Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Activated Carbon In A Planted Tank? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/activated-carbon-planted-tank-44717/)

MrWynO14 06-09-2010 02:49 AM

Activated Carbon In A Planted Tank?
 
Is it ok to use in a planted tank?

JohnnyD44 06-09-2010 05:39 AM

no.

activated carbon will remove nutrients from your water which plants need to feed off of. Activated carbon is mainly used to treat a tank after medication. It's used to remove excess medication from the tank.

Why were you thinking of using it?

Byron 06-09-2010 01:18 PM

I agree with Johnny. Any chemical filtration (carbon is chemical in that it alters the water chemistry by adsorbing stuff) is usually a negative influence in planted aquaria. The plants do this better anyway.

Byron.

MrWynO14 06-09-2010 10:38 PM

I wanted to try a couple plants in my 5 gallon, but the filter pads that I use come with activated carbon in it. I was doing some reading and seen some websites talking about how it was bad for plants. The tank has an AquaTech 5-15 filter. I guess I'll probably have to cut my own filter pad for it because I don't think they sell them without the actived carbon. I've never grown plants, but did read the 4 part thread in this section of the forum. I've seen some planted tanks that seemed kind of murky, is this due to the type of plants that were used? I want my tank to be clear and odor free, do plants do this job?

I also have a Bio-Chem Zorb pouch for my Rena XP4 filter on my bigger tank. I haven't used it yet, because I want to put plants into that tank also eventually. I'm not sure if its carbon or not, but I take it its not good for plants either?

teddyzaper 06-09-2010 11:47 PM

for the HOB filter, you can just cut the pads open and poor out the carbon.

Bio-Chem wont do much good in a planted aquarium

Byron 06-10-2010 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrWynO14 (Post 401207)
I wanted to try a couple plants in my 5 gallon, but the filter pads that I use come with activated carbon in it. I was doing some reading and seen some websites talking about how it was bad for plants. The tank has an AquaTech 5-15 filter. I guess I'll probably have to cut my own filter pad for it because I don't think they sell them without the actived carbon. I've never grown plants, but did read the 4 part thread in this section of the forum. I've seen some planted tanks that seemed kind of murky, is this due to the type of plants that were used? I want my tank to be clear and odor free, do plants do this job?

I also have a Bio-Chem Zorb pouch for my Rena XP4 filter on my bigger tank. I haven't used it yet, because I want to put plants into that tank also eventually. I'm not sure if its carbon or not, but I take it its not good for plants either?

teddyzapper answered you, I'll just expand a bit. Carbon does give out after a while, the time depends upon how much stuff it is adsorbing [and this isn't a spelling error, I mean adsorbing, not absorbing]. When it does, you can leave it and it will do nothing other than act as a media to trap particulate matter and grow bacteria, same as plain pads, etc.

"Murky" means something is wrong. The plants "clean" the water, the filter "clears" the water by trapping and removing suspended particulate matter as the water passes through the media. Having said that, though, in a balanced tank one can go without any filter and it will (or should) be crystal clear. I have a 10g I set up earlier this week, with sand (my first use of sand), plants, heater, and a shoal of 9 Boraras brigittae (Mosquito Rasbora). No filter, no light; it is in a west-facing glass block window. My purpose with this setup is to try the "no filter, no light, sand substrate" planted tank. I fully expect it to work fine, I just wanted to do it for myself.

Tanks should smell like a forest after a rain shower. That's the best I can describe it.

When I bought my Rena XP3 last year, I used the Zorb pouch for about a week just to help clear the initial (but very minimal in this case) cloudiness that is common in newly-established tanks. I removed it and tossed it out. I have the ceramic disks, plain porous rock, and the pads in it now. In a planted tank, a filter is there solely for water movement, nothing more; even this is not necessary, as fish swimming, water convection currents, etc. will create some water movement, but I haven't found a canister filter to do harm in my 15 years, so I use it. And I do stock heavy with fish, that makes a difference; my larger tanks are in balance but are not really "balanced" from that perspective, in the way the 10g will be.

Byron.

MrWynO14 06-11-2010 05:29 AM

Plants sound like a good way to go for an all around healthy tank. I have a standard sized (48 inch) single fluorescent bulb fixture for my 135 gallon. Would that be enough light to keep plants in it? I'm really not sure what kind to keep in it either, eventually it will house some big cichlids. Any thoughts?

Byron 06-11-2010 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrWynO14 (Post 402284)
Plants sound like a good way to go for an all around healthy tank. I have a standard sized (48 inch) single fluorescent bulb fixture for my 135 gallon. Would that be enough light to keep plants in it? I'm really not sure what kind to keep in it either, eventually it will house some big cichlids. Any thoughts?

One tube over a 135g (I'm assuming it is full length of the tank?) is half what I would have so this is really going minimal:-). What sort of plants? With big cichlids, plants will likely have to be tough, so are you perhaps thinking large swords, Java Fern, Anubias? These (the last two certainly) may be fine with just one tube, if it is a good one; a full spectrum 6700K such as a Life-Glo tube would be my choice with only one tube. Large Echinodorus have extensive root systems so less likely to get dug up from normal rearranging of the substrate that cichlids are famous for doing; and the other two attach to rock or wood.

Byron.

MrWynO14 06-12-2010 04:19 AM

I'll have to try and get a double strip somewhere along the way. As for what I got now, I'll go ahead and try the full spectrum. I really like the echinodorus, it looks nice. I have lava rock, will the other 2 types of plants be able to attach to them?

Byron 06-12-2010 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrWynO14 (Post 402935)
I'll have to try and get a double strip somewhere along the way. As for what I got now, I'll go ahead and try the full spectrum. I really like the echinodorus, it looks nice. I have lava rock, will the other 2 types of plants be able to attach to them?

Yes, perfect rock as it is somewhat porous and the roots will easily cling. But then, they easily cling to almost any rock or wood.

Try the single tube, it may just work fine. No point spending unnecessary money.


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