Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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kangy 05-21-2012 10:30 AM

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 :)


redchigh 05-21-2012 12:39 PM

I've used carbon in 'emergencies' before.

I also don't use flourish though, I use soil.

kangy 05-22-2012 05:04 PM

Well so far so good, water is clear, plants are healthy and fish appear to be happy

AbbeysDad 05-24-2012 08:05 AM

Although plants have an amazing ability to process waste in the water, alone, a heavily planted tank can only manage a small bio-load.
The periodic use of activated carbon and/or products like Seachem Purigen, API Bio-Chem Zorb and/or a diatom filter can rejuvenate the water column.
Alternatively, you might also find that increasing the volume of your weekly water changes may mosy easily provide the desired water quality your after - ?

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