If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Well... Yes, or, Well No, Okay, Maybe ... And That Is, Well, Definite
I do not think there is consensus, which is why you read both ways on activated charcoal and by extension zeolite, Purigen, Chemi-Pure and so forth. My view is that planted tanks do not really need it; in fact, in a well-planted tank it seems counter-productive unless you have specific problems.
I think it is good to have on hand.
I know the high-priced-Japanese-fellow advocates using activated charcoal when starting the tank to help even things out, then leave the activated charcoal to become media for the biological filter.Seems reasonable.
Unless you want black-water tanks, high tannins and so forth, there really is no wrong answer as far as I can tell.
The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
Without going into too much detail -- I use the PPS scheme, and I test regularly (LaMotte and Hanna).
I regularly use ChemiPure and GAC. This chemical filtration does effectively remove DOCs (phenols, etc) and I think the tank does better long-term with this chemical filtration than without it, especially as I do not do frequent large water changes. It will remove the hydroxylated aromatics (tannins and lignins and the like), so like Biollante says, if you're going for the blackwater chemistry, you don't want it.
I cannot see any effect of GAC or ChemiPure on the concentrations of any nutrients deliberately put into the tank. There is no immediate negative impact when I do a filter change. PPS and EI dosing regimes probably swamp any removal effects anyway. I can get fast reduction of iron chelate concentration with UV, but not with the chemical filtration; I've done that experiment. Potassium, phosphate, and nitrate are not apparently effected by CF. Chelated and complexed ions, or any organic molecule may be adsorbed, but not inorganics.
If you use EI, you are doing large regular water changes to reset the water column, so you might not gain any particular advantage from using CF, since DOCs cannot accumulate.