05-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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5 Months - First Carbon Use
My tank has been planted about 6 months ago, one month in I pulled my filters and went with a Hagen Elite Dual Sponge filter as my sole means of mechanical filtration. Up until a few weeks ago the water was pristine, clear, amazing plant growth, and no odor. The last few weeks there has been a slight odor coming from the tank when you lift the lid to feed and the water has been a bit more cloudy than usual. I am absolutely religious with my tank maintenance. 2 planted, 1 reef tank all get 20% weekly water changes. So yesterday after my water change in the 29g I threw a small HOB rated for a 10g tank on there with a carbon filter cartridge. Now I know the reasons not to run carbon in a planted tank and mine has been doing amazing without it but I just wanted a nice "polishing" of the water. I only ran it for 8hrs, just enough to suck up some of the larger debris in the water column and remove the odor. I pulled the HOB off this morning, while the lights were off the water does appear to be a lot more crisp and there is no odor. Right when I pulled it off I gave a full dose of Flourish Comprehensive to replace any positive nutrients the carbon may of pulled.
So now I'm hoping that this nice 'deep clean' or 'scrubbing' of the water column doesn't upset the balance I had, as I said, the plant growth has been amazing. I believe most long term planters never run carbon but has anyone else done the same type of thing where they occasionally run carbon for a short time then dose a comprehensive liquid fert immediatly following? So I'll monitor this week to look for any abnormal changes to the plants and will update anyone who cares :)
p.s. GOOD MORNING!