Originally Posted by JGordon
Thanks. The plants will keep the phos level under control in addition to regular water changes?
Will the water quality be OK without the carbon?
I noticed that the carbon I had bought had Zeolite in it. If I don't use it, then will I have an ammonia problem? I have read that in a tank with a pH <7.0, the ammonia gets converted.
Without the additional stuff in my filter, all I will have will be sponges and the BioMax. Anything else needed for the fish and the plants?
The plants (assuming there are enough, we're talking about planting the tank, not just a stem or two
) will handle the ammonia easily. And nitrates will be almost zero. Unless phosphates are high in your tap water, this will be handled easily as well.
Carbon adsorbs substances that the plants will either assimilate (meaning as nutrients) or "take up" (meaning as toxins). Here as with the ammonia, etc, provided the tank is not way overstocked, the plants will handle things.
My canister filters on the larger tanks only hold the pads, ceramic disks and rock material (biomax, lavarock, whatever). On my smaller tanks, up to 50g, I only use a sponge filter with no media. Plants are nature's filters, and they are better at doing the job.
You may need fertilizer for the plants, depending upon fish (type and number), fish food, and tap water. Minerals (nutrients) occur in or from all these, and can be sufficient. Most of us find a complete liquid fertilizer helps. I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement
. Once a week, maybe twice, is all you need.