Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-08-2007, 10:50 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 405
GAC and Dosing for Planted Tanks

Does GAC absorb the nutrients you're trying to put in with Flourish, Excel, etc?
__________________

__________________
itafx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 11:34 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
QTOFFER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kew Gardens, NY
Posts: 4,295
GAC absorbs organic compounds, so it probably does absorb Excel, which is essentially very dilute glutaraldehyde.

GAC should not absorb nonorganic nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and manganese that are present in Flourish.

IMHO, GAC really isn't absolutely necessary in most cases. I generally don't run GAC in any of my tanks unless I'm trying to remove a medication (and then, only in my QT tank). GAC is useful for removing unpleasant tank odor once you have found the source and corrected it. Also, some fish won't breed well if there are high amounts of dissolved organic compounds present. These are the only other instances where I would bother running GAC.
__________________

__________________
QTOFFER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 487
Send a message via AIM to Atl300zx
Here is an excerpt from an article...

Let's consider activated carbon and its supposed evil twin, charcoal.

Just a decade or two ago, the common advice was to put carbon in the filter. The only problem was that some fish stores sold what was little more than crushed anthracite. anthracite is a dense form of coal deposit very high in carbon and is more effective for stoking a fire. It was, however, less expensive, compared to the activated carbon next to it on the shelf.

What makes high quality filtration carbon work is its porosity. The pores, which vary in size, add significantly to the total surface area available to capture chemical molecules. To become activated, the carbon is subjected to heat of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in special ovens.

Activated carbon is a selective filtering medium. It filters in two ways: by absorbing certain kinds of molecules and by catalyzing a few others. We will consider this further in a bit, but that is the general point, most of the filtration that activated carbon performs is by adsorption (adsorption is the accumulation of gasses, liquids, and solutes on the surface of a solid or liquid) - carbon attracts and holds differently sized molecules within it differently sized pores. The pore size needs to match the molecules for carbon to be effective. For large types of molecules, the pore size needs to be large. However, not all kinds of molecules are adsorbed by activated carbon.

To put it plainly, activated carbon does not effectively filter metals and salts. It will not remove iron, magnesium, phosphates, or potassium, or any other trace elements that plants like. Activated carbon won't hurt your plants. On the other hand, for better or worse, it will not remove alcohols, glycols, ammonia, strong acids or bases, or most inorganic minerals such as sodium. Interestingly, activated carbon does adsorb iodine very well, and a given sample of activated carbon's ability to adsorb iodine is used to rate the carbon's total surface area and general filtering capability.

Activated carbon is terrific at filtering many organic compounds. It filters phenols but doesn't filter out alcohol. It works well for tannins, which tend to be large molecules; carbon with large pores works best for tannins. Activation carbon does help remove some chemicals (e.g., chlorine, phenols, some hydrocarbons) from aquarium water that could become toxic if they are allowed to accumulate in large amounts.

Remarkably, activated carbon is great at catalyzing chlorine into a harmless form. In the catalytic reaction, the carbon transfers electrons to the chlorine molecule, making the chlorine a reduced, nonoxidative ion. The chlorine passes right through the carbon, but it becomes harmless on the way. It also - much more slowly - breaks up chloramines, rendering the chlorine as a reduced ion, though the ammonia component remains; this is all right if you have plants to absorb ammonia , but in a fish-no-plants tank, you would still need to treat the ammonia with a neutralizer.

So activated carbon will do a really good job of filtering out some things, such as many kinds of medications and many dissolved organic compounds that build up in aquarium water. Also, it renders chlorine harmless. Thus, carbon has some benefits for a planted aquarium. Unfortunately, after just weeks in the aquarium water, the activated carbon becomes so loaded with bacteria that it performs pretty much like...well, anthracite. Also, it's not much use for treating chlorine, unless you pass the chlorinated water through the carbon before it passes over the gills of your fish, which doesn't happen when the carbon is in a canister or hang-on-the-back filter.
__________________
55 Gallon Tank Log
Atl300zx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 04:07 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 405
What about algae control? I'm having trouble with beard algae. Will GAC help against that?
__________________
itafx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 487
Send a message via AIM to Atl300zx
It will have no effect on the beard algae
__________________
55 Gallon Tank Log
Atl300zx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
An t-iasg's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Criders Corners, PA
Posts: 9,889
That's an interesting article, Atl300zx. Can you provide a link to the source?
__________________







An t-iasg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2007, 08:21 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 487
Send a message via AIM to Atl300zx
Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg
That's an interesting article, Atl300zx. Can you provide a link to the source?
I manually typed that in. It came from an article in one of my aquarium magazines, cant remember which one. i posted it here a little bit ago.
__________________

__________________
Atl300zx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dosing, plant, planted, planted tanks, tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dosing Ferts for Planted Tank ricardo48 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 11 08-13-2009 10:46 PM
Need help with low-tech planted aquarium. (I'm new to planted Tanks). FishCrazyBenBOMB Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 17 11-25-2008 08:06 PM
Nano planted tanks and fert dosing JustOneMore20 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 9 01-13-2007 11:31 PM
I'm new to planted tanks murphymt Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 02-13-2006 09:33 AM
Experiences on Dosing Flourish Excel in Planted Tanks sleepylof Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 2 08-28-2005 07:37 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.