So What's Wrong with Carbon?

randrjax
  • #1
I've been reading a few threads and noticed that most recommend removing carbon. Does running carbon cause problems?

I'm having some high nitrite problems and wasn't sure if this is contributing to it. I've done 30% water changes for the past 3 weeks and still can't get it down.
 
Dino
  • #2
Carbon only has a functioning life of a few hours.
So unless you are, say removing meds or other carbon compounds, carbon really doesnot do that much toward filtering an aquarium.

What size is the tank and what is stocked in it?
 
sirdarksol
  • #4
What Dino said is pretty much it (it can last a bit longer in particularly pure water, or run out of space quicker in particularly bad water). Then, after awhile, it seems the carbon starts breaking down, releasing whatever it's soaked up back into the tank.
Carbon does offer excellent biological filtration, as it has a ton of surface area for nitrifying bacteria to colonize, but there are neutral media that allow for the same thing without the negative on the side.
 
Narcicius
  • #5
Yeah, but by remove do you mean to cut up those cartridges and dump the carbon out?
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #6
Yes.
 
randrjax
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OK so if I go in and remove the carbon, I will be throwing away a lot of my biological filter. Any good ways to transition? Say put a spounge inside of the filter media for a few weeks and then remove the carbon? I just got my tank cycled so I don't want to start all over from scratch.
 
sirdarksol
  • #8
OK so if I go in and remove the carbon, I will be throwing away a lot of my biological filter. Any good ways to transition? Say put a sponge inside of the filter media for a few weeks and then remove the carbon? I just got my tank cycled so I don't want to start all over from scratch.

Yes.
Does your filter not already have a sponge? Is the filter media all just one big package?
If it comes in multiple pieces (like a sponge for mechanical filtration, then the bag for the carbon), you should be able to pull the bag out and replace it without much worry.
 
randrjax
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
The filters I have right now are Whisper power filters that hang behind the tank. It's got a bag that holds carbon. I just wasn't sure how much bacteria grows on the carbon vs how much grows on the filter. I bought some spounges and I will just stick those inside the filter bag for 2 or 3 weeks then remove the carbon all together.
 
sirdarksol
  • #10
Whisper filters should come with the bags of carbon as well as a bio-sponge that is set on a black frame.

If you leave the sponge on, you should be fine changing the bag out (just take one of the bags and don't put the carbon in it). That's what it was made to do. As long as you don't change both at the same time, your tank should be good (unless it's heavily overpopulated).
 
eepruls
  • #11
I have an AquaClear 20 which has the three filter components (sponge on the bottom, carbon bag, and bio-stones at the top in the basket). I too have read that the carbon component isn't really necessary unless medicating. If I remove the carbon bag what should be put in its middle spot in the basket? Another foam sponge or nothing (just sponge and bio-stones then)?
 
hssea
  • #12
in my 26 gall I have a aquatech filter (double cartrige type), each side has a sponge and the blue cartridge that contains the carbon, if I cut the blue materia and shake out the carbon I shouldn't be losing much bacteria, right? if I totally take out the blue cartridge that seems to be losing a lot of bacteria
 
vin
  • #13
so what's wrong with carbon

<<Carbon only has a functioning life of a few hours.
So unless you are, say removing meds or other carbon compounds, carbon really doesnot do that much toward filtering an aquarium.>>

Actually, this is incorrect information. Typically, carbon lasts 2-3 weeks and is used for assisting in removal of toxins or tanins that can build up in water and acts as a biological filter as well. It is also used to help remove medication when treatment has been completed. I ALWAYS use carbon in my filters. The issue with carbon is that if left in too long, it will release some of what it traps back into the water as it can only retain so much. So it you do use it, be sure to be diligent and change it regularly.

I use both preloaded cartridges and cartridge kits depending upon which is on sale. Be sure to rinse the new cartidge in used tank water before putting it into the filter. Carbon dust is toxic to fish. If rinsed properly, it's not an issue.
 
sirdarksol
  • #14
Out of curiosity, Vin, what are you basing the 2-3 week thing on?

The reason I ask is that carbon has limited space to pick stuff up in. Most of our tanks have so much garbage in them that Dino's statement is about right. Beyond that point, the carbon is more or less full and serves as little more than biological media (although it's excellent biological media).
The makers of the carbon packets tell us that it's good for 2-3 weeks, but that doesn't mean that it's actually doing anything most of that time.

Hmmmm... Gives me an idea for a test. I just need to figure out if carbon sucks up certain chemicals. Maybe I can go for a starch and iodine test (not in a stocked tank, of course, but in a simple, empty setup). I will report back with information when and if I perform this experiment.
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #15
I find this all very curious. All filter manufacturers make a point of including carbon as part of the filter and do not offer as an option carbon-less media. I have heard that carbon actually has a negative effect on planted tanks. So why wouldn't the manufacturers offer this option rather than see people start using 3rd party cut to fit type media instead. In fact it is quite the opposite they are coming up with all kinds of other chemical media that are even more efficient at removing dissolved organics.
 
susitna-flower
  • #16
It's simple enough, they make the filters and provide only enough information to lead people to believe they HAVE to have them, and change them every couple of weeks, because that is the way they can continue to make money on the sale of the filter......it all boils down to $$$$$. Ours going into THEIR pocket.

You are so right, plants need the minerals and other nutrients in the water, carbon removes these and actually causes more problems than it solves in planted tanks.

I do not use carbon, unless removing medications, and NEVER use the other products that stress a magic cure of "absorbing ammonia". I prefer to let the nitrogen cycle work......
 
sirdarksol
  • #17
Exactly. It's not difficult to do. Because it's so ingrained in the aquarist culture that carbon is just necessary, most people just go along with the belief.
The same thing happens all over the place. There are ways to make gasoline engines more efficient and powerful, but doing so requires changing from the standard piston-driven engine, which has been in use so long that most people just figure a gas engine needs to be piston-driven. Companies and people have grown so used to trans fats that, despite the fact that we know that they are even worse than saturated animal fats, there are still people who use them. Antibacterial soaps continue to flourish (to the point that it's hard to find a non-antibacterial soap) even though several studies have shown that washing with regular soap removes just as many microbes from the skin. It's all a matter of habit, belief, and someone willing to exploit those habits and beliefs.
 
vin
  • #18
Out of curiosity, Vin, what are you basing the 2-3 week thing on?

The reason I ask is that carbon has limited space to pick stuff up in. Most of our tanks have so much garbage in them that Dino's statement is about right. Beyond that point, the carbon is more or less full and serves as little more than biological media (although it's excellent biological media).
The makers of the carbon packets tell us that it's good for 2-3 weeks, but that doesn't mean that it's actually doing anything most of that time.

Hmmmm... Gives me an idea for a test. I just need to figure out if carbon sucks up certain chemicals. Maybe I can go for a starch and iodine test (not in a stocked tank, of course, but in a simple, empty setup). I will report back with information when and if I perform this experiment.

I got the 2-3 weeks from research and conversations with a marine biologist from Mystic Aquarium in CT and a DEP officer at the local DEP Fishery. They use AC in their filtration systems regularly. Typically, activated carbon in a home aquarium can take the load for about 4 weeks. Hence, the manufacturers recommendation to change it monthly before it starts leeching impurities back into the water. Additionally, I have a coffee maker that uses activated carbon for filtering water. It tells you to change the cartridge every 4-6 weeks. My undersink water filter tells us to change the carbon filter every 6 weeks. They do get their fair share of chlorine and disolved minerals....And actually, contrary to what you've stated, the reason carbon is so effective is because of the surface area it provides for absorbtion. Carbon becomes ineffective when left in the filter too long and the pores are full of impurities. As stated earlier, it's at that time that they leech back into the water.

A little over a year ago, I did a write up based on some research I had done regarding the use of activated carbon and the avg. life in the home aquarium and posted it on this site....Unfortunately I can't recall where I got the information from or where it would be at this point....
 
vin
  • #19
LetDiceFly,

Actually, I have a heavily planted tank and use carbon all of the time. My plants flourish without the need for fertilizers or growing agents. So much so that I've had to thin them. I started with 3. I've split them up and used them to plant the rest of my tank and have given many to friends and relatives to use in their tanks.

Furthermore, I've never had disease, parasites or fungus in my tank. That's not to say I haven't had an occasional fish die, but I've never had to medicate my tank.
 
sirdarksol
  • #20
Sorry, Vin, but nothing you've said actually shows much of anything. The talking with the marine folks is the closest thing, but they are just doing what they've always done. So they see that carbon works well to keep their tanks healthy. Like I said, it provides excellent biological media, which will help them keep their tanks running well.
The filters in water purifiers a) have more carbon than a typical Tetra filter for a 30 gallon tank, and b) only have to deal with the impurities in the tap water. Aquariums add even more, from little particles of food to fish waste, to dust from the substrate, to dust settling into the tank, to rotting plant matter.

I do realize why carbon makes good biological media, and it remains a good biological media even after it's "full", because there are cracks and divots that are too big to collect the tiny particulates, but still provide extra surface area.
 
fishbum
  • #21
Sorry,sirdarksol,but nothing you've said actually shows much of anything either.It seems to me like a few of you in this forum have come up with a theory that activated carbon only works for a few hours,and that now you expect everyone to believe you.The fact that you said you want to try some "experiment"proves that this is a theory,and that like most people here,what you think and give as advice,may very well not be true.
 
angelfish220
  • #22
I have used carbon in some of my tanks.

I have stopped using carbon in some of my tanks.

Both tanks are healthy, and house healthy fish. I have stopped using carbon because of the cost. It didnt really work, but it didnt harm. I just don't have the money to spend on carbon.
 
Isabella
  • #23
LetDiceFly,

Actually, I have a heavily planted tank and use carbon all of the time. My plants flourish without the need for fertilizers or growing agents. So much so that I've had to thin them. I started with 3. I've split them up and used them to plant the rest of my tank and have given many to friends and relatives to use in their tanks.

Furthermore, I've never had disease, parasites or fungus in my tank. That's not to say I haven't had an occasional fish die, but I've never had to medicate my tank.

Sorry,sirdarksol,but nothing you've said actually shows much of anything either.It seems to me like a few of you in this forum have come up with a theory that activated carbon only works for a few hours,and that now you expect everyone to believe you.The fact that you said you want to try some "experiment"proves that this is a theory,and that like most people here,what you think and give as advice,may very well not be true.

LOL ... nobody came down with any "carbon" theory here. I don't know who said that "carbon only works for a few hours" but it's certainly not true. However, it's also untrue that it will work for the whole month before you change it again. From what I've learned from my readings, and I believe it's fairly safe to state, is that activated carbon works for only a week or two, after which time it becomes of no use. Furthermore, if you keep a bag of activated carbon in your filter for too long (I personally wouldn't leave an activated carbon bag in my filter for more than 4 weeks), it will eventually start leeching the toxins (which originally it was supposed to remove) back into the water column. This is something none of us would want as it would make our fish sick as well as disrupt the stability of water chemistry.

Now, with regards to keeping activated carbon in planted tanks. There are a lot of factors to consider here. Anybody can say, "Oh, I'm keeping a.c. in my planted tank and everything's OK with my plants". But, firstly, you need to take into account the following considerations: How heavily is your tank planted? Is the entire tank floor planted too? What kinds of plants do you have (i.e. low-, medium-, or high- light)? What kind of substrate and lighting do you have? What kind of filtration system do you have? What and how many filter media do you have in your filter? What kind of fish and how many fish do you have (i.e. the total bioload with respect to the amount of plants)? Are you injecting your tank with CO2? Et cetera ...

All of these factors combined - when you are or are not using activated carbon in your filter - will have different results for each individual fish keeper / planted tank hobbyist, depending on individual tank set-up characteristics. If you have just a few low-light plants, regular lighting, regular substrate, etc ... Having activated carbon in your filter probably won't do any harm to your plants, as low light plants do not metabolize fast and therefore do not need as many nutrients as higher-light plants would require. Now, if it were a heavily planted tank with more demanding plants, with higher lighting, nutrient-rich substrate, and perhaps with CO2 injections ... then in such case, I believe, activated carbon would in fact cause harm to plants. Because in such tanks nutrition for plants is very important (as they metabolize faster in such conditions), activated carbon would continue to be removing these nutrients from the water column - something not very desireable in a heavily planted tank.

So, as you can see, just because you say "I have a planted tank with activated carbon and my plants are fine", it doesn't show much of anything either. You have to be more specific and much more considerate of various factors involved here. And remember, not one planted tank is working out the same for every planted tank enthusiast.
 
fishbum
  • #24
Dino said carbon only lasts a few hours and sirdarksol agreed.This is a theory,as they have no information form any source to back this up.
Vin said carbon lasts 2 to 3 weeks and got this information from conversations with marine biologist,but still a theory.
Websters defenition of theory is:
1.a speculative plan
2.a formulation of underlying principals of certain observed phenomena that has been verfied to some degree
3.the principals of an art or science,rather than its practice
4.a conjecture or guess
My point is and was that all of these conversations dealing with carbon are theories at best,including Isabellas.Carbon has been used in aquarium filters for as long as people have been keeping fish in modern aquariums.If it is working for you,continue to use it.If you are not or have never used it,why start?
But it seems like just about everyone here insits that if you do use it and do not change it within 4 weeks,it will "leach out" everything that it has absorbed.Where are you all getting that information from?This is one thing I do not believe anyone who has said this has any proof of.
I have 6 tanks right now,some have carbon,some do not.My smaller tanks are the ones with carbon,and I can honestly say that in 2 of them,one is 10 gallons,the other 5 gallons,that I have literally gone for 5 months without changing the carbon,and none of the fish in either of these tanks have died or had any disease. Nor has there been any increase in ammonia,nitrite,or nitrate in these tanks,I test them at least once a week.
 
fishbum
  • #25
Another thing,
what works for one person with one aquarium may or may not work for someone else.Even if it is the same size tank,same filter,with the same fish and plants.No two aquariums are ever the same.
 
Shawnie
  • #26
I have found since being here on fishlore, that my overstocked tanks benefit from carbon..but I do change it every two weeks...but my other tanks, do great without it..all readings were great before the carbon and only thing I had issue with were nitrates on my overstocks....which is normal in an over stocked tank and the carbon has helped a lot with that...so I do use carbon and I don't use carbon LOL
 
Isabella
  • #27
My point is and was that all of these conversations dealing with carbon are theories at best,including Isabellas.Carbon has been used in aquarium filters for as long as people have been keeping fish in modern aquariums.If it is working for you,continue to use it.If you are not or have never used it,why start? ... But it seems like just about everyone here insits that if you do use it and do not change it within 4 weeks,it will "leach out" everything that it has absorbed.Where are you all getting that information from?This is one thing I do not believe anyone who has said this has any proof of
Fishbum, in case you haven't noticed, nowhere do I say "What I'm saying is right and my 'theory' is right". If you read carefully, my words include "I think", "I believe", or "According to my readings". All of these phrases in no way imply that I have some fixed theory and that I'm right. As I've said before, I don't have any "theories" as to carbon, but what I've said previously is based on my personal research (i.e. various readings and cumulative experiences/opinions of others). My opinion may be wrong, sure, I don't know that 100%. BUT that doesn't mean I can't at least try to give an advice that to the best of my conscience isn't misleading and will not cause harm to the fish of the fish keepers using my advice. That's the best I can do.

Now, there is always a "safety" measure a fish keeper can take. Firstly, we don't know 100% (or at least I don't know, since I am not a scientist who can examine activated carbon activity on a molecular level) whether the carbon's efficiency expires after a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Personally, I'd assume that the more toxins are in the water, the sooner the efficiency of a.c. runs out - so it would depend on how loaded with toxins one's tank water is. Now, since a.c. manufacturers recommend to change it about once a month, maybe there is a reason for it, don't you think? Don't you think they'd have to do a research on a molecular level to see how soon the efficiency of a.c. expires before actually selling a.c. to the masses? So, going back to the "safety" measure. Not being exactly sure when the efficiency runs out, it would never hurt anyone to take a precautionary step and change the a.c. BEFORE, rather than AFTER, its efficiency expires. We don't want to risk our fish dying of some toxic poisoning because we've kept the a.c. in our filters for too long as a result of which it leeched the toxins back to the tank. Therefore, it won't hurt to stay on the safe side. And that's my "theory" of the efficiency of activated carbon, Fishbum. And unless you can scientifically examine the activity of activated carbon on a molecular level, as well as the effects of it on tank water and fish health - also on a molecular level - and provide us all with a detailed and definitive report, I don't think you have a valid "theory" either, as none of us do.

Another thing,
what works for one person with one aquarium may or may not work for someone else.Even if it is the same size tank,same filter,with the same fish and plants.No two aquariums are ever the same.
That's exactly what I said and what I was trying to convey/make clear in my previous post - did you read it? And I definitely agree with it.
 
fishbum
  • #28
LOL ... nobody came down with any "carbon" theory here. I don't know who said that "carbon only works for a few hours" but it's certainly not true. However, it's also untrue that it will work for the whole month before you change it again. From what I've learned from my readings, and I believe it's fairly safe to state, is that activated carbon works for only a week or two, after which time it becomes of no use. Furthermore, if you keep a bag of activated carbon in your filter for too long (I personally wouldn't leave an activated carbon bag in my filter for more than 4 weeks), it will eventually start leeching the toxins (which originally it was supposed to remove) back into the water column. This is something none of us would want as it would make our fish sick as well as disrupt the stability of water chemistry.

Now, with regards to keeping activated carbon in planted tanks. There are a lot of factors to consider here. Anybody can say, "Oh, I'm keeping a.c. in my planted tank and everything's OK with my plants". But, firstly, you need to take into account the following considerations: How heavily is your tank planted? Is the entire tank floor planted too? What kinds of plants do you have (i.e. low-, medium-, or high- light)? What kind of substrate and lighting do you have? What kind of filtration system do you have? What and how many filter media do you have in your filter? What kind of fish and how many fish do you have (i.e. the total bioload with respect to the amount of plants)? Are you injecting your tank with CO2? Et cetera ...

All of these factors combined - when you are or are not using activated carbon in your filter - will have different results for each individual fish keeper / planted tank hobbyist, depending on individual tank set-up characteristics. If you have just a few low-light plants, regular lighting, regular substrate, etc ... Having activated carbon in your filter probably won't do any harm to your plants, as low light plants do not metabolize fast and therefore do not need as many nutrients as higher-light plants would require. Now, if it were a heavily planted tank with more demanding plants, with higher lighting, nutrient-rich substrate, and perhaps with CO2 injections ... then in such case, I believe, activated carbon would in fact cause harm to plants. Because in such tanks nutrition for plants is very important (as they metabolize faster in such conditions), activated carbon would continue to be removing these nutrients from the water column - something not very desireable in a heavily planted tank.

So, as you can see, just because you say "I have a planted tank with activated carbon and my plants are fine", it doesn't show much of anything either. You have to be more specific and much more considerate of various factors involved here. And remember, not one planted tank is working out the same for every planted tank enthusiast.

Isabella what offended me about this is you did say was"LOL...Nobody came down with any 'carbon'theory here." When Dino and Sirdarksol did,and said "carbon only has a function life of a few hours"We all have our own theories on carbon,and all aspects of this FUN hobby.But in your second post you say"Nowhere do I say'what I am saying is right and my 'Theory'is right".You are contradicting yourself.You like me and most of us here,have our own theories on many things in keeping fish.You also said in your first post"I don't know who said'carbon only works for a few hours'but it certainly not true.Well Dino and Sirdarksol said that.If you had read the first page of this thread,you would have seen who had said that,which I pointed out in my first post.
 
Isabella
  • #29
Isabella what offended me about this is you did say was"LOL...Nobody came down with any 'carbon'theory here." When Dino and Sirdarksol did,and said "carbon only has a function life of a few hours"We all have our own theories on carbon,and all aspects of this FUN hobby.But in your second post you say"Nowhere do I say'what I am saying is right and my 'Theory'is right".You are contradicting yourself.You like me and most of us here,have our own theories on many things in keeping fish.You also said in your first post"I don't know who said'carbon only works for a few hours'but it certainly not true.Well Dino and Sirdarksol said that.If you had read the first page of this thread,you would have seen who had said that,which I pointed out in my first post.

LOL ... Fishbum, I'm certainly not trying to offend you here, if that's what you think. Sorry if you're taking it this way. I'm merely expressing my opinions here - as you are as well - and you certainly don't have to like my opinion at all. You have the right to disagree with it .

To comment on your other points: I am not contradicting myself. It was you who said we all had some set "theory" here about activated carbon. Indeed I didn't read the beginning of the thread which is why I didn't see Dino and Sirdarksol say "Carbon only works for a few hours." However, the point is not whether I have read what they've said, BUT whether their claim is valid. Personally I do not agree with this claim, EXCEPT in two situations: (1) When one's tank is extremely loaded with toxins, and (2) When a.c. is used after some major tank re-decoration such as re-planting, changing of substrate, etc ... Maybe this is what they have meant.

Next, in what way am I contradicting myself, when I say: "Firstly, we don't know 100% (or at least I don't know, since I am not a scientist who can examine activated carbon activity on a molecular level) whether the carbon's efficiency expires after a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Personally, I'd assume that the more toxins are in the water, the sooner the efficiency of a.c. runs out - so it would depend on how loaded with toxins one's tank water is. Now, since a.c. manufacturers recommend to change it about once a month, maybe there is a reason for it, don't you think? Don't you think they'd have to do a research on a molecular level to see how soon the efficiency of a.c. expires before actually selling a.c. to the masses? So, going back to the "safety" measure. Not being exactly sure when the efficiency runs out, it would never hurt anyone to take a precautionary step and change the a.c. BEFORE, rather than AFTER, its efficiency expires. We don't want to risk our fish dying of some toxic poisoning because we've kept the a.c. in our filters for too long as a result of which it leeched the toxins back to the tank. Therefore, it won't hurt to stay on the safe side. And that's my "theory" of the efficiency of activated carbon, Fishbum." <--- If you mean this last sentence, you're certainly intelligent enough to see where I'm going here. What I mean here, is that no one really can say anything certain about the efficiency of a.c. UNLESS that person can scientifically test the activity of the carbon (on a molecular level) and present us all with valid results and proof, lol ... . I'm sorry but I have a feeling you're not reading all I'm saying.
 
fishbum
  • #30
LOL ... Fishbum, I'm certainly not trying to offend you here, if that's what you think. Sorry if you're taking it this way. I'm merely expressing my opinions here - as you are as well - and you certainly don't have to like my opinion at all. You have the right to disagree with it .

To comment on your other points: I am not contradicting myself. It was you who said we all had some set "theory" here about activated carbon. Indeed I didn't read the beginning of the thread which is why I didn't see Dino and Sirdarksol say "Carbon only works for a few hours." However, the point is not whether I have read what they've said, BUT whether their claim is valid. Personally I do not agree with this claim, EXCEPT in two situations: (1) When one's tank is extremely loaded with toxins, and (2) When a.c. is used after some major tank re-decoration such as re-planting, changing of substrate, etc ... Maybe this is what they have meant.

Next, in what way am I contradicting myself, when I say: "Firstly, we don't know 100% (or at least I don't know, since I am not a scientist who can examine activated carbon activity on a molecular level) whether the carbon's efficiency expires after a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Personally, I'd assume that the more toxins are in the water, the sooner the efficiency of a.c. runs out - so it would depend on how loaded with toxins one's tank water is. Now, since a.c. manufacturers recommend to change it about once a month, maybe there is a reason for it, don't you think? Don't you think they'd have to do a research on a molecular level to see how soon the efficiency of a.c. expires before actually selling a.c. to the masses? So, going back to the "safety" measure. Not being exactly sure when the efficiency runs out, it would never hurt anyone to take a precautionary step and change the a.c. BEFORE, rather than AFTER, its efficiency expires. We don't want to risk our fish dying of some toxic poisoning because we've kept the a.c. in our filters for too long as a result of which it leeched the toxins back to the tank. Therefore, it won't hurt to stay on the safe side. And that's my "theory" of the efficiency of activated carbon, Fishbum." <--- If you mean this last sentence, you're certainly intelligent enough to see where I'm going here. What I mean here, is that no one really can say anything certain about the efficiency of a.c. UNLESS that person can scientifically test the activity of the carbon (on a molecular level) and present us all with valid results and proof, lol ... . I'm sorry but I have a feeling you're not reading all I'm saying.

You contradicated yourself when you said nobody came down with a carbon theory here.People here inlcuding myself,and yourself have theories on carbon and many other things in keeping fish.
 
fishbum
  • #31
I have also NOT examined carbon on any kind of molecular level.I work in a warehouse not a laboratory.I have only stated my experience with carbon,and that my experience contradictes many peoples,including the manufactures recomendations in when to change it.
Cheers to you Isabella,you made my evening interesting,and thoughtfull

P.S.Starting out a post with LOL,can and does offend people,and can start a conversation out on the wrong track,even if that is not what you intended to do.
 
Shawnie
  • #32
my question is, I'm wondering if randrjax is even following this thread ?
 
fishbum
  • #33
my question is, I'm wondering if randrjax is even following this thread ?

Probably not anymore,I kinda got it off subject a little,sorry to all,especially randjax
 
fishbum
  • #34
Fishbum, in case you haven't noticed, nowhere do I say "What I'm saying is right and my 'theory' is right". If you read carefully, my words include "I think", "I believe", or "According to my readings". All of these phrases in no way imply that I have some fixed theory and that I'm right. As I've said before, I don't have any "theories" as to carbon, but what I've said previously is based on my personal research (i.e. various readings and cumulative experiences/opinions of others). My opinion may be wrong, sure, I don't know that 100%. BUT that doesn't mean I can't at least try to give an advice that to the best of my conscience isn't misleading and will not cause harm to the fish of the fish keepers using my advice. That's the best I can do.

Now, there is always a "safety" measure a fish keeper can take. Firstly, we don't know 100% (or at least I don't know, since I am not a scientist who can examine activated carbon activity on a molecular level) whether the carbon's efficiency expires after a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Personally, I'd assume that the more toxins are in the water, the sooner the efficiency of a.c. runs out - so it would depend on how loaded with toxins one's tank water is. Now, since a.c. manufacturers recommend to change it about once a month, maybe there is a reason for it, don't you think? Don't you think they'd have to do a research on a molecular level to see how soon the efficiency of a.c. expires before actually selling a.c. to the masses? So, going back to the "safety" measure. Not being exactly sure when the efficiency runs out, it would never hurt anyone to take a precautionary step and change the a.c. BEFORE, rather than AFTER, its efficiency expires. We don't want to risk our fish dying of some toxic poisoning because we've kept the a.c. in our filters for too long as a result of which it leeched the toxins back to the tank. Therefore, it won't hurt to stay on the safe side. And that's my "theory" of the efficiency of activated carbon, Fishbum. And unless you can scientifically examine the activity of activated carbon on a molecular level, as well as the effects of it on tank water and fish health - also on a molecular level - and provide us all with a detailed and definitive report, I don't think you have a valid "theory" either, as none of us do.


That's exactly what I said and what I was trying to convey/make clear in my previous post - did you read it? And I definitely agree with it.

When did I suggest that you thought you theory was right??
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #35
The forums on the plant sites I go to all seem to think carbon is bad and purigen is good. I am trying it out, but I find it doubtful that it leaves beneficial nutrients alone and takes out the bad stuff.
 
angelfish220
  • #36
I just don't understand why everyone it taking this to heart. Its like me telling you that Jelly on toast is better than peanut butter. Its a personal preferance.

(and by the way I like Jelly and Peanut Butter on my toast )
 
COBettaCouple
  • #37
Well, given Dino's degree and experience in fish keeping, I'd go with his information. Carbon has been studied and tested in the scientific field.

But, running AC all the time in a filter is really an unnecessary step. It does dump what it captured back into the water and can be replaced with more efficient and neutral media, as SDS pointed out.

We've been running without carbon since last August, and our tanks have been healthier without it than they were with it. Plus, I'm saving money on buying AC over & over and time changing it out weekly.

Everyone is free to chose how/if/when they use carbon as we're each responsible for the aquatic life in our care.

Oh.. and I'm so offended about jelly on toast!
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #38
If you are talking "science" then most of those Webster definitions don't apply except maybe the second one. What you are actually throwing out are hypothesizes. A theory is a hypothesis that has gone through rigorous controlled testing and no one has been able to prove false. My hypothesis is that carbon works for about a week and is essentially inert for the rest of a month than starts feeding pollutants back into the tank. But it has been shown to remove the nutrients that people put into their tank to grow plants. This is a test that is easily verifiable.
 
sirdarksol
  • #39
Sorry,sirdarksol,but nothing you've said actually shows much of anything either.It seems to me like a few of you in this forum have come up with a theory that activated carbon only works for a few hours,and that now you expect everyone to believe you.The fact that you said you want to try some "experiment"proves that this is a theory,and that like most people here,what you think and give as advice,may very well not be true.

There is a difference, however.
I am responding to specific notes regarding your theory with knowledge of my own, based on an understanding of science, the amount of carbon we're putting in our filters, etc.
The responses that were given were "this person and that person said that carbon lasts longer."
This is why I responded the way I did.
Anyway, as I said, I will be doing an experiment to test this, as I'm curious about the potential results.
 
vin
  • #40
Sirdarksol - Please take no offense - So if I haven't said much - then what is it that you've said? I gave you information that has been given to me by a person who actually studied Marine Bio, is a Marine Biologist and that's not good enough? To dismiss it as 'just doing what they've been doing' is a little off base don't you think? They obviously do it for a reason and the reasons I've provided are based on that same information. If it didn't do anything, they wouldn't use it, know?

Something else for you to chew on - Those who employ water filters in their homes whose main water supply is from an underground well filter more than just "impurities in tapwater".....Those "impurities" come from all sources such as decayed plant matter, disolved minerals, heavy metals and such, much in the same way the filters in the aquarium do....The reason the carbon is added to your aquarium is to filter away these same impurities. Which is exactly another reason why they tell you to add fresh carbon when removing meds and to remove it altogether when treating illness.

And I wish I could find the article that I found a while back...It would answer a lot of your questions.....And not for nothing, but If I'm unsure about something, I usually ask the expert.....Sorry, I just don't like being dismissed like I felt I was.....
 

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