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hello, i might have just pulled a doozy.

i'm setting up a new natural tank, and am using:

regular gravel and used brita filter innards, topped with fluval stratum.

brita filter innards are listed as coconut shell activated carbon and ion-exchange resin.

did i make a huge mistake? does anyone have a strong grasp of what the ion-exchange resin will do in my tank? my idea was that maybe plants could make use of minerals. should have asked first.

from the brita faq:
What ingredients are found in a Brita® Pitcher Filter?
The Brita® Pitcher Filter contains activated carbon and an ion-exchange resin. All of the ingredients in the filter have been approved by the Water Quality Association. As you may know, activated carbon is widely used in the food and medical industry. Its function in Brita® Filters is to reduce the chlorine (taste and odor)1. The activated carbon utilized is made from coconut shells that have been subjected to a special heating process that produces a large surface area capable of maximum absorption. The ion-exchange resin acts like a magnet and reduces mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc1.
1Substances reduced may not be in all users’ water.
 

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I'm not an expert, but I don't think the carbon or ion-exchange resin pieces will do the tank any good. The carbon may not harm your tank after it's been depleted, but isn't the purpose of the ion-exchange resin to "latch onto" heavy metals and such? I'm guessing if that stuff gets really concentrated in the substrate, it could harm the plant roots.

Hopefully an expert will chime in.
 
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