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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

Byron.
 

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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.
 

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I just us the plants as the filter.

.02
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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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Noit sure what you mean by "unstable" water flow.

Surface disturbance will likely also drive out CO2, so keep it minimal.
 

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the filter and media may not be designed to run without carbon if you had to cut it out or empty it from a bag etc etc. my HOB has 2 bio wheels and slots for filter carts to go into. i can get the carts with or without carbon. i use the carbonless ones and have removed the wheels as this is more water aggitation then i need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Noit sure what you mean by "unstable" water flow.

Surface disturbance will likely also drive out CO2, so keep it minimal.
The water is sloshing around alot, it doesn't all come out on the output faucet thing. It spills out all over the place (in the tank of course).

I'm having trouble figuring out the perfect balance of oxygen and CO2. I want enough oxygen for the BA (and the fish later) to thrive and enough CO2 for the plants. I have an air pump and want to know how long to use it. I am currently only running it at night. I am planning on running all the time when I get fish. Is this too much? I have 5-6 fast growing anarchis stems and one Java fern.
 

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sorry about the last post lol was a fail on my parrt not sure what happened, but anyways your anachris are not going to lastlong in a tank they prefer cold water and will start to fall aprat eventually. as far as tying to connfigure co2 and o2 in ur tank through water disturbance dont even mess with that headache. plants will revert to using caco3 as a source of cabon once the co2 is depleted as long as there is sufficent ammonia/ammonium and proper nutirent balance through fertilzer. without soem surface diustrubance you will get a biofilm ontop that is simular to biofilm and is nasty to getrid of and to have. some water disturbance is ok in a planted tank and is essental as o2 is needed for plants aswell.if you notice the kh dropping then the palnts are using the caco3 and not co2. a kh test kit is a way to track this and has been proven through jdms trials
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you talking about elodea? Cause mine is (at least it was sold as) Egeria Densa, which when I looked around a bit more has a temperature range of 15-26C. This translates to about 59-78/79F

Also, what is caco3?

Edit: is it a calcium molecule, carbon molecule, and 3 oxygen molecule?
 

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....if you notice the kh dropping then the palnts are using the caco3 and not co2. a kh test kit is a way to track this and has been proven through jdms trials
CaCO3 is calcium carbonate. Mitch, I wouldn't go quoting my trials as gospel, it's more complicated than that too. My current trial is using egg shells as a CaCO3 source. The drop in KH does appear to indicate that the plants are adapting to a low CO2 environment but with enough fish (CO2 is being supplied) this drop is not really that apparent with regular water changes as it gets replenished.

With enough fish and lots of plants there is never really any issue with CO2 or O2 in the water. If you bubble at night that is good for the fish, not as good for the plants. The CO2 that builds overnight is used by the plants in the first hour or so when the lights come on... assuming that the light is intense enough. The fish produce CO2 all the time and I expect that they produce less at night as they sleep. The plants use CO2 all day while producing O2 then switch to respiration at night producing CO2 when the fish are producing less and needing less O2.

It works out.

Jeff.
 

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CaCO3 is calcium carbonate. Mitch, I wouldn't go quoting my trials as gospel, it's more complicated than that too. My current trial is using egg shells as a CaCO3 source. The drop in KH does appear to indicate that the plants are adapting to a low CO2 environment but with enough fish (CO2 is being supplied) this drop is not really that apparent with regular water changes as it gets replenished.

With enough fish and lots of plants there is never really any issue with CO2 or O2 in the water. If you bubble at night that is good for the fish, not as good for the plants. The CO2 that builds overnight is used by the plants in the first hour or so when the lights come on... assuming that the light is intense enough. The fish produce CO2 all the time and I expect that they produce less at night as they sleep. The plants use CO2 all day while producing O2 then switch to respiration at night producing CO2 when the fish are producing less and needing less O2.

It works out.

Jeff.
used your test there as a close relateable source, after some digging i have found simular articlase by reputable "pros". i do relize it is a bit more complicated but didnt delve into it didnt want to cause confusion or info overload. but can go into detail if i was asked. and the fish actually dont put out co2 i thought, thought it was the ammonia that they supply which is then in turn converted to ammonium which is taken up by the plants and the co2 in the aqarium is a result of organics breakding down if its not being injected.
 

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Perhaps I may be permitted to comment, just so the OP is clear on what we are now babbling on about.:)

All fish, plants and some bacteria respire continually, taking in oxygen and releasing CO2. Even plants. And it is 24/7. Obviously less respiration occurs with fish at night because they are less active (except the nocturnal species, obviously).

CO2 is also continually being produced by the breakdown of organics by bacteria. This is normally where most of the CO2 comes from, in a healthy balanced aquarium [natural, non-CO2 diffusion]. Again, this is 24/7 too.

Any significant disturbance of the water surface will tend to increase the gaseous exchange. Oxygen is brought into the water, and CO2 is driven out. While there are some sources that suggest the reverse in non-CO2 diffused tanks, there is no evidence of this, and most of us still hold the logic that any water surface disturbance is likely to drive out CO2 because there will be more in the water than in the air, generally.

So I would not promote surface disturbance to excess, and certainly not use any bubblers, air stones, etc. in the tank itself, aside from the filter. There is no need. There will never be a shortage of Oxygen except when something is seriously amiss, and there is still evidence of CO2 being driven out.

Byron.
 

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Perhaps I may be permitted to comment, just so the OP is clear on what we are now babbling on about.:)
Oh, I thought we were rambling...:roll:

...

Any significant disturbance of the water surface will tend to increase the gaseous exchange. Oxygen is brought into the water, and CO2 is driven out. While there are some sources that suggest the reverse in non-CO2 diffused tanks, there is no evidence of this, and most of us still hold the logic that any water surface disturbance is likely to drive out CO2 because there will be more in the water than in the air,
...

Byron.
The reverse is true, given the right context. Using the pH as an indicator, only because nothing else would have affected the pH of the water, I was able to leave CO2 depressed water out for and hour or two and see a shift down in the pH level due to "in gassing" CO2. Keep in mind that this was with water from a small plant only tank that had been running for about four weeks and at the end of the day, not your typical aquarium. I would expect that this exchange will be happening in the tank as well.

Having said that, I would agree that in a fish stocked planted tank the CO2 levels would never be low enough to see CO2 in gassing.

What was this thread about originally?... Right, carbon filtration..... With plants, toss it. I have a never used package that came with my canister.... Not sure why I still have it, I guess I'm a bit of a pack rat.

Jeff.
 
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