In a Nutshell Series: The reason that extra carbon is needed in planted aquariums

This article is the first in a series of articles that GregRobert Pet Supplies is offering that have been dubbed “In a Nutshell Series”.  These articles are concise, quick reads about the reasons behind what we do for our pets and how we care for our pets.

Plants need carbon to create their food (photosynthesize). We all learned about this in our freshman year biology classes – but relating this to our planted aquariums requires a few jumps of faith.

The plants in our aquariums obtain carbon from either carbon dioxide (CO2) or from carbonate hardness (KH).  It is easier for plants to get the carbon from CO2, which is naturally present in your aquarium, but not usually at the levels needed to stimulate quick growth of your plants.

As CO2 levels are lowered, plants slow their growth.  This naturally forces them to use the carbon from KH, which is the ingredient that holds pH level stable in the aquarium. (think about all those PH tests that you use for your aquarium)

When this buffers content is lowered, pH levels can change dramatically, which may severely stressor even kill fish.

This is why adding carbon to your aquarium that have plants is highly recommended and if you don’t add the carbon molecules – you put your fish at risk.

That’s it in a nutshell – try Seachem’s Matrix Carbon to keep your planted aquarium in balance.