All-activated-carbon substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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All-activated-carbon substrate

Has anyone dared?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 07:28 AM
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I wouldn't think it would be more than a very expensive regular black gravel. I don't think the plants could use that form of Carbon, and the filtering properties of the Carbon would all too soon be gone.
Would rather use the money towards flourite or some crazy expensive aquascaping soil that I have no idea about.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:05 AM
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It's something I certainly had considered, not for filtering properties but as it could perhaps work as an interesting substrate.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:49 AM
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Meh I'd rather use sand, looks much better and my corys and loaches love it.
To every one their own I suppose.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:15 AM
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It might even work to let it soak a while in a fertilizer solution until the carbon is saturated with trace nutrients. Then the plant roots might even be able to absorb some of those nutrients directly from the carbon as their roots penetrate the granules and if the carbon leaches any of the nutrients slowly. Let us know how it goes if you try it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:19 AM
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Have you ever accidentally spilled carbon into your tank? The water gets so dirty from the littlest bit I wouldn't ever even consider doing anything even remotely resembling this. I use fluorite black, looks the same and works even better.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 12:42 PM
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It is too light. The slightest screw up and it is everywhere.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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I considered carbon because there is a known phenomenon in the terrestrial gardening world called "Terra Preta". Ancient Amazonians would create pits of charcoal and these pits would become literal oases amidst an otherwise nutrient deficient soil. The reason is that the amazon gets so much rain that all the organic material and nutrients wash away, but the areas with the charcoal sequester everything. If we are talking about CEC levels, nothing matches activated carbon. As already mentioned, if the carbon were allowed to absorb all the necessary nutrients through a soak, it would last indefinitely as a substrate.

I guess the other problem though is the price and also, as it seems others have already tried it, it is really lightweight.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takadi View Post
I considered carbon because there is a known phenomenon in the terrestrial gardening world called "Terra Preta". Ancient Amazonians would create pits of charcoal and these pits would become literal oases amidst an otherwise nutrient deficient soil. The reason is that the amazon gets so much rain that all the organic material and nutrients wash away, but the areas with the charcoal sequester everything. If we are talking about CEC levels, nothing matches activated carbon. As already mentioned, if the carbon were allowed to absorb all the necessary nutrients through a soak, it would last indefinitely as a substrate.

I guess the other problem though is the price and also, as it seems others have already tried it, it is really lightweight.
Very interesting. Maybe if you put the carbon down as a base layer and then capped it with sand or fluorite the weight wouldn't be such a problem.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 01:27 PM
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It would be easy to test. Make a hole in your current substrate, fill the hole with nutrient soaked carbon and then plant a cryptocoryne in there and compare the growth rate to a crypt elseswhere in the same aquarium.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 01:55 PM
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yeah, it's way too light. Your plants wouldn't stay down.
And there too many fine particles. It'll make a mess. It'll wind on top of the substrate eventually.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 02:17 PM
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OK if you really want to test this use a pot and put the carbon in a rice bag cap it and plant with plant, then set it buy other plant in your tank if it dose not work you just take pot and plant out and nothing is disturbed

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