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Carbon-Ammonia...........HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a discussion on Carbon-Ammonia...........HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron . And in a tank with cichlids, and no plants, I would definitely use carbon. I disagree. But that's my ...

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Carbon-Ammonia...........HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 02-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
. And in a tank with cichlids, and no plants, I would definitely use carbon.

I disagree. But that's my opinion.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:01 PM   #12
 
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I disagree. But that's my opinion.
Given the difficulties this individual is having, and being new to fish, you don't think something beneficial might be helpful to him?
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:01 PM   #13
 
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, you don't think something beneficial might be helpful to him?
Absolutely. But IMO and IME carbon is NOT beneficial unless one is removing meds from a tank. And because he is new to fish keeping, he needs to know all options open to him, learn good practices NOW ~ do his own research and go from there.

He can start here.

Do you use Carbon in community tank?

Just my opinion.

Last edited by SweetPoison; 02-12-2011 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
 
Let me just say, I appreciate all the advise. I think I'm going to try and scoop out as much as possible, and do a 50% water change. I am new to fish keeping, but I love animals, and I love my fish.....so trust me when I say, I don't want to lose them or cause them harm!
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:20 PM   #15
 
Let me ask a stupid question. What is the purpose of a filter if no carbon is used.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:42 PM   #16
 
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Let me ask a stupid question. What is the purpose of a filter if no carbon is used.

particales
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:20 PM   #17
 
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Let me ask a stupid question. What is the purpose of a filter if no carbon is used.
The mechanical and biological filtration occurs in the filter. Carbon is chemical filtration. NO ONE would dispute the need for mechanical and biological filtration, but obviously there is quite a bit of controversy over chemical.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:01 AM   #18
 
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Carbon is in my view a matter of choice. It can aDsorb(as opposed to absorb) much that is not wanted in the aquarium and help with odor's and water clarity as well as remove medications and some heavy metal's,but so can a water change, (perhaps not the metals). I ran carbon in unplanted tanks for a couple decades without any issues.Problem is,the quality and quantiity usually found in cartridges is such that it remains active for only a couple weeks and then needs replaced to remain effective for the afore mentioned purposes. After that it simply becomes home for bacteria just as anything else found in the filter does. I stopped using it due in large part to cost verses how little cartridges hold and the short time it remains effective.
There has been no scientific evidence that shows that Activated carbon causes HIH (hole in head).
Carbon cannot release what it has aDsorbed unless subjected to heat that cannot be produced in the aquarium.(would need to bake it in oven to recharge it or get it to release what it has aDsorbed.)
Some even claim that carbon is not all that detrimentel in planted tanks, but those that claim this,usually dose fertz daily, so perhaps any negative effects would be minimized, and they do not say how long they run the carbon before replacing it if ever, and after a couple weeks,it would in my view be a moot point.
Carbon ain't the boogie man it just isn't needed to run a healthy tank in most cases.
I agree with Byron, In an unplanted tank with large waste producing cichlids and where dissolved organics from waste, and foods offered was/were present, and water changes were smaller than 50 percent and fewer than twice a week, I would use carbon or a product like Seachems Purigen, both of which I ran in Discus tank as well as tanks holding numerous other species of fish without harm to fishes.
Many folks regurgitate what they hear about this ,or that product, without much research on their own.
Is how Myth's somehow become presented as fact's.
In this particular case and for what OP has stated,,I would use fresh carbon to help clear the water for a week or two. After that,,they can choose whether or not they wish to continue using it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:50 AM   #19
 
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1077's summary is basically my thoughts, so enough on that.

Quote:
Let me ask a stupid question. What is the purpose of a filter if no carbon is used.
As others have mentioned, filtration can be mechanical, biological and/or chemical. But before getting to those, a side issue is the filter itself, which performs perhaps its most important role in simply moving the water through the tank. This allows the temperature to be more even. It also ensures that oxygen-rich water is carried to the bacteria throughout the tank [more on this below]. In planted tanks it ensures that nutrients (which are in the water) are dispersed to the plants' leaves and roots where they are needed, and it keeps the leaves free of particulate matter that would inhibit respiration. It is quite possible to have a healthy aquarium with no external filtration whatsoever, but this requires a stable biological balance between fish, plants and bacteria and is somewhat outside this immediate question.

Mechanical filtration is simply the passing of water through media to remove suspended particulate matter. All media in the filter perform this task, be it ceramic disks, gravel, rocks, floss, pads, whatever. This plus the afore-mentioned water movement is the only filtration encouraged in planted tanks, since the plants themselves handle the next two subjects.

Biological filtration is generally considered to be the nitrification cycle whereby nitrosomonas bacteria consume ammonia and produce nitrite, and nitrospira bacteria consume nitrite and produce nitrate. Ironically, in most tanks there is more biological filtration occurring outside the filter itself than inside the filter, since nitrifying bacteria colonize all surfaces covered by water. Each grain of the substrate, be it gravel, sand or whatever, will be colonized by these bacteria, as will every plant leaf, piece of wood, rock, decor and the tank walls themselves. This ties in with the water movement mentioned above; bringing water with oxygen to the bacteria is critical to keep them alive, whether they are in the filter media or throughout the tank.

Nitrosomonas and nitrospira bacteria will only exist at the level necessary to handle the available ammonia and nitrite respectively; when more ammonia/nitrite appears, the bacteria increase by binary division, and if the ammonia/nitrite should decrease, the respective bacteria will die off accordingly. Plants are quicker at grabbing ammonia (as ammonium) and in planted tanks the nitrifying bacteria is considerably less in number than in tanks without plants (all else being equal). Which is why we do not encourage biological filtration in well-planted aquaria--there is no need for it, and it competes with the plants.

Last we have chemical filtration, which may be defined as altering the water's properties through the use of some chemical substance. Activated carbon, ammonia-absorbing rock material, etc. are all forms of chemical filtration. The idea is to remove something from the water. Any form of chemical filtration is unnecessary in a well-planted aquarium, and in fact is detrimental, since all sorts of good things (nutrients primarily) can also be removed. And, plants perform this task far better than any filter. Plants have the ability to take up--which is not the same as assimilation of nutrients--common toxic substances that may occur in an aquarium, such as heavy metals from the tap water, ammonia produced by the fish and bacteria, etc, and detoxify them something akin to a water conditioner that detoxifies such substances. When plants are present in sufficient quantity, there is absolutely no need for regular chemical filtration, and it should only be employed to remove specifically-added substances such as medications following treatment.

Byron.
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