Not running carbon?
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Not running carbon?

This is a discussion on Not running carbon? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Is there a benefit from not running activiated carbon? I have seen that some people are not running it and just wanted to know ...

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Old 12-26-2007, 01:26 PM   #1
 
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Not running carbon?

Is there a benefit from not running activiated carbon? I have seen that some people are not running it and just wanted to know the pro's and con's. Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:49 PM   #2
 
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Pros:
Removes most odors from the tank.
Can keep your water polished.
Works well to remove medications after treating for parasites and/or disease.

Cons:
Needs to be replaced often, sometimes as often as every 2 weeks
Removes some needed nutrients for plants.
If left in too long it has been said it can lead to hole in the head disease.
Is actually not needed in a well established and maintained tank.
If there is no other biological media in the filter then you remove a lot of beneficial bacteria every time you replace the cartridge with the carbon.

I personally never use carbon in my tanks except to remove medications and then I change out the carbon every other day for 10 days to make sure it removes it all as well as doing water changes.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:29 AM   #3
 
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i have a mix of carbon and another material (it came with the canister filter i bought) could i just remove the carbon pieces and leave the other material in?
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:09 AM   #4
 
I ditto f4a's sentiments on carbon. It is just a real pain. Again, like f4a, I only use it to filter out meds. I most generally use no substrate-like material. In lieu of this type of media, I use bio-balls or bio-stars. I also may use a woven filter media to help trap debris, ei., filter floss. Although, I may lose some active bio-bed bacteria when changing the floss, the other filters make up the difference and allow for quick recovery. Secondly, I NEVER change or work on the complete filter system at once, only individual components. Example, week one, the power filters, week two, the power heads and their prefilters including gravel sweep, week three, the internal power filters, week four, the canister filters. By following this regimen, the other biofilters take up the slack while the clean system has time to regenerate.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:35 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
If left in too long it has been said it can lead to hole in the head disease.
Are you for serious??? I had no idea!!! Can I just take the carbon out and put the empty thing back in? I think that would make sense right? I do a lot of water changes so I have no need for the carbon, it just came with the filter and I had nothing else to put in it.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:05 AM   #6
 
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littlefizz thats the same problem i have, and the same question lol, i read in the manual that there can be problems leaving a basket empty or something like that, or isint that true?
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:35 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little-Fizz
Are you for serious??? I had no idea!!! Can I just take the carbon out and put the empty thing back in? I think that would make sense right? I do a lot of water changes so I have no need for the carbon, it just came with the filter and I had nothing else to put in it.
The whole thing about carbon and HITH is widely debated around several forums, mostly those who are concerned with their discus. In fact, several discus enthusiasts refused to use carbon as carbon does remove nutrients and trace elements in the water resulting in nutrient deficiency which is said to be one of the causes of HITH.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:08 AM   #8
 
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The question about can you remove the carbon is a big yes. The carbon can be removed and the rest of your filter would keep on working. A better idea for most of us is to decide we want a better mechanical filter or a better biological filter so we put stuff back in the space that does whatever we think we need to improve. For me that was biological media but it depends on what your tank seems to need.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:48 AM   #9
 
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Lol well I don't see my filter sucking up poop really. So I guess biological is the way to go! Thanks for the responses! I was so shocked when I read about the hole in the head thing. I'm going to go take the carbon out of the thinger right now... I'm calling it a thinger but it's a filter media right? LOL sorry!
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:27 PM   #10
 
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The most common combinations I have seen for a canister is to run filter floss, some sort of sponge and then either bioballs, ceramic rings or Biochem stars. Filter floss first, sponges second then the biological media third to keep the debris out of it.
Floss can be replaced by sponges and so on. Customize it to fit your needs.
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