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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 12:36 am
Posts: 21
Location: Winchester, MA
My 30 gal tank with a few red platys, a corydoras cat, and a blue gourami has been up for nearly a year now. I have lost two orange platys and had one orange platy fry survive and now thriving. The substrate is aragonite, no UGF, have a small air-stone and a bio filter with activated charcoal. pH is stable at 7.8 or so. The plants in the tank are not doing too great. I fertilize them once or twice a month. The plants are surviving, but barely. I am beginning to think that the charcoal filter that might be the culprit.

I am planning to replace aragonite with CaribSea Eco Complete and convert to a non-CO2 low-tech planted tank. I have an aqueon glass canopy and am getting a 36 inch, 24*3W LED strip ($149 on ebay, will post link if anyone is interested) to stimulate plant growth. If anyone is giving away plants or compatible fish, I will be happy to take them.

Question-Should I keep the activated charcoal filter or not? What would you use in its place? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Fishkeeper
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Cape Cod, Massachussetts
Definitely remove the carbon from the filter. The carbon will absorb the fertilizer you add to the tank for the plants. I use sponge in all my filters only! As far as the plants though, what species are you keeping? You may not need to replace anything except the carbon and the light. Also, how long of a light cycle are you using? Many plants will adjust themselves to the light, though some will not, and some plants will need co2 supplementing!

_________________
The Fortune You Seek Is In Another Cookie[/size]

Rob Young


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 12:36 am
Posts: 21
Location: Winchester, MA
Thanks for the info, azolla. The list of fishes was the first line of my post :-)
I leave the light on most of the day. There are a couple of valisnerias, and some really tall grass that I got from LFS in the background. Both are doing ok so far, but java moss did not. The plants seem to last about 4 months on average. How do you keep the water clear without the charcoal filter?


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