Why is it less than ideal to use carbon in filter in a live planted aquarium??
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Why is it less than ideal to use carbon in filter in a live planted aquarium??

This is a discussion on Why is it less than ideal to use carbon in filter in a live planted aquarium?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I read in a post recently that it may be less than ideal to use carbon in your filter if you have live plants...why? ...

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Why is it less than ideal to use carbon in filter in a live planted aquarium??
Old 01-25-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
 
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Why is it less than ideal to use carbon in filter in a live planted aquarium??

I read in a post recently that it may be less than ideal to use carbon in your filter if you have live plants...why? I'm curious because if i shouldn't be using it i need to remove it. I would love a little more information please. Thanks everyone...i apologize; i seem to have a new question every other day...
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
 
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Heh, it's fine to ask questions. That's why this website was made. First off, with live plants, they do a better job than carbon ever will at removing toxins. Second, carbon wears off after about 2-3 weeks. It's a money hog. Once your tank is established, you pretty much never need carbon again, except for medicating. Just cut the filter at the bottom and dump all the carbon out. Plus, plants oxygenate water, whereas carbon doesn't, so another bonus there.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:48 PM   #3
 
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+ 1 on all accounts. No carbon and question away!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:45 AM   #4
 
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The main reason is that carbon traps organic molecules in its pores. This could be detrimental in a plain-jane planted tank as it could be removing potentially beneficial materials from the water but is much more of an issue if you're using liquid fertilizers in your tank. Carbon will basically absorb all of these liquid ferts, undermining your fertilization efforts.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
 
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Pretty much what happens if you have carbon in a planted tank: What your plants would normally feed off of to thrive within a tank environment gets absorbed/ removed by the carbon filter, so in essence your carbon filter takes the plant's food away. So if you have a planted tank...no carbon.
The only reason I get carbon around the house (not IN the tanks) is in case of medications to help remove them. Otherwise if you have a HOB, cut the pad open, toss the carbon, put only the pad int he filter for filtration
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
 
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Thank you!!! I am removing my carbon filter as we speak. How do you feel about using peet in filter to help soften the p.h. I've been using it for about 2 months(changing it out every 3 weeks or so). It has helped to lower my p.h. to a stable level around 7. Also i have the small white capsules in my filter as well; should i take this filter out as well?
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
 
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I have used peat before (to soften the water for Killi breeding), I didn't have mine in the filter thou I had a lil bag hanging in the tank and some peat laying in the back of the tank (behind plants).
It did work well for me. That said; its really depending on what your water parameters are where you're starting from, like mine was 7.5 and I dropped it to 7, now if you have something like pH 8 and KH 12 peat wouldn't cut that low.

White capsules....like something like this Eheim Ehfimech, Ehiem Filter Media | Pet Solutions that's just fine in your filter! (If that's what your "capsules" look like lol)
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
Pretty much what happens if you have carbon in a planted tank: What your plants would normally feed off of to thrive within a tank environment gets absorbed/ removed by the carbon filter, so in essence your carbon filter takes the plant's food away. So if you have a planted tank...no carbon.
Bingo! In other words, the reason carbon is detrimental to a plant tank is the same reason carbon is beneficial to a non-planted tank. 8)
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #9
 
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I use the peat just because my p.h. used to be 7.6-7.8 before i started using it, but it's been around 7 for the last 2 months since using it; and those white granules look like those you had the link to. Thanks again, and such quick responses..
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #10
 
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Yea if that water is for the tank/ stock in your log here under "29g planted" then that's perfectly fine.
You said you're changing every 3 weeks....Is that only how long the peat lasts you and then the readings go back up? Cause I had mine exchanged MAYBE every 6 weeks.
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