Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Filtration media, and adding fertilizers (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/filtration-media-adding-fertilizers-34271/)

stephanieleah 12-26-2009 09:42 PM

Filtration media, and adding fertilizers
 
I have an Emperor 280 Filter for my 30 gallon tank. It came with activated carbon but no other filtration media. Is activated carbon necessary? Is there any other filtration media that is necessary for the tank? There are no problems or anything with the current set up, just wondering if I have everything set up at it's best. The filter came with another cartridge so I figured there must be some kind of media to add.

And another question I have is this: when I add my plant fertilizer, I add it straight into the filter because it smells so chemically that i don't want to put it in the tank by itself. Then i figure it mixes in with the water being filtered. Any problem with that? Do you guys just add your ferts straight in or dilute them or something?

I always feel so silly asking these weird questions.

Thanks : )

Angel079 12-26-2009 10:34 PM

I pers toss the carbon right away :-) Its really only needed when/ if you're trying to remove medications from you tank, otherwise its not needed..Also over time carbon becomes useless and doesn't remove med's any more. So I remove mine right way and add it when I need it for 2 weeks (which just happened for the first time in yrs and I hope it better been the last lol)

If you want you can just add any normal filter sponge in there.

I honestly donno how/ if carbon would remove fert's, I'd think it has some sorta impact since its removing med's too....

I add mine (Nutrafin Plant growth) with a syringe into the water (little it here, little bit there, not all in the same area). What fert's are you using that they smell like chem's???:shock:

PS Whatever is on your mind, do NOT feel silly asking! We all had to learn somewhere and start somewhere, unless you ask a gazillion questions you won't ever know - So keep on popping questions. FYI I don't think the questions you ask are silly at all!!!;-)

mrdemin 12-27-2009 12:39 AM

I dump my 15cc of Nutrafin Plant grow where-ever. The fish usually end up being right in the way since they always expect food. Been adding it for about 6-7 weeks and they're all ok. I run carbon just because my filter pads are preloaded with them, and there is no other pad to buy for my system... Many dump the carbon out, I find it too much of a hassle, plus it keeps the water crystal clear.

Byron 12-27-2009 10:56 AM

First my comments on carbon in planted tanks: there are varying opinions from reputable sources on this, but the majority come down on the side of not using carbon (or other chemical filter media) in planted aquaria. Carbon acts by adsorption, which is the binding to itself of chemical substances in the water. Most maintain that along with harmful toxins like heavy metals, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, chemical media including carbon also removes nutrients. In a specific situation such as to remove medication after treatment is finished, they work fine, but should then be removed and not used on a regular basis. The plants do the best job of filtration and provided the water used for the regular partial water change is not itself polluted or toxic, nothing further should be required for "clean" water. "Clear" water is achieved by the floss, pads, and rock-type media in the filter that removes minute particulate matter as the water passes through the filter. I would simply use regular filter floss or pads cut to fit in the chambers of the filter, or one of the purpose rock substances provided it does not perform chemical filtration.

As for fertilizers: Adding these to the filter is fine. You want to get them diluted throughout the water column. As I have canister filters, I see no need to open them up twice a week to add liquid fertilizer, so I add mine next to the spray bar return from the filter so the water movement disperses the nutrients fairly quickly, similar to adding them into the filter. Of course, if you have chemical media in the filter, adding the fertilizer directly to the filter might be assumed to remove some of it immediately, depending upon the state of the media (carbon, etc).

Byron.

stephanieleah 12-28-2009 12:06 AM

Thanks. So if I simply have in my filter 1. a filter sponge and 2. a bio filter...that's enough? I'm wondering if the carbon has been filtering out some vital nutrients and that's why my plants are yellowish rather than greenish. I'm not familiar with filter floss but I'll google it.

Hawkian 12-28-2009 07:51 AM

Thanks for this thread Stephanie! I have plants issues these days and the answers to your questions may actually help me out quite a bit... especially if your last question about not needing the carbon insert is answered positively. As for adding ferts, I'm with demin on this one: I just dump the recommended dose straight into the tank, the fish come to take a look but nothing else.

Byron 12-28-2009 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanieleah (Post 295348)
Thanks. So if I simply have in my filter 1. a filter sponge and 2. a bio filter...that's enough? I'm wondering if the carbon has been filtering out some vital nutrients and that's why my plants are yellowish rather than greenish. I'm not familiar with filter floss but I'll google it.

Filter floss is what I call the white cotton-looking stuff--reminds me of that candy floss one used to get at fairs and carnivals, only white. It is sold for filter media, you tear off the amount to stuff in the little inside corner filters and whatever; I've used this in cases when I need a new pad and can't find one. I believe there may also be pads available that if they don't fit exactly can be cut to fit. All similar in purpose--trapping suspended matter, and the finer the trap the more effective--and the faster it clogs and needs rinsing of course. Sponge is the same thing in purpose.

I have canisters on my three largest tanks and they contain pads (Eheim have 2, my Rena has 4 or 5 I think, they came with it), ceramic disks in the first basket (does nothing but trap larger stuff) and bio rock stuff in the second/third baskets (intended for biological filtration, unnecessary in planted aquaria, but this stuff traps detrius too). The latter shouldn't add anything or affect the water (chemical filtration), just catch stuff and provide surface for bacteria.

Carbon might be the cause of your plant issue, as I previously mentioned. I'd remove it. And ensure you fertilize once a week (follow the instructions on the product), twice if once a week for 2-3 weeks doesn't produce results. Results mean that new leaves will be green, yellow leaves now will not recover, they can be removed when new growth is present. Whenever you change fertilization (increasing or decreasing amount per week) give the tank 2 weeks to show results.

Byron.

stephanieleah 12-28-2009 03:18 PM

Byron: is this the fert you use?:

Seachem. Flourish

OR

Seachem Flourish Plant Supplements - Live Plant Care - Fish - PetSmart (same thing, different packaging?)

I didn't PM you thinking haiwkin would benefit from this, too if he's interested.

Byron 12-28-2009 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanieleah (Post 295634)
Byron: is this the fert you use?:

Seachem. Flourish

OR

Seachem Flourish Plant Supplements - Live Plant Care - Fish - PetSmart (same thing, different packaging?)

I didn't PM you thinking haiwkin would benefit from this, too if he's interested.

Yes, I have been using the Flourish Comprehensive [the first link, and the second bottle in the second link is the same according to the specs], for the past 12 months. B.


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