02-15-2010, 08:52 PM
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First, welcome to TFK!!! Glad you decided to join us.
Activated carbon, is found is most filter pads, it serves it purpose, but not for beginning a tank.. Alot of activated carbon is mainly used to remove excess medications after a tank has been treated for disease. That being said, you could always just buy some filter floss to pick up any excess food which may be sucked into the filter.
If this is a newly established tank, which I'm gathering it is.....how do you plan on cycling your tank? do you plan on having live plants (if you do....carbon is a big no-no!) any thoughts on stock yet?
There are two methods which are widely used to "cycle" a tank...basically you need to build up the beneficial bacteria in your tank which is needed to handle everyday ammonia in your tank..ammonia comes from a number of things..excess food and fish waste being the main two factors...ammonia is toxic to fish, and needs to be converted to a far-less toxic version called ammonium....this makes it safe for your fish to live in your tank....
The two methods are fish-less and fish-in. Either one work, but fish-less is more preferred....because it causes less stress on the fish....either cycle method could take anywhere from 2-8 weeks......
If you haven't bought any fish yet, i would wait and use the fish-less cycle method...