What am i missing? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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What am i missing?

I like the canister filters that many PT members here use. They seem like sleek silent out of sight filters that have large potential for polishing the water. Most folks here seem to have one or even two on their aquarium!

That's fine and all but what i don't get is why all this filtration when the tank is fully planted. Isn't the filter/s competing with the plants for the nutrients in the water column?

I currently have a hydro sponge II filter run w/ an airstone on my 46 gal. and that's keeping my water crystal clear. This also competes for nutrients but have it until my plants get more established.

I'm tempted to get a canister though i was thinking of the eheim 2211 for minimal filtration and competition w/ the plants.

I'm also considering no filtration and just relying on the plants once they get established and big enough - given a smaller bioload. Perhaps some circulation...

maybe i'm beating an old thread here but some clarity on the use of canisters on a planted tank would help.

thanks,
kirk

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 11:43 PM
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Why would you think that a filter competes with plants for nutrients?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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isn't that what biological filtration is? breaking down stuff in the water to it's most basic form which would include stuff the plants use for food?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 11:56 PM
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I can tell you why I prefer canister filters:

1. They keep all of the filtration outside of the aquarium.
2. They move a lot of water.
3. They are generally very customizable as far as media.
4. They are perfect for adding accessories like inline heaters and CO2 reactors due to the fact that they use hoses for input and output.

In a planted tank, moving a lot of water is what is most important to me. Mechanical filtraton is next.

Biological filtration is great too, but less mandatory in a heavily planted tank.

Biological filtration does not remove nutrients from the water. It just converts, via biological processes, nitrogen compounds into less energetic compounds. Plants can use any nitrogen found along this whole chain. Granted, ammonia is easier to build proteins from than nitrate, but it is also far more toxic to any fauna you might have living in the tank.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 12:02 AM
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I feel I should clarify that biological filtration only has a real impact on amines. Other nutrients aren't really affected in any meaningful way. (Not as far as bioavailability to plants is concerned in any case.). Bacteria may consume some phosphorous, etc. into their tissues, but the uptake is so small that it doesn't affect water chemistry in an aquarium.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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oh, ok well that makes some sense. I was thinking that the filter might remove any available nutrients. Chemistry has never been my strong point...

I can see why people like canisters. Get's alot of stuff out of the tank while providing circulation, mech. filtration and removal of toxic ammonia.

Thanks
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