Aqua Clear Filter. Removing Carbon Filter?

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betta_nes

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Hello!

My 8 gallon tank just recently cycled (finally) using Seachem Stability after about a month. It is divided with two male bettas on each side. Today I was doing a weekly PWC and decided to remove the carbon filter as it's been almost a month since I purchased the Aqua Clear filter and I was told keeping the carbon over 30 days will leach toxins back in the tank. Of course when I removed it the filter didn't have water flow because there was nothing to put in its place so I put back it. After that my whole tank had black fluffy things floating around?!

I have a few questions:

1) Was this stuff that was floating toxic to my fish? They tried eating it but spat it out.

2) Can I just add another foam filter or biomax in its place? Or do I need to replace it with a carbon one?

3) If yes, will removing the carbon and adding extra foam filter and/or biomax in its place cause a mini cycle? Please say no..

4) Did removing the carbon for a few minutes disrupt the cycle at all?

Thanks so much. I'm pretty clueless to all of this.
 

Finster

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No worries. The black things floating were probably just carbon impregnated fibers. Some say that the carbon will leach back what it has absorbed but probably not at any rate to worry about. Dump the carbon and replace it with more bio media. Carbon has some uses but it's not something you need to always have in your filter. One sponge is all you need in the way of mechanical filtration so use the new space to add some lava rock or pumice in a media bag.
 

Samuel97

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I agree with the above! Carbon is great for clear water especially in new tanks where you are prone to a bloom or particulates, but now it's done its job I did exactly what you say, pulled it out and replaced with a biomax pouch. This extra surface area for beneficial bacteria will serve you better in the long run, the the black particles are just the carbon that you stirred up when you moved the carbon pouch, don't panic too much as your foam pad should pick them up over time and don't panic either when they appear next time you wash your foam. Adding more biomax will not cause a cycle, it will actually help keep your current bacteria levels more stable. Good luck!
 

jmarks

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Personally I am very intrigued by your statement about not having water flow. Aqua Clear filters pump water out of the tank and up through the filter media (bottom to top) and then spill out into the tank. Removing the carbon bag, should in no way have stopped water from flowing through the filter.

My suggestion for filter media would be the sponge and then a big bag of biological media.
 
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betta_nes

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Thanks for the replies!

jmarks, what I mean by not having water flow is once the carbon filter is removed there is only the biomax and the foam filter left therefore the water doesn't flow/come out over top. I hope that makes sense. Is the filter supposed to work even like this?

I'd also like to know what is better to add in place of the carbon. Biomax or the foam filter?

And I'm glad to know that removing the carbon and adding extra biomax and/or foam filter won't cause a mini cycle
 

jmarks

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Does this make sense to anyone else? Aqua clear HOB filters should flow water even if the media compartment was completely empty. This does not make sense to me.
 
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betta_nes

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I also would like to know. Anyone?

Oh, and I ended up buying the extra foam to put in place of the carbon instead of the biomax. Not sure which is better. Still haven't added it though as the carbon is still in the filter.
 

jmarks

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Are you asking about the flow again?
Post a picture or two of the carbon in and out
 

NavigatorBlack

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It should flow better with no media, unless you stopped the impeller and shut it down with the floating fibers. Reach in and spin the impeller. A pen will do it.
Carbon is unnecessary, but an Aquaclear with doubled sponges is a beast of a biofilter.
 
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