Is Activated Carbon Necessary?

BeardedGenz
Member
Hello!

Fairly new Aquarium Hobbyist here, with a question that possibly doesn't really have an answer, haha, is activated carbon a necessity? I've been finding a lot of varied answers to this question?

I have a 10G tank, 2 Java Ferns and 1 Bacopa planted. I took the media that came with my hang on back filter out and replaced with with, some sponge, filter floss and bio beads. Do I need the carbon too?

Thanks,
 
Broggy
Member
nope! you dont need it, it can't hurt though. but, if you are dosing aquarium fertilizers or anything, the carbon will remove it and make it ineffective
 
StarGirl
Member
Not really. You only really need it to remove meds, smell or tannins.
 
Flyfisha
Member
I don’t have any carbon in any aquariums.

it’s is said the remove medication that is no longer medication. Why is that necessary as we all change water frequently?

It is said to remove the smell of a dead fish. If I have a dead fish i would like to know about it.

It is said to remove tannins. Don’t fish actually enjoy tannins in THEIR water?
 
SouthAmericanCichlids
Member
Flyfisha said:
I don’t have any carbon in any aquariums.

it’s is said the remove medication that is no longer medication. Why is that necessary as we all change water frequently?

It is said to remove the smell of a dead fish. If I have a dead fish i would like to know about it.

It is said to remove tannins. Don’t fish actually enjoy tannins in THEIR water?
Well, though we do wc frequently, it might be something with a low bioload so we don't need to do wc a whole ton, and we'd want to put plants back in.

And tannins, some people just don't like them.
 
fishnovice33
Member
It will help with smell and clarity of water.

It does remove very small amount of ferts but not really enough to matter especially if you’re dosing.

Biggest downside is how quickly is become ineffective, it must be changed routinely.

I have used with and without in all kinds of tanks and personally I prefer it. Water looks and smells better.

Only tanks I don’t use it in are med tanks.
 
FreshwaterCole
Member
BeardedGenz said:
Hello!

Fairly new Aquarium Hobbyist here, with a question that possibly doesn't really have an answer, haha, is activated carbon a necessity? I've been finding a lot of varied answers to this question?

I have a 10G tank, 2 Java Ferns and 1 Bacopa planted. I took the media that came with my hang on back filter out and replaced with with, some sponge, filter floss and bio beads. Do I need the carbon too?

Thanks,
Hello,
We used to use activated carbon in all our tanks when we had plastic plants. Just starting out last year with real plants we used carbon in every tank and were dosing the water column...plants were dying...Then we took all activated carbon out of hob's as this would only strip all the good stuff for the plants.
Explosive plant growth!
We don't dose our tanks, or use root tabs and have actually went to running all tanks off sponges. But if we were running hob's I would stuff as much sponge and media in them as possible 100% lol.

Hope this helps !
FreshwaterCole said:
Hello,
We used to use activated carbon in all our tanks when we had plastic plants. Just starting out last year with real plants we used carbon in every tank and were dosing the water column...plants were dying...Then we took all activated carbon out of hob's as this would only strip all the good stuff for the plants.
Explosive plant growth!
We don't dose our tanks, or use root tabs and have actually went to running all tanks off sponges. But if we were running hob's I would stuff as much sponge and media in them as possible 100% lol.

Hope this helps !
One more thing I forgot to add about the smell of an aquarium...There is actually a smell I look for in all tanks that tells me there is a balance between plants,fish,snails, etc...thats similar to like a fresh rain fall on gravel..or sand if you have sand in your tanks....kind of hard to put in words other than above, but weekly water changes/maintenance based off stock and water volume etc should give you a great smelling aquarium lol as weird as I still find saying that, some weeks I have skipped a wc and just topped off as the tank was smelling great!
 
LanceDog
Member
I haven't used carbon in my tanks for probably 6 years or more...and everything is perfectly fine. I only use it temporarily, like when I'm done medicating a sick tank to remove meds.
 

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