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Based on my head-to-head controlled tests in the 1990s, I found that quality sponge filters and fluidized sand bed filters met the requirements for aerobic bio-filtration that best fit a planted aquarium environment. While other filters may work fine (for those of you questioning this who have other filters), the facts are that other filters will strip more CO2 from the water and will not provide the same levels of high aerobic bio filtration, nor respond to sudden ammonia spikes the way these two types of filters can.
This places them ahead of the others in the planted aquarium. It does not mean you can't use other filters, however. It just means our experiences and data show they have distinct advantages.
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Obviously, I am biased toward sponge and fluidized filters. However this does not mean you cannot keep a very successful planted tank without these filters. Nothing could be further from the truth, and this should not be assumed from this article!
What I am saying is to consider these two filters for their simplicity, effect on water parameters, and the fact that many professionals and experienced hobbyists use these with top-notch results. I am emphasizing them because, especially in the case of sponge filters, many aquarists overlook them and focus on the name brand (and more heavily advertised) canister and hang-on-back filters.
. The more light, the more CO2 and Ferts that are required.
This said this correlation does work the somewhat the other way based on my experience and research. Meaning that if you inject too much CO2 & Ferts without increasing light, your growth may not as expected