Should I stop carbon?

FLGirl

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I just replaced the carbon in my aquaclear. It currently has 3 inserts biomax pellets, carbon and a sponge that is coarse like. Recently my tank had some more issues and i realized it was right when I was suppose to change the carbon but forgot about it I'm not saying it was a cause of the problems but iv heard leaving carbon in past the change date is bad. If the benefits to my current and future plants, fish, snail are great then I will make sure I remember from now on but was wondering if I should just replace it with a different insert. I think they have a foam or other different ones...or anothe one of the inserts I already have....what do you guys think?
 

tony toolbox

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my mum was treating an outbreak of whitespot, and we suspect something else. she lost the whole tank. tropical, guppies, mollys, and platies. we were later told that all the medicines she used were being instantly neutralised by the carbon filter. been advised to use sponges for that reason alone. when the fish get sick, sponges keep the enviroment, and allow the medicine to work.
 
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FLGirl

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Thanks I'm so sorry that happened though! I might get snother sponge or biomax difbut I'm still not sure. any other opinions?
 

Nitro Junkie

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Carbon needs to be heated to a very high temperature in order to release anything it has absorbed. So leaving it in indefinitely won't hurt a thing.It is also said that the rough edges provide good places for the beneficial bacteria to grow. It helps to remove medication,smells,and IMO makes the water clearer.

I,however hardly ever use it. It does need to be replaced,and it is an expense I would rather not have. I do always have some on hand,if I happen to need to medicate a tank,I use it after to remove the meds.Or if I just really want to have a tank sparkle,I'll through some in a filter.

It does not hurt a thing to use it,but it is not necessary IMO. If you want to pay to replace it every month or so,that's your choice.But if you choose not to,you won't have any problems either.
 

JustMe

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I load up my filter with some AC after every 100% tank cleaning, or when I add something new to the tank (river rocks, gravel, etc). The AC should clear up any unwanted substances in the water. Other than that, I don't use it.
 

Rhan

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Using carbon is a very personal thing. I use it in 2 of my 3 tanks, but the tank without carbon still has very clear water. I bought it 1 kg of it for about $25, and it seems to be lasting a long time. The carbon I bought says it should be removed very 6-8 weeks, but lower grade carbon is recommended to be removed more often. Once carbon has absorbed all it can, it won't absorb any more.

There should be several threads here debating carbon usage and whether it actually leeches the bad stuff back into the tank. Either way, it seems silly to leave carbon in there for long periods of time when it isn't actually serving its purpose. That's just what I think
 

Goldwing_Don

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if you read the back of any medicine it say remove the AC from the filters untill the treatment is over. that being said AC will remove oder and color from the water.its great to use in a filter over a weekend to really make a tank shine.. JMHO
 

Kunsthure

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I prefer carbon but to keep costs down I load up a clean pantyhose leg with it instead of buying the little expensive AquaClear carbon pouch. I change mine on a month or so after a tank has cycled.

-Lisa
 
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FLGirl

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Thanks everybody....Honestly I haven't decided what I will do yet but appreciate all the answers so I can consider them as I decide what I want to try to do. I already have a new one in....Do you think if I got another sponge or biomax in there, then decided I would rather have carbon. Do you think it would mess up anything like cycle wise if I took out the extra and went back to carbon?
 

Jaysee

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Not if the tank is well established. As a precaution, I fast the fish the day after I mess with the filter.
 

Aquarist

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Hello FLGirl,

My two cents on activated carbon: I'm a firm believer that every freshwater aquarium should use it. Granted it is a personal choice and many members only use it at certain times, if they use it all. I respect that and it's their decision.

I use it around the clock in all of my tanks, changing it out every 3 weeks. I don't feel that carbon masks any problems but removes them as long as you change it out periodically. I change mine every 3 weeks for fresh. It absorbs minerals and organic substances, helps to keep your water clear, eliminates foul odors. It will also remove medications and discoloration in the water (caused by driftwood for an example). If you're running more than 1 filter on a tank, the carbon does not have to go into every filter only 1. The other filters you can stuff full of good bio media. (sponges, ceramic cubes and tubes, bio balls).

I've stopped saying that the activated carbon (AC) leaches what it has collected back into the tank. There are people on both sides of the fence here. Instead I think it's more accurate to say the the AC looses it effectiveness after 3 to 4 weeks and it should be removed and replaced.

If your tank smells foul then I highly recommend adding it to your filter immediately. A water change would probably be a good idea too.

Ken
 
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FLGirl

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thanks! Iv been changing it on a monthly basis. Do you think this is ok or inefficient? Right now I have a 20 the inserts are not that much....i decided what I want to do is get another AC20 and put it on the other side of the aquarium. Thenaybe keep up the carbon in one. My water Iis super clear and not smelly... But maybe that's the carbon helping out lol
 

striker

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I recently stopped using carbon on my 10 gallon and I haven't seen a change and the water is crystal clear.
 
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