12-17-2007, 01:53 PM
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Carbon can be used and can be beneficial to a tank even if you are not medicating. The reason everyone says it is not needed is just that, you don't NEED it. All it does is remove some of the odors that a tank may have and it will help to polish your water. The major drawback is it only works for 3-6 weeks and then it is useless. This means replacing it a lot and wasitng money that could be spent on better filter materials.
If you can find them, I owuld get the Bio-Chem stars, they are slender and long and should be bale to put them in the filter standing upright. They will build up enough beneficial bacteria to support the tank and then you can change the other media whenever you want without having to worry about removing a majority of the beneficial bacteria. Just make sure to let them get established before making and huge changes.