Do you use charcoal?
Apparently some people don't use activated charcoal in their planted-tank filters, because it removes nutrients that the plants need.
Would anyone be willing to explain why they do or don't use charcoal, and the pros and cons of its use?
I love my crystal-clear, non-stinky water, but should I consider ditching the charcoal?
FYI, I have a 29-gallon low-tech tank with easy plants and basic fish. Nothing fancy, but it all seems to be working so far! My filter is the kind that hangs on the outside of the tank and utilizes what I've been told are the Big Three components: foam filter, washed every now and then and replaced every 6-8 months; activated charcoal in a little mesh bag, replaced every month; and magical bio filter with porous, high-surface-area pellet-thingies, never washed and never replaced.
I would be interested in any ideas, suggestions, or points of view, and thanks for helping!