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Newbie advice

1027 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bobbyv13
Hi guys, I am new to the board. I just added live plants to my aquarium. I have a 45 gallon tank and use eco-complete as the substrate. I just added a nova extreme T5 HO light. I have two questions that I am getting mixed answers to. First I always used Chemi-pure in my cannister filter. Is this ok with a planted aquarium? If not any suggestions for filter media. The other question I have is should I remove my air wand. Thanks.
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As far as the airwand:

If you are not adding CO2 (you can use Flourish Excel as a carbon source) then the air wand can stay. But, you don't actually need it. The plants provide oxygen during the day. If you just have some surface ripple, that is enough to provide gas exchange in the aquarium.

If you are using DIY CO2 (sugar + yeast method), then take the air wand out all-together. Any CO2 you add to the tank will get released into the air due to the air wand. Using DIY, you will not produce enough CO2 to kill or harm your fish at night when the plants are not taking in CO2. (I have 2 1-gallon jugs with double recipe going 24/7 on a 50 gal and have no problems...and no air bubbles.)
But, if you feel safer with it, you can use it at night to release the CO2 from the tank. Again, some surface ripple is sufficient to provide gas exchange.

If you inject CO2 with a canister (compressed CO2 system), then you can use the air wand during the night to get rid of CO2 when the plants are not using it, or, just turn off the CO2 at night so you aren't wasting it, and then you can still either keep or ditch the airwand.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks Dave, that is a better answer than I have been getting. I am not injecting CO2 yet. Going to try the Excel and see how it goes. Any thoughts on the chemi-pure?
Any thoughts on the chemi-pure?
I'm not familiar with it. Anyone use this in planted tanks?
Chemi Pure is used to remove the nitrogenous waste from aquaria. In most set ups that are planted we have to add nitrogen, phosphates, potassium and micro nutreints in the form of fertilizers. Using chemi pure (and maybe carbon) in your filter will remove these things from the water column so the plants will not be able to use it. In my canister I use only ceramic cylinders for bioligical filtration (bacteria) and filter floos for biological and physical filtration. If your plants and bacteria are doing well then the chemi pure is not necessary and probably detrimental.

My $0.02. Hope this helps.
No need to use chemi-pure. When maintaining a planted tank (or a saltwater reef tank for that matter), I would avoid using any type of chemical filtration to improve water quality. Instead, plant has heavily as you can and minimize your filtration to simple mechanical filtration to remove detritus. The goal is to create balance in as natural a method as you can. Good luck.
Most of us do not use much of anything in our filters. I just have sponges and a few baskets of large media for bacterial growth, the other baskets are empty.
Very interesting. I never would have thought of ditching all the chemical filter media. Thanks for the replies.
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