Quick question. In a lightly to medium planted tank, will the plants provide enough biological and chemical filtration where I could get by with a canister filter (i..e. versus a biological filter such as an Emperor biowheel system)? Thank you.
Bio-wheel systems are not typically recommended where you have plants because they will degas CO2 off which you want for your plants. Cannister filters are the filter of choice for these systems. But if you already have a bio-wheel type and $$ is an issue, then just remove the bio-wheel part of it and just use it as an HOB type filter.
I do not have a bio wheel and would prefer to go with a canister. Actually, I got a really good deal on an Rena XP2 filter which I cannot wait to come in. I will be sure to put some good carbon in there.
Any recommendations on if i should put in a bio media or stick with a water polisher and lots of carbon? The ceramic bio media seems neat but i kinda figure if I grow plants then I'm set on biologic.
Not so fast on the Carbon toss. If this is a new tank, use the carbon for a few weeks than toss it. Carbon is very helpful in new setup until the bio-filter via biomedia and/or plants gets established. Especiallly if you are not planting heavily from the getgo.