Question To Carbon or not to Carbon this is the ????

Fish Monster

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I pretty sure activated carbon is fine as long as you change it regularly, there is always the problem of leching contaminates into the tank with old carbon thats why you need to change it. I change my carbon evry three weeks which is half the time of 4-6 weeks recomended by the mfg. So from my understanding carbon can be a bad thing on any tank if it is not changed often but I would think as long as you are changing it on a regular basis like I do once evry three weeks you should be good. I am not an expert on Discus but I never heard not to use it before now that is. If you do not use AC then what keeps the tank from smelling or geting that yellow tinge that the AC is suppose to get rid of in other words what is the substition and if there is none dose anyone run into rpoblems of yellow tank and smelly for those of you who do not use the AC is there any draw backs from not using it?
 
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Fish Monster

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What about any fishy smells or yellow tinges in the water, and what do you use for filtration then? any sugestions as to what to put into a canister filter? I have three trays in mine.
 
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Fish Monster

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Ok cool I could do that I just was under the impresion you know you gotta use the activated carbon and blah blah well if it serves no benefit to my discus maybe Ill just add for floss and ceramic rings for bio filtration, use whats left of the carbon and after that stop buying it and see how it goes. Maybe doing frequesnt water changes would eliminate the need for it anyway you know how can it get yellow or smell if we are always doing water changes with our Discus rite? make sense to me.
 

Meenu

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I don't have discus, though. I choose not to add AC, but I am pretty uptight about my maintenace schedule.
 

Shawnie

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im the opposite I do use carbon..its just money I choose to spend as part of the hobby .....and I use it mostly because my tanks are overstocked and it helps that issue of not having to do every other day water changes......I still do weekly water changes though
 

dvc_r

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My two cents...:

In my 75 gal Discus tank, I have done both; for the first 6-8 months I had one tray (of my rena xp3 canister filter) containing Filstar's Bio Chem Zorb which uses active carbon, but after reading countless articles I decided to take it out. I haven't had any carbon for the last year and I do not notice a difference.
As a matter of fact I kind of like that slight natural "dirt" smell that the tanks give off!

Two more cents :
...on the other hand, my other 5 tanks still use Whisper Bio bags on the HOB filters. Since I make my own (to save money) sometimes I leave out the carbon but most of the time I fill up the prepackaged carbon into the media.
 
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Fish Monster

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Ok good information here so I think I will use the rest of what I have then I will not buy any more and just keep up with my water changes 40% sx a week is what I am doing rite now. Thanks for all the helpful feed back.
 
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Fish Monster

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I am almost sacred to use it now, I mean I still will for my 30 gallon community tank but with all the things I have read about on the forum in regards to Discus fish and a possible link to Hole in The Head in connection to using activated carbon makes me worried. To tell you the truth I would like to keep using it as I have always used carbon for over two years now and I really do not want to top. But some keep saying that while there is no proof or scientific proof that is there could be a link **** HTH with Discus and AC but I just figured that was because people were not changing it on a regular basis. I change mine often like half the time the package says it can be in. For instance on the Discus tank the AC says it can stay in for about 4 -5 weeks and I change mine after 3 weeks. But with all the water changes I am doing you would think it would eliminate any leech back any way or maybe eliminate the nned for the carbon. Man I ust do not know what to do here I would like to keep using it but I want to do the best thing for these for special and expensive fish, I only had mine for a week now and I am already attached to him/her what to do what to do????
 

Slug

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I only use carbon if i'm treating the tank with meds or polishing the water, and even then a water change polishes just as good.
 

funkman262

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Have you read any scientific proof that the activated carbon actually leeches after excessive use? From what I understand about it, it takes extremely high temperatures in order to remove whatever has been adsorbed to the carbon.
 

Meenu

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Have you read any scientific proof that the activated carbon actually leeches after excessive use? From what I understand about it, it takes extremely high temperatures in order to remove whatever has been adsorbed to the carbon.
Harpua told me that the leeching thing is a myth. I think she said that once the carbon is no longer able to absorb any more impurites, it basically becomes like your other media. However, if you want to use the carbon for its intended purpose, you should still change it every 3 weeks.
 

funkman262

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If anyone has read an article about carbon leeching in an aquarium or any other bad aspects for it, please post it here. Otherwise, Fish Monster, I don't see any reason for you to discontinue using the activated carbon. Although, if for some reason you're just scared to use it and don't want to risk hurting your fish, that's completely understandable and you should just do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
 
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Fish Monster

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If anyone has read an article about carbon leeching in an aquarium or any other bad aspects for it, please post it here. Otherwise, Fish Monster, I don't see any reason for you to discontinue using the activated carbon. Although, if for some reason you're just scared to use it and don't want to risk hurting your fish, that's completely understandable and you should just do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Thank you Funkman O0 I like your sugestion I have been using carbon from the begining of my aqurium hobby and if fir no other reason I think I will keep using it out of habit. I just started doing this every three weeks changing the carbon ever sense I started my first aqurium over two years ago and now it just seems common place for me to use it. I would have a hard time going with out it I think and I feel comfortable using it on my Discus tank as long as I stick to the changing of the carbon once every three weeks. On one last note it is nice to know that if I run out for some reason its not going to hurt my Discus to go with out it for a little while.

I am one of those guys who will shave about two weeks or more off of the sugested use from the MFG and that goes for the filter floss as well, the only thing I keep in there and never change but clean with aqurium water every so often is the BIO sponge and the ceramic ring that support my live bacteria.

Again thank you folks who have answered my questions you all have been helpful in helping me determine what is best, in the end I suppose I am the only one who really can decide whats best for me and my aquirum but your feed back has been very helpfulo in helping me to decide.

I love this forum and I will be using this site as a tool in order to keep my Discus fish healthy and to share the love of the hobby and this fish for years to come thank you all!
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

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. I have 4 filters on my 265g and I only use it in 1 of them. 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

My tanks are crystal clear!
 
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Fish Monster

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Well I think you sumed this up perfectly, you are absolutely correct it comes down to personal choice. I think for me my choice is to keep using it, I think the benefits from using it out weigth the potential negitives like leaching contaminets back into the tank which at this point is just hear say and not actually proven to be the case. The big thing is changing it to keep it efective for your tank, and it seems for those of us who do use it the 3 week mark seems to be the time we feel its time for it to be changed. I also think that you are correct in that over time it would just loose its efectivness and basically do nothing for your tank. I would like to add that for as long back as I can remember AC has been around for years and years and has been the main stapel in chemical filtration on many tanks, why stop using something that works and the proof that it has benefits like eliminating odor helping to keep your tank clear and removing contaminets all proven facts certainly is a strong argument when you consider there has only been one possible draw back and this has not been proven. So in the end yes it is personal choice but really think about it, its in evry pet shop across America and I am willing to bet its in about 90 - 95% of our tanks I am not going to try and fix whats not brake so I think I will keep on using it and for those who do not thats fine to its whatever works for you and whatever you are comfortable with doing.
Good words Aquarist48! thanks for the summary!
 
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