12-15-2008, 08:53 AM
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Gonna shock some people to hear me say this but...
Carbon isn't necessarily bad for your aquarium*, but it's not necessarily great for it either. It can remove medications, stray chemicals, and other things in your aquarium. However it also removes dissolved organic chemicals, DOCs. Carbon is iffy at removing metals but DOCs are great at neutralizing them. So you're really removing a natural way to neutralize heavy metals from your tank with carbon and substituting carbon's rather iffy ability.
What it comes down to is a trade off. Carbon is good insurance if you've got odd chemicals in your water that you need out. Just be aware it can make your tank more susceptible to other issues. So it's not a panacea, it's something to be used intelligently with full awareness of its benefits and drawbacks. Also, if you use it then it needs to be regularly changed.
*I'm willing to guess you've probably heard people call carbon responsible for hole in the head disease, well there's no proof of it being responsible other than that some people who's fish got HitH were running carbon. Of course they also had water in their tanks so going by that logic either could be the culprit. Of course that doesn't account for the people who didn't run carbon and their fish got HitH...
Oh, and as for carbon removing tannins from the water... I've got a Coke colored betta tank next to me that says otherwise.
Last edited by Tyyrlym; 12-15-2008 at 09:00 AM..