03-30-2007, 06:43 PM
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Carbon doesnt affect plant growth why would it??? granted ferts wont work, as soon as you put them in the carbon beaks it down- carbon pads are used for clearing meds from the water body.
You can use any media you like in a cannister- partly why they are so popular.
I suggest you do not use sponges- they take up such a large volume of filter space, and provide little surface area. I remember reading that one ceramic ring has more surface area than a 2213 eheim full of sponges.
Surface area is what its all about- the more you have the more bacteria you can colonise. You need a biological filter, you wont need mechanical- if you set your tank up right you should have no debris in the water body.
Use any form of pourous ceramic filter material that you can find/afford.
As for fluval- well i think they are poor but each to their own, i am a fan of eheim.
Why was CO2 a disaster for you?
As for books you need to take the advice with a pinch of salt- look at the tanks they refer to and ask your self is that the tank i want and is it really all that impressive? I bet chances are that most members on this forum are more knowlegeable than the authors of popular aquarium books, and boast far more impressive planted aquaria- just my opinion.
CO2 should be used on the outlet not the inlet of the filter- bacteria in filters depend on oxygen- sending co2 into the filter might not be a good idea.
If you can use a gravel cleaner on the outflow of the filter- then place the airstone expelling co2 in the base of the gravel cleaner- might work as a primitive reactor, the bubbles should rise in to the cylinder and mix- in theory, practice is a different beast.