Using Carbon in Filter question
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Using Carbon in Filter question

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Using Carbon in Filter question
Old 03-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
 
Using Carbon in Filter question

Hey Guys,
I've never used Carbon in any of my Aquaclear Filters before because when I first started up my first tank about 5 years ago several people told me that it wasn't really necessary. Well, that was on my 10 gallon tank that nobody really saw. I now have a 65 gallon tank in my Family Room that everyone can look at. The tank has been up and running for a year now. I keep up with my water changes and overall, the water is pretty clear but I was wondering how much of a difference does the carbon actually make in keeping the water clearer? How often do you change the Carbon?

I already have the sponge and bio-balls in the filter. If I add the Carbon in there also, when the carbon is removed and replaced does it affect the cycle of the tank at all?
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
 
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Carbon is really only effective for something like 2 weeks. Help removing meds works great with carbon; otherwise I don't use it. And you don't wanna use it if you have a planted tank period because it will actually extract parts from your water that the plants need to feed off of.

And really to have crystal clear water you do not need that; I have very nice water in all tanks and don't use it; but if you don't have live plants and its a "show tank" anyway maybe you should consider letting us talk you throught the process of planting the tank?
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel777 View Post
Hey Guys,
I've never used Carbon in any of my Aquaclear Filters before because when I first started up my first tank about 5 years ago several people told me that it wasn't really necessary. Well, that was on my 10 gallon tank that nobody really saw. I now have a 65 gallon tank in my Family Room that everyone can look at. The tank has been up and running for a year now. I keep up with my water changes and overall, the water is pretty clear but I was wondering how much of a difference does the carbon actually make in keeping the water clearer? How often do you change the Carbon?

I already have the sponge and bio-balls in the filter. If I add the Carbon in there also, when the carbon is removed and replaced does it affect the cycle of the tank at all?

Hi, to me I notice that it does make the water clearer. When I took the carbon out for the first time because of plants I did not have any affect on the cycle of the tank. My 14 gallon tank still looks clear but I still think that the carbon makes it even clearer, especially when the carbon is fresh. My 56 gallon is clear for the most part too but has some days that it is not as clear, but I am picky and have that darn critical eye. I know that it would probably be even clearer if I used the carbon, but mostly when the carbon is fresh. They are never really too cloudy but just not as "crisp". The tanks look healthy, but I just have intermitent times when it is not as clear as other days. I have not had any times yet, except for one brief period after a good sized water change, that it was too cloudy for my liking but it went away by mid day the next day....had changed it the evening before. I just did a water change in my 56 gallon and it looks very clear. If I did not have plants, I would use carbon. Do you have live plants?

Last edited by HollyinWA; 03-03-2010 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
 
Yes, I have live plants so I guess I'll leave the Carbon out. I really don't even know why I entertained that thought. People are always commenting how clear the water is. I just wanted it to be a little clearer. I guess I am getting too critical.

I just realized that the little "particles" that I am seeing are actually tiny bubbles that are being created from the flow of water hitting the surface. The water level has gone down a little. It's time for a water change in a couple of days.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
 
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Do you have a HOB on that tank? I know its quite some cash dep on your tank size but maybe consider a canister at some point. And if you have a cansister already and see "bubbles" like what you're describing then you need to change the intake - outtake positing there
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Angel777 View Post
Yes, I have live plants so I guess I'll leave the Carbon out. I really don't even know why I entertained that thought. People are always commenting how clear the water is. I just wanted it to be a little clearer. I guess I am getting too critical.

I just realized that the little "particles" that I am seeing are actually tiny bubbles that are being created from the flow of water hitting the surface. The water level has gone down a little. It's time for a water change in a couple of days.

I am really critical too. I know what you mean. If you have live plants, as you know, it is said that it is best to leave it out. I had to force myself to take it out.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
 
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Do you have a HOB on that tank? I know its quite some cash dep on your tank size but maybe consider a canister at some point. And if you have a cansister already and see "bubbles" like what you're describing then you need to change the intake - outtake positing there
Yep, it's a HOB filter. I'm gonna stick with this filter. It works fine, I'm just being too critical about things right now. I need to clean the tank up a bit more when I do my next water change. I have a lot of empty snail shells that are on the bottom of the tank. I'm thinking that the assassin snails are starting to do their job
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
 
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How does your gals water look like? Is it milky of some sort? If you have a planted normal maintained not 220% overstocked tank my water's always been clear (expect cycling period) so that really makes me wonder what's going on with your tanks?? Yea I get a floating leaf ever blue moon but that's the only "debris" I have floating in there!?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:16 AM   #9
 
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There is only one kind of clouding of the water carbon can have an effect on and that's tanin staining from driftwood. Personally I think the staining is attractive and doesn't make the water harder to see through. My Eclipse at work has tanin stained water but I'd still call it crystal clear.

That's the only thing carbon will have any effect on. For small particles in the water you need good mechanical filtration. A layer of filter floss or a sponge should do just fine. For cloudy, green, or milky water that is usually a result of a bacterial bloom due to a nutrient imbalance. Carbon will have no effect on that at all. You have to correct the imbalance and be patient.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
 
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I might consider product.. Seachem's Purigen if crystal clear water was my aim. Is said to have no negative effect when used in planted tanks,"Won't remove flourish Excel" according to Seachem.
Have never tried it in planted tank but have used it in non planted Discus tank and was pleased with the product. It can be regenerated with bleach and water solution several times. I never used the recommended neutral regulator as second step in re-generation, I simply soaked in dechlorinated water for 24 hours after the bleach and water solution.
I am not normally a fan of chemical media if not needed but I was using auto feeder to feed juvenile discus while I was at work and wanted something to help keep ammonia levels from rising before i got home to change water. Just my two cents.
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