Fertilizers and activated carbon? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Question Fertilizers and activated carbon?

Hi,

I'm starting my first planted tank. I want to use Ada Power Sand, Amazonia Light Soil, and Powder Sand as the three substrate layers.

Also planning to use Seachem Flourish Tabs at bottom of the substrate bed and use Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel and Flourish Advance as fertilizers.

1. I have a Fluval C2 filter with activated carbon as one of the media. I wonder if having activated carbon have any contra affects on Fertilizers. Can you please confirm if I should use the carbon in a planted tank.

2. I also want to use Purigen along with other bio media in the same filter. Is it safe to use along with fertilizers?

Note: I don't have any driftwood, so no tannins problem. I just want the water to be crystal clear.

Thanks
M
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 01:55 PM
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Just ditch the carbon all together, I only use it if I have meds in the tank I want to remove. Purigen is good stuff. Get in the habit of using a fine filter floss changing out once or twice weekly too if you're after crystal clear water.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 02:30 PM
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I agree with the above. You can use lots of different materials in filters like the floss, ceramic rings, bio balls, lava rock, ect


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mourya View Post
I'm starting my first planted tank. I want to use Ada Power Sand, Amazonia Light Soil, and Powder Sand as the three substrate layers.

Also planning to use Seachem Flourish Tabs at bottom of the substrate bed and use Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel and Flourish Advance as fertilizers.

1. I have a Fluval C2 filter with activated carbon as one of the media. I wonder if having activated carbon have any contra affects on Fertilizers. Can you please confirm if I should use the carbon in a planted tank.
A couple of things.

Ditch the flourish tabs you do not need them. The Flourish liquid is fine for the micros, but you should also be dosing NPK. Can probably get away with just K for the 1st few months since everything else you need will be in the amazonia, flourish and tap.

As far as the carbon, why don't you do what ADA recommends since your using their substrate.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mourya View Post
Hi,

I'm starting my first planted tank. I want to use Ada Power Sand, Amazonia Light Soil, and Powder Sand as the three substrate layers.

Also planning to use Seachem Flourish Tabs at bottom of the substrate bed and use Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel and Flourish Advance as fertilizers.

1. I have a Fluval C2 filter with activated carbon as one of the media. I wonder if having activated carbon have any contra affects on Fertilizers. Can you please confirm if I should use the carbon in a planted tank.

2. I also want to use Purigen along with other bio media in the same filter. Is it safe to use along with fertilizers?

Note: I don't have any driftwood, so no tannins problem. I just want the water to be crystal clear.
you dont really need the activated carbon

purigen is great. add it in if you can
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
A couple of things.

Ditch the flourish tabs you do not need them. The Flourish liquid is fine for the micros, but you should also be dosing NPK. Can probably get away with just K for the 1st few months since everything else you need will be in the amazonia, flourish and tap.

As far as the carbon, why don't you do what ADA recommends since your using their substrate.
- but you should also be dosing NPK.

Do you mean dosing Macro nutrients?


- why don't you do what ADA recommends since your using their substrate.

Can you pin point the name of the products please?

Thanks
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 01:28 PM
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- but you should also be dosing NPK.

Do you mean dosing Macro nutrients?
Ev

- why don't you do what ADA recommends since your using their substrate.

Can you pin point the name of the products please?
Yes, even though your using aquasoil you'll be short Potassium (K). The Flourish Comp is great for micros so I would be definitely dosing those in the beginning. You don't need root tabs which are essentially the same thing as the liquid flourish but in a different form.

At startup ADA always recommends the use of carbon. It's more important to do all you can to remove organics and purify the water then to worry about the minimal if any effect carbon has on ferts. At startup there is no bio-filter in term of plants (not growing right away) and a weak bacteria load. The carbon fills the gap. If you do that, short light cycle and plenty of water changes your'll start up clean.

Last edited by houseofcards; 02-06-2018 at 06:10 PM. Reason: cor
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Yes, even though your using aquasoil you'll be short Potassium (K). The Flourish Comp is great for micros so I would be definitely dosing those in the beginning. You don't need root tabs which are essentially the same thing as the liquid flourish but in a different form.

At startup ADA always recommends the use of carbon. It's more important to do all you can to remove organics and purify the water then to worry about the minimal if any effect carbon has on ferts. At startup there is no bio-filter in term of plants (not growing right away) and a week bacteria load. The carbon fills the gap. If you do that, short light cycle and plenty of water changes your'll start up clean.
For the first couple of months, ADA will fill the filter about 3/4 full of carbon and 1/4 mechanical media. It's in step 7 of how to set up a tank.

http://www.adana.co.jp/en/contents/process/index.html
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 06:07 PM
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Bump:

For the first couple of months, ADA will fill the filter about 3/4 full of carbon and 1/4 mechanical media. It's in step 7 of how to set up a tank.

ADA - NATURE AQUARIUM - Nature Aquarium Starting from Zero

Thanks for posting that @Jeff5614

And somehow the plants grow. Must be smoke and mirrors
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 12:54 AM
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Thanks for posting that @Jeff5614

And somehow the plants grow. Must be smoke and mirrors
The article also mentions daily water changes and the addition of potassium and micros from the start.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:21 PM
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It amazes me how so many people here know ADA, use their soil, but they seldom follow other advise coming from the company. Every time someone asks should they use the carbon pad that came with their filter the answer is always "ditch it" Meanwhile ADA as referenced fills 3/4 of the initial filter setup with carbon and the plants grow.

They also use in-tank diffusers on 6 foot tanks and somehow the co2 gets distributed.

They also don't use power heads and only use a lily pipe and somehow the ferts / co2 gets distributed.

Not saying it's the only way to go, but it obviously works.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 02:35 PM
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It amazes me how so many people here know ADA, use their soil, but they seldom follow other advise coming from the company...

They also use in-tank diffusers on 6 foot tanks and somehow the co2 gets distributed.
.
Well by the same logic, one would only use their fertilizer and pay half a car for their substrate additives. It is after all what the company recommends...

It's more about understanding why and what then blindly following the company, if you value your wallet. Once we understood what was in the fertilizers we realized that a bottle actual cost was pennies.

And practice shows that many aquariums start with no problems without activated carbon and just as many have algae at the beginning with activated carbon.

Regarding traces, good looking aquariums with traces and activated carbon are out there. Does this conclusively show something, no not really.

On hiatus till later this year
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 03:47 PM
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Well by the same logic, one would only use their fertilizer and pay half a car for their substrate additives. It is after all what the company recommends...

It's more about understanding why and what then blindly following the company, if you value your wallet. Once we understood what was in the fertilizers we realized that a bottle actual cost was pennies.

And practice shows that many aquariums start with no problems without activated carbon and just as many have algae at the beginning with activated carbon.

Regarding traces, good looking aquariums with traces and activated carbon are out there. Does this conclusively show something, no not really.
I'll have to disagree with you there. Firstly I state right in my post, that it's not the only way to go, but the OVERWHELMING advise here is not to use carbon because it will negatively impact the plants. My point is the benefits of carbon far away any minimal if any effect it has on ferts.

Secondly of course they are selling other products. Their ferts are just branded, but most will use an equivalent of them much cheaper. It's like Seachem selling NPK or Glue vs using generic NPK or glue sold elsewhere. I'm not recommending THEIR carbon product I'm recommending carbon.

I think your missing the point with the carbon it's similar to the argument people make with water changes. They make a case that they have a successful tank without water changes. The addition of water changes gives you more latitude with light and other parameters without getting algae. Carbon to me does the same thing. The bio-filter isn't mature, carbon fills the gap. That's why it's usually removed after 6 weeks or so since by this time the plants mass has grown and the micro-organisms are there.

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..And practice shows that many aquariums start with no problems without activated carbon and just as many have algae at the beginning with activated carbon.
No I don't think you can make that claim and prove it. If you took the same tank and did everything the same expect one had a boat-load of carbon in the filter at startup, I am completely convinced you would start up cleaner (Less algae). I've personally seen the difference and it makes perfect sense. There are other means as well like Purigen, etc, but I'm strictly talking about carbon vs no carbon.

BTW It should also be noted that Eheim recommends carbon at startup for PLANTED tanks.

Last edited by houseofcards; 02-07-2018 at 04:18 PM. Reason: cor
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