon in my tank, abiding by the
generally accepted idea that Activated Carbon will remove trace elements or
should I say "things that plants need". Now I have been hearing more and
more people challenging this idea. So I did a little surfing. Well
needless to say I can not come up with the right string to search for and
99.9% of the millions of related sites are commercial pages selling their
carbon filters. Needless to say I do not trust the "Facts" on these sites.
The few sites I did find that were somewhat trustworthy had some
"It will not remove dissolved metals such as iron, lead, manganese, and
copper or chlorides, nitrates, and fluorides. Small activated carbon units
can remove only small portions of hydrogen sulfide. "
Yet a little further down that page I read this:)
"Carbon filtration can remove more than 90% of cadmium, chromium, manganese,
mercury, silver, and tin."
"These filters do not remove hardness, ferrous (dissolved) iron, fluoride,
sodium, asbestos fibres or other inorganic minerals from the water."
So needless to say I am still not sure. So maybe someone else can shed
some light. Does AC filter out trace elements or not. Does it actually
effect the ETDA or something else causing instability in our fertilizers?
Does it's absorption of VOCs and DOCs remove something else that plants
use? From what I am hearing carbon will not absorb the type of ions that
are most important to plant. But maybe the assertion is actually based on
something other then trace elements.
Then there is the choice of "well it doesn't really do much good, but
maybe some bad, and to be safe I'll leave it out, and my fish are fine
anyway." I mean I have never had fish as healthy as I do now with planted
banks, but. Well since we tweak our tanks to the nth degree maybe the VOC
and DOC absorption that has always warranted AC use is still a valid idea.
Along with all the other nasties it removes like pesticides, HERBICIDES,
and a plethora of others it clarifies the water, and that is good for
lighting. I know I would love to remove some of the tannins I have in my
So does anyone have any ideas here or sights I can go to to read more? As
usual one reference says it removes copper and the other says no:)