Originally Posted by Skooter
My apologies..Just a little frustrated.. I have had nothing but success in my current aquarium so I decided to get a larger one and then found this site. Since then I am a little paranoid about imo's over general knowledge. Sounds like carbon is not a big favorite but its been part of my success for years so I will move on with what works..Thanks again!!
Activated carbon is effective in absorbing 'impurities' in water, however, so are plants and so carbon competes with plants for some elements in suspension. Also, carbon is somewhat short lived in effectiveness and is probably only really typically effective as a chemical absorbent for a week or so. Carbon is not typically considered a bio-filtration media, however, aerobic bacteria will call carbon home like any other material in a filter - however, it is not as effective at this as other bio-media.
The real issue in upgrading to another tank is the nitrogen cycle process. If you haven't already, read up on the ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate -> nitrogen process.
Aquariums need time to stabilize to provide enough nitrifying bacteria to handle the bio-load. Otherwise, there is a potential for a catastrophic ammonia spike that may kill your fish. Your best approach wherever possible is to bio-seed the new tank with bacteria from an established tank. This is well documented here and as mentioned, transfer only a few fish at a time. But in order to cycle, you must have a constant supply of ammonia. You might consider stabilizing a new tank with a fishless cycle, but if you do, (just my humble opinion) don't use the stinky dead shrimp method!
Anyway, you can continue to use carbon as/if you like. Folks here are only "down on carbon" because it's counter productive with plants and is very short lived in effectiveness.
Having 'said' the above, depending on your water source, carbon can be a strong ally in achieving and maintaining the best quality aquarium water. If you have your best success using carbon and don't mind the modest expense of replacing it weekly or every other week, don't let anyone here convince you that it's wrong - activated carbon has been successfully used in aquarium water management for over 30 years!
As mountain man Mr. Edwards on Little House said "the trouble with friends is they're all the time trying to give you ADvice."
The opinions of 'experts' here must always be taken with a grain of salt.