Old activated carbon in filter, does it have to be removed?

CorydorasCats

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I have a pouch of activated carbon in my canister filter that has been in there way over a month so is effectively not doing anything, however do I NEED to remove it or can I just leave it in there?

My canister filter is really hard to get to currently so I don’t really want to have to mess with it but I suddenly remembered it had the pouch of carbon and wondered if it will be fine to just leave in?
 
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Crimson_687

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From what I’ve seen it’s ok, just annoying since it releases everything at once. This means all the tannins it has absorbed are going to all be released and stain your water yellow. I had carbon inside a filter, which I did not want to remove as the only way to remove it was the damage the filter floss, and it took me a few months of weekly WCs to see crystal clear water again
 

!poogs!

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Yes and no.

it won’t hurt anything, but your carbon will continue to leach phosphate into your aquarium which can cause green water issues over time.

Personally I would take the carbon out and replace it with a biofilter media and never worry about activated carbon again.
 

BluMan1914

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You can keep it in there until you decide to clean the filter again.
Once carbon is used, it just becomes inert, and WILL NOT release any toxins back into the tank when depleted. Since its porous, bacteria will find another home.
I have always, and will always use carbon, more specifically Chemi-Pure, is what I use.
It will last at least 4 months, and will keep your water crystal clear.

CorydorasCats, you opened up a big debate.
 

!poogs!

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BluMan1914 said:
CorydorasCats, you opened up a big debate.
So true you are. Few different camps on this and I respect that. Decades ago I would swear to carbon. I still think it has its place in the hobby. It’s great at giving you crystal clear water and taking the lake smell out of a tank.

I’m not a complete convert. I do use purigen in my tanks because it’s more economical to regenerate it, than throw carbon out and replace it.

cheers.
 

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!poogs! said:
So true you are. Few different camps on this and I respect that. Decades ago I would swear to carbon. I still think it has its place in the hobby. It’s great at giving you crystal clear water and taking the lake smell out of a tank.

I’m not a complete convert. I do use purigen in my tanks because it’s more economical to regenerate it, than throw carbon out and replace it.

cheers.
I thought about trying Purigen, but didnt want to deal with regenerating it.
But you are right, Purigen is more economical than buying new Chemi-Pure every 4-6 months. But the results that I get cant be questioned.
 
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CorydorasCats

CorydorasCats

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BluMan1914 said:
CorydorasCats, you opened up a big debate.
Haha oh dear!

I get that it would obviously be better to remove it and either replace with new carbon or with other biological media but as it will be a real pain to try and take my filter apart right now I wanted to know if it is perfectly safe to leave it in & forget it or will start to have negative affects on my tank if it is left in..?

I stumbled on some really old threads on here while searching for an answer and it seems to open up a good healthy debate every time :smuggrin:
 

!poogs!

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BluMan1914 said:
I thought about trying Purigen, but didnt want to deal with regenerating it.
But you are right, Purigen is more economical than buying new Chemi-Pure every 4-6 months. But the results that I get cant be questioned.
I’m a firm believer...if you got something that works for you in this hobby, don’t change a thing regardless of what others are doing or saying until whatever you have doesn’t work for you anymore.
 

BluMan1914

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Its fine to keep in there. Dont worry about it. Like I stated, just remove, or replace it the next time you do clean your filter.
 
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CorydorasCats

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BluMan1914 said:
Its fine to keep in there. Dont worry about it. Like I stated, just remove, or replace it the next time you do clean your filter.
Thanks ! :)
 

BluMan1914

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Crimson_687 said:
From what I’ve seen it’s ok, just annoying since it releases everything at once. This means all the tannins it has absorbed are going to all be released and stain your water yellow. I had carbon inside a filter, which I did not want to remove as the only way to remove it was the damage the filter floss, and it took me a few months of weekly WCs to see crystal clear water again
I was gonna let something you stated slide, but I just can't, and feel the need to kinda correct you. So please dont take offense.
The carbon itself will not release tannins back into the tank.
The carbon becomes depleted, and therefore will not clear up the tannins, but will NOT release it back into the tank. The driftwood will continue to release the tannin, therefore the water will become tinged.
 

Crimson_687

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BluMan1914 said:
I was gonna let something you stated slide, but I just can't, and feel the need to kinda correct you. So please dont take offense.
The carbon itself will not release tannins back into the tank.
The carbon becomes depleted, and therefore will not clear up the tannins, but will NOT release it back into the tank. The driftwood will continue to release the tannin, therefore the water will become tinged.
Please don’t hesitate to correct me, I don’t want to repeat incorrect information or think something false to be true. Thank you for pointing this out!
 

!poogs!

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BluMan1914 said:
I was gonna let something you stated slide, but I just can't, and feel the need to kinda correct you. So please dont take offense.
The carbon itself will not release tannins back into the tank.
The carbon becomes depleted, and therefore will not clear up the tannins, but will NOT release it back into the tank. The driftwood will continue to release the tannin, therefore the water will become tinged.
No worries. I am perfectly okay with it and more than capable of admitting I made a mistake. I had to go research it better. It turn out it can happen, but the condition needed for it to occur are virtually an impossibility. I have been corrected and no offence taken. I appreciate your tact and diplomacy.
 
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CorydorasCats

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I love this forum, everyone is so nice even with disagreements or differences of opinion. I’ve been on some other forums and people can be so down right mean and judgemental, especially to newbies trying to learn!

I really appreciate each and every one of your advice! :)
 

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