Activated carbon...how much is too much?
Just finished removing my HOB filter now that my wet/dry filter has been running for well over a month. I have filter bags for loose filter media. I have some marineland activated carbon granules but don't know how much to use. I can't find the info anywhere and have been searching forums and the web for almost an hour. How much activated carbon do I use per gallon of water? BTW my tank is 36 gallons with approximately 3-4 gallons in my sump...let's just say 40 gallons total...any input guys? Thanks as always in advance! :-D
my bottle reads "use 1/2 cup per 10 U.S. gallons of water" i use what looks right (i never measure) a little over wont hurt and if you use to little just add more when you run your tests.. ( i test mine weekly just before my water change just to see how things are if any thing is off i adjust the amount of water i change)
0 is what I would use. It's not needed. Activated carbon is really only useful if you need to remove meds and are too lazy to do a water change. On top of that it only lasts 2-3 days before it becomes neutral. You can add it if you want but in a couple days time it will be no different than the rocks/ ceramics/ sponges/pads/sand -whatever else you use to filter. Simply another object for bacteria to grow on.
Depends, if your tank is planted, its often recommended to NOT use carbon at all as it removes compounds and minerals your plants would need. If you have no plants and have no meds running, then running carbon will help polish your water. Generally speaking, carbon loses its effectiveness fairly quickly and need to be replaced, but if the water looks fine it doesn't really matter.
I have heard about the leeching back into the water but i think its a myth and hasnt really been proven?
There have also been claims that carbon removes minerals that fish need to thrive in in general, but again that hasn't been proven to the best of my knowledge.
Personally, I only use carbon in my tanks after ive dosed meds to clean out whatever meds are left in the tank.
As per your original question, the dosage should be on the box, but overcarboning your water is kinda hard, its like a brita filter, if you use too much its like filtering your water extra. as long as you dont have plants, it should be fine.
Thanks for all the replies folks! I do not have a planted tank....all fakies in ther lol. I have the marineland activated carbon and believe it or not EVERYWHERE I have looked INCLUDING the label, there are no dosage instructions. I have found dosing instructions for the ammonia neutralizing crystals that I have via marinelands website but nothing for the carbon. So so far the only input for dosage recommendations is 1/2 cup per 10 gallons or "as much as you want". Any other opinions so I can feel more comfortable about my decision? Also, I do believe in using it....I am not lazy and do my water changes monthly or more if need be but I do believe it takes odors away and removes discoloration. Thanks again everyone and keep the comments coming...."need more input" hehe
You said you change your water monthly or maybe even more....how much do you change and how often? I'm beginning to think you're seeing high ammonia levels or other issues in your water, because you're not changing the water often enough.
Can you give us a reading of your water parameters?
Can you give us the water changing schedule? How much, how often?
Water conditioner you may use?
Are you using these supplements because you are having a problem in you tank?
Are you using these just because they claim to keep your fish healthy?
If you can answer those, that'll help.....
Personally, if you just using the supplements to help your tank....i would stop, pwc changes are healthy and natural for your fish....
Hope some of that helps...
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