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I have a small 5G filterless tank filled with crypts and endler-guppy hybrids. The tank definitely keeps the livestock in balance, in number and smaller size of the fish.
 

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But, would that not be the case when/if most of your plants are lucky bamboo, papyrus palms, and lotuses?
They take CO2 straight from the air. Underwater, plants have a harder time getting CO2. It's so important, they (aquatic plants) change their leaves so it'll be easier to get CO2.
 

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Seachem ($35 for a 15lb. bag) gets a lot of mentions on this forum. Has anyone ever tried using it as a bio-filter; perhaps, even as an anaerobic bio-filter?
I've read people putting it in a porous container in a low flow area of the sump for an anaerobic filter. It needs iron to work so an iron-rich material would work.
 

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It's interesting to read the chatter that has accompanied denitrification at various stages of the hobby over the years. If you google Seachem and anaerobic, you see references to Matrix(TM) a volcanic pumice derivative sold at about $16 a pound. It was touted as a more efficient successor to "live rocks" which were actual rocks mined from the ocean floor and popular among saltwater tank enthusiasts for their ability to support colonies of beneficial bacteria. A few years later, the company introduced Denitrate(TM) another gravel-like substance which Seachem straight up touted as being similar to Matrix, (so, Is there much difference between volcanic pumice and calcined clay?) And, judging from the comments on their Amazon pages, users were convinced they had to replace the products every few months as if they were charcoal and would lose their "power" eventually. Curiously, neither product is particularly popular as far as aquarium products go, barely breaking the top 200 "aquarium filter accessories" category in Amazon's Best Seller's Rank.
I bet we can buy pumice or even perlite and put them in mesh bags, it would be a lot cheaper. Their pores are bigger than the baked red clay but they don't have the iron needed in the denitrification process. The pores do eventually get clogged up with biomatter but that's simply solved by baking or bleaching the organics away. Maybe a mix of pumice and baked red clay would work best. Since we're in the plant hobby, we need nitrogen for the plants so we don't need this setup.
 
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