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Hi Everyone! How long can I leave a carbon out of the tank. In my 20 gal tank I have 3 black moores, and 1 baby pleco, It has been established for over 2 years, 5 days ago I took the carbon out cause I noticed one of the black moores had a bit of fungus on his dorsal fin, didnt seem sick or anything but I took the carbon out and treated with primafix. Today I did a major tank clean...took all the ornaments out and gave the gravel a good vacuming, cleaned filter and powerhead. I just rinsed the sponge for the filter out and reused it as its only a couple of weeks old, and I rinse it in my aquarium water that I took out...I went to put a new carbon in and Im out!! Big Snow storm here so I cant get one till tomorrow. Just so I know....What is the purpose of the carbon? I know it keeps the water crystal clear...but what else is it for? Thanks for helping!
 

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It removes the odor, tannins, toxic substances, meds and other stains hence the water becomes crystal clear. Usually, 3-4 weeks.
 

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Thank you so much for the info Blue!! We are so lucky to have your expertise!! Have a wonderfull Christmas!!
 

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paintsforyou said:
Thank you so much for the info Blue!! We are so lucky to have your expertise!! Have a wonderfull Christmas!!
Merry Christmas to you, Terry.:thumbsup:
 

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paintsforyou said:
Hi Everyone! How long can I leave a carbon out of the tank.
What is the purpose of the carbon? I know it keeps the water crystal clear...but what else is it for? Thanks for helping!
OK Folks: (Another of my “long winded posts”.)

Carbon exists in principally two molecular forms: graphite and diamond.

The carbon element has a valence of +4 (similarly -4: for brevity I do not want to “get into Quantum Mechanics here” ).

Coal (and “charcoal” which are virtually identical) are graphite with impurities.

What “we know as ‘activated” carbon or ‘activated’ charcoal is coal or charcoal which has typically been produced from coal which has been subject to oxidation at a temperature above 250F.

This production results in a material which is very porous at the “nanometer (10^-9)” size.

The porosity and the carbon have two effects.

In the short term (depending on tank water parameters), two weeks to six weeks, the “exposed carbon atoms” in the pores will “attach” to other molecules in the water (ie. chemical filtration) and thus
It removes the odor, tannins, toxic substances, meds and other stains hence the water becomes crystal clear. Usually, 3-4 weeks.
Once the available carbon elements have “attached themselves” to various impurities in the tank water the carbon media ceases to be a chemical filtration media and becomes a biological and mechanical filtration media.

The very small pores and the quantity thereof allow significant surfaces on which ammonia and nitrite digestion bacteria to generate.

Similarly the very small pores also “trap” particulate matter in the tank water.

Once the very small pores become “clogged” with particulate matter the carbon filtration media is useless except for the “very minor effects” of biological filtration along it’s surface.

TR

BTW:

Adam Dagma prepared a very good treatise on "Hole in the Head" disease which includes a section pertaining to carbon filtration.

I will generate another thread (as this post is "so long winded") with the URL of this treatise.
 

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I believe what Ron is saying is that it lasts about 7 days max. I believe your question is how long can your tank go without it in the tank? Forever. I never use the stuff. Does it do a great job of quickly cleaning the water to make it sparkly clear? Yes. So do 80% water changes weekly for a fraction of the cost.
 

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Folks:

caferacermike said:
I believe what Ron is saying is that it lasts about 7 days max.
CM:
I believe that (note the "believe") with someone who is a member of this forum a reasonable expectation of a minimum of two weeks of chemical filtration would be typical.

caferacermike said:
I believe your question is how long can your tank go without it in the tank? Forever. I never use the stuff.
I did at one time but, like Cm, have discontinued the practice.

caferacermike said:
Does it do a great job of quickly cleaning the water to make it sparkly clear? Yes.
Yep! This it will do it
BUT
Even after dosing my tank with Melafix for 7 days I am slowly decreasing the concentration of the “chemicals” which are in Melafix by 10%-20% daily WC’s.

caferacermike said:
So do 80% water changes weekly for a fraction of the cost.
Cm: you have way, way more experience than I do
BUT
I have never, never done that one!
“You live ‘a bunch’ in the saltwater world” where (as “weird as it sounds”) lighting is as important, if not more so, than filtration.
I believe that the “instantaneous” change in the water parameters, due to an 80% WC, would not be good.for my fishies.

TR
 

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mike is also a dedicated pleco nut...he has a gorgeous collection of fancy plecs in addition to his saltwater tank, i think he's just saying that there are several ways to keep a healthy tank, and that he prefers not to use carbon.
 

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girlofgod said:
mike is also a dedicated pleco nut...he has a gorgeous collection of fancy plecs in addition to his saltwater tank, i think he's just saying that there are several ways to keep a healthy tank, and that he prefers not to use carbon.
yep: me also.

My post was prepared only "to explain (hopefully) the basics".

(ie. in physics, when problem solving, "you always go back to the basics").

TR
 

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Good post.

I, too, used carbon frequently for awhile, and stopped. I still have allot of it left. I believe in more frequent water changes than using carbon. I have never done more than 50% WC, but I know I can, since I use a 38 gallon to for water changes. The water in this tank is aged, dechlored, and heated. I'm sure many of us who are veteran fish keepers use water storage containers for such cases.
 

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crazie.eddie said:
The water in this tank is aged, dechlored, and heated. I'm sure many of us who are veteran fish keepers use water storage containers for such cases.
Why do you do that? Is aged water better? I like the heater idea because I cannot always rely on having hot water in the winter.
 

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It is recommended to ready your water in advance of a water change as dechlorinator will cause ammonia build up as it changes of the chlorine and chloramine.



I do 80% changes every other week in the pleco tank. And as some of you know my collection is quite large. I do heavy water changes as my tank is way over stocked. To help combat that I have way more filtration and water movement in my tank than is considered "normal" for fresh water. I wish more people over did it because I tend not to have any issues at all with my tank. No ich out breaks ever. No losses. Only brightly colored non hiding fish. I drain the water over the course of an hour and refill it over another hour. I understand my bud Jones first reaction of severe water pramater swings but in reality I do such large and generally frequent water changes that the water I remove is very consistent with what goes back in. With several THOUSAND dollars worth of rare plecos in one tank I tend to be very aware of what is going on in that tank.

I have a responsibility first to my rare fish in that they need to be tended to with the utmost of care for I am responsible for fish that may soon become obsolete.
 

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Folks:

Cm has saved me a “ton of grief” over the last 8 months “so if it seems like” that I am posting in deference to his experience “well you got it” (Mp has also done his share of handholding also).

It is recommended to ready your water in advance of a water change as dechlorinator will cause ammonia build up as it changes of the chlorine and chloramine.
One of Ce’s posts indicated that Prime strips the chlorine but does not generate ammonia.
I cannot find his post.
I fortunately have used Prime for my typical monthly thorough cleanings which result in a 25% water change.
“Having said that” if I had “any way” to do what you have suggested I would do so.

I do 80% changes every other week in the pleco tank. And as some of you know my collection is quite large.
And impressive!!!
I am looking forward to seeing it next year!

… as my tank is way over stocked. To help combat that I have way more filtration and water movement in my tank than is considered "normal" for fresh water.
While mine is not “way overstocked” it is “plenty stocked and
I also have “way more filtration” (wet/dry with biological and mechanical) than would reasonably be expected for a fresh water tank:
2.5 CF (+/-) of bioballs,
2 large media bags with ceramic cylinders and porous glass under the bioballs,
1 large media bag at the underflow of the 1st chamber of the sump into the 2nd chamber of the sump;
laminated above the bioballs
the “blue/white” foam,
quilt batting;
100Mu media
50Mu media and
sometimes 50Mu media before the media bag in the 2nd chamber.


No ich out breaks ever. No losses. Only brightly colored non hiding fish.
The “proof is in the pudding”!!!

I understand my bud Jones first reaction of severe water pramater swings but in reality I do such large and generally frequent water changes that the water I remove is very consistent with what goes back in.
As I am certain yall have noticed that Cm resides in Austin, TX (a transplanted Yankee [ducking and running for cover] but still one of the good guys).
His tap water is produced from four surface reservoirs (lakes) which are situated on one of the major rivers (the Colorado river) in Texas.
Situated on the Colorado river upstream of Austin are several very, very large lakes (by Texas standards) .
Theses lakes and the Colorado River (in it’s reaches above and into Austin) are regulated by the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The City Of Austin, I believe, blends the water from treatment plants which are located on four of these lakes.
Due to the above:
The source of Cm’s tap water is very, very consistent with respect to water parameters and time.

I, on the “other hand”, live in semiarid West Texas.
The source of the City of San Angelo’s water is five lakes which are located on different drainage basins (or reaches thereof).
I can have virtually pure H2O one day and the next day have “light red ice cubes” high in NaCl, KCl, etc. (the red is produced by red marine clays which are surficially present in several of the drainage basins.)
Hence I must use RO for my daily 10% to 20% water changes.

I have a responsibility first to my rare fish in that they need to be tended to with the utmost of care for I am responsible for fish that may soon become obsolete.
Cm: In my response to BB’s HITH post (if I ever get “through with it”) are definitions.

TR
 

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love_my_fish said:
crazie.eddie said:
The water in this tank is aged, dechlored, and heated. I'm sure many of us who are veteran fish keepers use water storage containers for such cases.
Why do you do that? Is aged water better? I like the heater idea because I cannot always rely on having hot water in the winter.
I do this on my L-046 zebra tank. L-046 zebras are expensive and I wouldn't want anything to happen to them. So take whatever precaution I can. I do this on my shrimp only tanks also. Even though they are not expensive, I would still hate to see anything happen to the colony.

My 125 gallon tank gets straight warm tap water, adding dechlor first. Most of the fish in my tank I've had for over 7 years and I've been doing the same routine since I got them, so why change now. They are beasts. Fortunately, the discus in the tanks don't mind the WC from tap either and often swim under the strong current from the new water rushing in.

jones57742 said:
One of Ce’s posts indicated that Prime strips the chlorine but does not generate ammonia.
I cannot find his post.
I fortunately have used Prime for my typical monthly thorough cleanings which result in a 25% water change.
“Having said that” if I had “any way” to do what you have suggested I would do so.
Prime is supposed to bond with chlorine/chloramine. One of the byproducts if this, as with most dechlorinators, is ammonia (ammonia + chlorine = chloramine). Fortunatly, Prime also bonds with ammonia, but from my understanding, ammonia is still available for the bacteria and plants that require it. I'm not a chemist, so don't ask me how.
 
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