03-26-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DKRST
If you want to max out plant growth, some say the "media" is bad in canisters, you should use the blue sponges instead. I don't buy it, the sponges have a lot of surface area also and they will act as biological media also. The problem is, if you lower your filtration, you have to lower the number of fish the tank has. What's the priority - fish or plants? Work from there for priorities. You can have plants and fish, and if the tank is not optimized for plants, plants will still grow (if basic needs are met), just a little less rapidly. Lots of info in the forum's "stickies". I highly recommend them! Lots of experts here (not including myself in the list of experts, I'm still learning!).
Remember, plants act as filtration. ;)
Media is fine, and definately remove the carbon.
There is a tradeoff-
Without media, you will have a bit less bacteria action to absorb ammonia. Ammonia is prefered by plants over nitrite or nitrate though. With enough plants, a cycle isn't even neccesary.
With media, all ammonia will be converted to nitrate (and possibly some of it will be converted to nitrogen gas, which is a good thing.) Of course, all this bacteria uses oxygen and produces CO2, so you might end up with a little bit more CO2. (not enough to cause harm), and could theoretically be more beneficial to plants. Unsure if the amount would be noticable.
I'd use the filter without the carbon. If you're using amazon species, you could even use a little peat moss in the filter. It will give the water a slight tinge, but it's great for the health of the fish and plants