I have a tetra whisper 10i filter with three stage filtration in a 10 gallon lightly planted (or moderately planted I don't know how that is judged) aquarium. The three stages of the filter are:
1. At the very bottom it has mechanical filtration.
2. Then it hits a sponge looking thing for chemical filtration. The box says its carbon.
3. Then the water moves up over this hard pad with a bunch of plastic spikes for biological filtration.
I read that chemical filtration can be bad for plants and will remove fertilizer. Should I remove the sponge thing? Does it contain enough of the BA for it to make an impact on anything? Is there any bad things that could come with removal?
Thanks in advance!
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carbon is used to clear up your water and absorb pollutans, planted tanks dont need carbon because of why you mentioned. a heavliy planted aquarium in your case of a 10 gallon i would say is more then a handfull of plants with fast medium and slow growers. i wouldnt see anything but good coming from when you remoove the carbon.
I don't have any chemical filtration in either of my planted tanks. If you've had that carbon in the filter for awhile and it's spent, I think you could leave it in as an additional surface for beneficial bacteria but if it's still good then it can take nutrients away from the plants.
it will leech and then reabsorb after its "spent" if its in there now id git rid of it.
I am just agreeing with the other members. The problem with carbon filtration is that it removes nutrients, primarily DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and this nutrient is absolutely essential to plants. It is easy to have too little carbon as it is, so anything that removes it should be dispensed with.
You can stuff plain carbon wool or foam or sponge in the filter compartment in place of the carbon. Same appies to any chemical filtration media.
Nothing will be lost by removing the carbon. Live plants perform exactly the same function as carbon, by removing substances from the water.
Don't worry about the carbon filter and just let it become more biological media. If it leaches anything out other than meds or toxins, how can that hurt the plants ? People say don't use it because it removes nutrients, so I would think that it would leach nutrients.
I just us the plants as the filter.
Look at the whole picture concerning carbon filtration.
All we have is factory recommendations on when to change it. I do not know of any test to tell us when carbon loses its efficiency. As mentioned above, if you have plants, then you do not need carbon. If you continue to use it, nutrients will be absorbed and the plants can suffer. The carbon has the ability to remove some chemicals we do not want. Can carbon leach these out? Possibly; but why take the chance? Take the carbon out and it will be one less thing to worry about.
I removed the carbon, but now the flow of water is very unstable. On the plus side it creats more surface agitation. I will probally put in an aquarium safe sponge sometime down the road.
Thanks for the help!
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Surface disturbance will likely also drive out CO2, so keep it minimal.
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