Using Carbon In Filters

Sharkesse

Just a little advice and discussion one, if possible.

I have never ever used carbon in my filter before, my dad has recently started using it with his and it seems to keep his tank nice and balanced. We use water from the same source and both tanks are in the same house (just different rooms) and his nitrates are always less than mine, I suppose it could also be contributing to the fact that we have different substrate (I have thicker gravel, he has sand) and bottom-feeders (I have my pleco and my Algae Eater and he has a big 12/13 school of assorted corys) but I like to think the carbon has a hand in it too.

We had to move my tank today to make space for my new one which arrives next week and I had to remove water so we could make it lighter to move. During the top-up, I removed the filter into a bucket (a big flexi-tub bucket we picked up at a DIY shop, best money I ever spent!) emptied a good half of tank water into it and went to town emptying and cleaning in that bucket, all with the original tank water and bacteria. My dad suggested I try carbon this time around, so it was filled in a bag, swished in the old water and set in the basket on top of the media (Fluval 205 filter) and the entire thing was filled back to the brI'm with the original water it had been sitting in, in my mind, to keep that colony going.

Long story short, fresh tank and happy fish! I was just wondering what carbon is like as I've never used it before. I know I will have to remove it in the case of medicating my tank, but I'm trying to get into a routine of removing any sick fish into the QT to treat them. Other than that, I don't know much about it. Has anyone used it before? Do you swear by it, or is it just one of those additional things? Does it ever cause issues? I'll be testing my water tomorrow anyway just to be safe as I'm a little behind on my water testing schedule.
 

NavyChief20

Just a little advice and discussion one, if possible.

I have never ever used carbon in my filter before, my dad has recently started using it with his and it seems to keep his tank nice and balanced. We use water from the same source and both tanks are in the same house (just different rooms) and his nitrates are always less than mine, I suppose it could also be contributing to the fact that we have different substrate (I have thicker gravel, he has sand) and bottom-feeders (I have my pleco and my Algae Eater and he has a big 12/13 school of assorted corys) but I like to think the carbon has a hand in it too.

We had to move my tank today to make space for my new one which arrives next week and I had to remove water so we could make it lighter to move. During the top-up, I removed the filter into a bucket (a big flexi-tub bucket we picked up at a DIY shop, best money I ever spent!) emptied a good half of tank water into it and went to town emptying and cleaning in that bucket, all with the original tank water and bacteria. My dad suggested I try carbon this time around, so it was filled in a bag, swished in the old water and set in the basket on top of the media (Fluval 205 filter) and the entire thing was filled back to the brI'm with the original water it had been sitting in, in my mind, to keep that colony going.

Long story short, fresh tank and happy fish! I was just wondering what carbon is like as I've never used it before. I know I will have to remove it in the case of medicating my tank, but I'm trying to get into a routine of removing any sick fish into the QT to treat them. Other than that, I don't know much about it. Has anyone used it before? Do you swear by it, or is it just one of those additional things? Does it ever cause issues? I'll be testing my water tomorrow anyway just to be safe as I'm a little behind on my water testing schedule.
Carbon has zero effect on the nitrogen cycle.
 

TheBettaSushi

Just a little advice and discussion one, if possible.

I have never ever used carbon in my filter before, my dad has recently started using it with his and it seems to keep his tank nice and balanced. We use water from the same source and both tanks are in the same house (just different rooms) and his nitrates are always less than mine, I suppose it could also be contributing to the fact that we have different substrate (I have thicker gravel, he has sand) and bottom-feeders (I have my pleco and my Algae Eater and he has a big 12/13 school of assorted corys) but I like to think the carbon has a hand in it too.

We had to move my tank today to make space for my new one which arrives next week and I had to remove water so we could make it lighter to move. During the top-up, I removed the filter into a bucket (a big flexi-tub bucket we picked up at a DIY shop, best money I ever spent!) emptied a good half of tank water into it and went to town emptying and cleaning in that bucket, all with the original tank water and bacteria. My dad suggested I try carbon this time around, so it was filled in a bag, swished in the old water and set in the basket on top of the media (Fluval 205 filter) and the entire thing was filled back to the brI'm with the original water it had been sitting in, in my mind, to keep that colony going.

Long story short, fresh tank and happy fish! I was just wondering what carbon is like as I've never used it before. I know I will have to remove it in the case of medicating my tank, but I'm trying to get into a routine of removing any sick fish into the QT to treat them. Other than that, I don't know much about it. Has anyone used it before? Do you swear by it, or is it just one of those additional things? Does it ever cause issues? I'll be testing my water tomorrow anyway just to be safe as I'm a little behind on my water testing schedule.
I use it and it keeps my water crystal clear. It’s basically used to remove organic and inorganic materials that are dissolved in your water. It also helps to keep odors at bay. You have to change it once a month for it to continue to work. Not sure how true this is, but some people state that when carbon is no longer effective, it could leach those materials back into the water. It also helps to remove leftover medications in your tank. Some also suggest to not use carbon if you’re dosing your tank with plant ferts.
 

Sharkesse

Ta very much! I like the appeal of it keeping the water clear as I've noticed mine has been going somewhat cloudy lately, or has bits of plant fibres floating about the place.

Some also suggest to not use carbon if you’re dosing your tank with plant ferts.

Ah, I'm currently using a liquid fert for my plants. Hopefully that won't be too much of an issue. I only add it once a week.

To be fair, some of them are dying off regardless and I think it's just the way it is (my amazon sword especially) as my others are thriving.
 

NavyChief20

I use it and it keeps my water crystal clear. It’s basically used to remove organic and inorganic materials that are dissolved in your water. It also helps to keep odors at bay. You have to change it once a month for it to continue to work. Not sure how true this is, but some people state that when carbon is no longer effective, it could leach those materials back into the water. It also helps to remove leftover medications in your tank. Some also suggest to not use carbon if you’re dosing your tank with plant ferts.
There exists a possibility that it can leech chemicals backnto the water yes that's true. Carbon does the following:
Removes medication
Removes phenols (smell)
Removes organic solids (keeps your TDS down)
Removes Tannins (color from drift wood)

It does nothing else. It does have a limited lifetime and there are people who say "just reactivate it in your oven". The problem here is that most peoples oven doesn't operate between 400 and 900 degrees Celsius.
 

Sharkesse

Lol! "In the oven" really? That feels like one of those old "charge your iPhone in the microwave." pieces of advice
 

david1978

I use it every once in awhile. Do I notice a difference? Not really.
 

NavyChief20

Lol! "In the oven" really? That feels like one of those old "charge your iPhone in the microwave." pieces of advice
Oddly people think it works. I assure you it can not possibly work. You can use a forge to do it but not an oven.
 

Islandvic

Buying carbon in bulk along with a re-usable media bag is the most effective way to use in.
 

TheBettaSushi

Ta very much! I like the appeal of it keeping the water clear as I've noticed mine has been going somewhat cloudy lately, or has bits of plant fibres floating about the place.



Ah, I'm currently using a liquid fert for my plants. Hopefully that won't be too much of an issue. I only add it once a week.

To be fair, some of them are dying off regardless and I think it's just the way it is (my amazon sword especially) as my others are thriving.
In my opinion, it would be pointless to dose ferts with carbon in your filter. The carbon will just take the fert out leaving nothing for your plants. I wouldn’t use carbon while dosing ferts but that’s just me.
 

DuaneV

You really only need to use carbon if you're trying to remove something from the water. There are also recent studies that link the use of carbon to hole in the head disease.

Personally, I stopped using carbon around 1996 and haven't ever once thought I needed to go back to it.
 
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BRP

In my opinion, it would be pointless to dose ferts with carbon in your filter. The carbon will just take the fert out leaving nothing for your plants. I wouldn’t use carbon while dosing ferts but that’s just me.

Exactly, this is especially true for chelated trace minerals like iron.
No use for carbon in a planted tank except for removing medications.
 

windrunner9189

good to learn something new!! i've been using carbon + ferts for a while.. whoops!

I also kept the old carbon cartridge in there with probably a portion of BB on it. swished it "clean" in tank water today. though the carbon is absolutely dead I haven't gotten rid of it in fear of losing the BB.

if it moves the thread along, what can be used instead of carbon? any better filter media alternatives?

I will get rid of the carbon asap (just added a new but small cartridge) as soon as I get some sort of new media. i'm thinking of just ceramic biorings and poly fill. seems like those work well.
 

Jerome O'Neil

I keep a small submersible filter around to load with carbon if I'm medicating a tank or removing tannins from drift wood. It's convenient for that as I don't have to disrupt my main filters.

But as others have noted, it's not going to do anything at all for your nitrates.
 

TheBettaSushi

good to learn something new!! i've been using carbon + ferts for a while.. whoops!

I also kept the old carbon cartridge in there with probably a portion of BB on it. swished it "clean" in tank water today. though the carbon is absolutely dead I haven't gotten rid of it in fear of losing the BB.

if it moves the thread along, what can be used instead of carbon? any better filter media alternatives?

I will get rid of the carbon asap (just added a new but small cartridge) as soon as I get some sort of new media. i'm thinking of just ceramic biorings and poly fill. seems like those work well.
I would use another filter sponge or bio media (the ceramic beads) to replace lost bb if you believe that your carbon has bb in it. You can use the extra sponge or media later down to road to cycle another tank too once bb has colonized on it.

In regards to using carbon to clean out water and make it clear, regular water changes will do the trick.
 

NavyChief20

good to learn something new!! i've been using carbon + ferts for a while.. whoops!

I also kept the old carbon cartridge in there with probably a portion of BB on it. swished it "clean" in tank water today. though the carbon is absolutely dead I haven't gotten rid of it in fear of losing the BB.

if it moves the thread along, what can be used instead of carbon? any better filter media alternatives?

I will get rid of the carbon asap (just added a new but small cartridge) as soon as I get some sort of new media. i'm thinking of just ceramic biorings and poly fill. seems like those work well.
So in lieu of carbon for a clarifier, you can use some poly fill pillow floss. You can buybit from the pet store and waste money or get it from walmart, Joanne's, michaels, or really any craft store and save money.

Not sure what kind of filter you are using but it can be adapted to any style. It will act as a polisher which is what most people actually use carbon for. Carbon will hold BB however, there are much better mediums for housing your BB colony. Carbon is a HUGE gimmick of the aquarium industry. It does have a use, but the benefit is minimal in every application really other than medication or tannin removal.
 

windrunner9189

I would use another filter sponge or bio media (the ceramic beads) to replace lost bb if you believe that your carbon has bb in it. You can use the extra sponge or media later down to road to cycle another tank too once bb has colonized on it.

In regards to using carbon to clean out water and make it clear, regular water changes will do the trick.

So in lieu of carbon for a clarifier, you can use some poly fill pillow floss. You can buybit from the pet store and waste money or get it from walmart, Joanne's, michaels, or really any craft store and save money.

Not sure what kind of filter you are using but it can be adapted to any style. It will act as a polisher which is what most people actually use carbon for. Carbon will hold BB however, there are much better mediums for housing your BB colony. Carbon is a HUGE gimmick of the aquarium industry. It does have a use, but the benefit is minimal in every application really other than medication or tannin removal.
it's just a simple old aqueon HOB. not much room inside to put media in but I can maneuver around that I hope.
I gotcha, so either ceramic rings or another sponge, and then some poly fil. and I assume you change out the poly fil and wash the rings or sponge in some tank water as filter maintenance every month? I actually haven't cleaned my sponge yet. what's the most efficient way to do that other than what I mentioned?

yes, I see it really is a gimmick. I never really focused on filtration too much during setting up and cycling my tank. I previously thought that with a smaller tank it shouldn't matter too much. thankfully, I have a sponge already in there so I bet the most BB lives on there. though i've had that cartridge in there for so long I bet it has some on there, too.
I think what ill do is set the new media in there (once I get it) and set it in front of the old media. after a month/weeks or so I'll remove that cartridge and closely monitor the water.
 

Jerome O'Neil

I previously thought that with a smaller tank it shouldn't matter too much.

Water chemistry can change a lot quicker in smaller volumes of water. That's one of the reasons I'd much rather manage a big tank than a little one. It's actually easier.
 

NavyChief20

it's just a simple old aqueon HOB. not much room inside to put media in but I can maneuver around that I hope.
I gotcha, so either ceramic rings or another sponge, and then some poly fil. and I assume you change out the poly fil and wash the rings or sponge in some tank water as filter maintenance every month? I actually haven't cleaned my sponge yet. what's the most efficient way to do that other than what I mentioned?

yes, I see it really is a gimmick. I never really focused on filtration too much during setting up and cycling my tank. I previously thought that with a smaller tank it shouldn't matter too much. thankfully, I have a sponge already in there so I bet the most BB lives on there. though i've had that cartridge in there for so long I bet it has some on there, too.
I think what ill do is set the new media in there (once I get it) and set it in front of the old media. after a month/weeks or so I'll remove that cartridge and closely monitor the water.
As far as maintenance goes:

Once a month or so toss the poly fill.
The ceramic you can swish in tank water if needed maybe every months. I only have 1 operating HOB and that's on my quarantine tank. The only thing I do to it is change the polyfill when it needs it (monthly or every 2 months). The media I have in it is lava rock which never needs rinsing or cleaning ever.

My other filters are all sumps with lava rock and polyfill and some aerobic bacteria traps and algae scrubbers.

Water chemistry can change a lot quicker in smaller volumes of water. That's one of the reasons I'd much rather manage a big tank than a little one. It's actually easier.
This is absolutely correct. Smaller tanks you must be more strict with your chemistry plan. Things can go awry very quickly.
 
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windrunner9189

Water chemistry can change a lot quicker in smaller volumes of water. That's one of the reasons I'd much rather manage a big tank than a little one. It's actually easier.
yep, exactly. it's 20 gallons, which to some people is big but it's really not. I just didn't take mechanical filtration into much consideration and just focused more on establishing a strong colony of BB. which is important, but I think now that mechanical filtration and using something other than carbon on the daily should be taken into my account
As far as maintenance goes:

Once a month or so toss the poly fill.
The ceramic you can swish in tank water if needed maybe every months. I only have 1 operating HOB and that's on my quarantine tank. The only thing I do to it is change the polyfill when it needs it (monthly or every 2 months). The media I have in it is lava rock which never needs rinsing or cleaning ever.

My other filters are all sumps with lava rock and polyfill and some aerobic bacteria traps and algae scrubbers.
sounds like a plan to me. I'll get onto it when I get some funds.
 
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TheBettaSushi

This is absolutely correct. Smaller tanks you must be more strict with your chemistry plan. Things can go awry very quickly.
I have a 6 gallon stock fluval hob with a sponge two media bags and carbon (getting rid of soon to start concentrated ferts) and I’ve never really had issues. However I do pwc religiously every Sunday. As long as you keep up with the water changes, it’s not hard to manage. I’ve also gone over a week a few times without changes and nothing changed considerably except for my nitrates rising from 10 to 20ppm.

it's just a simple old aqueon HOB. not much room inside to put media in but I can maneuver around that I hope.
I gotcha, so either ceramic rings or another sponge, and then some poly fil. and I assume you change out the poly fil and wash the rings or sponge in some tank water as filter maintenance every month? I actually haven't cleaned my sponge yet. what's the most efficient way to do that other than what I mentioned?

yes, I see it really is a gimmick. I never really focused on filtration too much during setting up and cycling my tank. I previously thought that with a smaller tank it shouldn't matter too much. thankfully, I have a sponge already in there so I bet the most BB lives on there. though i've had that cartridge in there for so long I bet it has some on there, too.
I think what ill do is set the new media in there (once I get it) and set it in front of the old media. after a month/weeks or so I'll remove that cartridge and closely monitor the water.
I wouldn’t wash the sponge or the bio rings. I’d swirl them in old tank water and give the sponge a light squeeze and put them back in. I usually do this during every other water change. I would replace poly fill every month if I had it in my tank. People swear by it so I might pick it up when I start using niclog thrive fert and use it to keep my water clear.

Water chemistry can change a lot quicker in smaller volumes of water. That's one of the reasons I'd much rather manage a big tank than a little one. It's actually easier.
I have a 6 gallon and it’s not that difficult to keep in regards to stability. Regular weekly water changes keep my tank balanced.

Lol! "In the oven" really? That feels like one of those old "charge your iPhone in the microwave." pieces of advice
It sounds like the “throw rocks in boiling water” suggestion... some claI'm that they will explode. I’ve never tried so I wouldn’t know lol
 
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NavyChief20

It sounds like the “throw rocks in boiling water” suggestion... some claI'm that they will explode. I’ve never tried so I wouldn’t know lol
I can tell you that some rocks actually will explode from that. It is an exercise in physics.
 

TheBettaSushi

I can tell you that some rocks actually will explode from that. It is an exercise in physics.
Ha! I would never even think twice about throwing rocks in boiling water. I just find it ridiculous when people tell you to do something like that. I’ve always scrubbed, rinsed and soaked all my rocks. However I have boiled driftwood and wish I never did because that white fuzzy fungus stuff grows like crazy on it. Apparently even driftwood has its own cycling process when introduced in the tank. You learn something new every day with this hobby. That’s for sure.
 

NavyChief20

Ha! I would never even think twice about throwing rocks in boiling water. I just find it ridiculous when people tell you to do something like that. I’ve always scrubbed, rinsed and soaked all my rocks. However I have boiled driftwood and wish I never did because that white fuzzy fungus stuff grows like crazy on it. Apparently even driftwood has its own cycling process when introduced in the tank. You learn something new every day with this hobby. That’s for sure.
Boiling drift wood is a process to accelerate the leaching out of tannins. It works but you can just soak it in a tub for a few weeks and do water changes. Boiling rocks to rid them of impurities always makes me snicker. All you have to do with rocks is clean n scrub them. Easy day.
 

TheBettaSushi

Boiling drift wood is a process to accelerate the leaching out of tannins. It works but you can just soak it in a tub for a few weeks and do water changes. Boiling rocks to rid them of impurities always makes me snicker. All you have to do with rocks is clean n scrub them. Easy day.
That’s pretty much the only reason why I boiled driftwood. I soaked them for weeks too. As far as my Ohko rocks, I had to clean them out for days before putting them in the tank. Never had issues though so I guess I did it right (minus the white fuzz that’s on my manzanita).
 

Kevin Dennis

I wouldn't leave polyfill in for a month. After a week my polyfill is black.
 

TheBettaSushi

I wouldn't leave polyfill in for a month. After a week my polyfill is black.
Guess it depends on the fish you keep and your bioload/tank size. I guess if it gets dirty, change it. I’ve never used it so I wouldn’t know
 

NavyChief20

Guess it depends on the fish you keep and your bioload/tank size. I guess if it gets dirty, change it. I’ve never used it so I wouldn’t know
I exclusively keep cichlids. I can go a month and there's not too many fish that are messier. Granted I don't use HOBs.
 

Sharkesse

This is amazingly helpful! I appreciate everyone's responses and some good discussion in here!

I was tempted to change my filter media but was told not to because it houses my entire colony. I currently have the 3 stack shelves in the filter, 2 which contain some "alpha grog" (I think my dad called it, looks like white rock pieces), and 1 which has some thick cylindrical media (I compare them to cereal pieces or animal feed) not sure on those technical terms though, lol. And those have been in there since the tank was first set up, never been changed in 3+ years. It also has a basket on the top which holds a filter sponge (white material) and then 4 big sponges on the other vertical side. So instead of the little sponge, it is now a carbon bag in that basket (though I have managed to squeeze it in some spare space to keep bacteria on it in case of emergency)

I've been treating my tank excessively since I seem to keep getting ich outbreaks so putting the carbon in to remove any residual meds might be nice, also for removing excess particles from the water as I've noticed my water getting a little cloudy. But I'll remove it a couple of weeks down the line so I can start putting my ferts back in.

I had no idea about the link to "hole in the head disease" ****. I'll be vigilant and mention that to my dad, just in case.

Thanks for the information! <3
 
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BRP

2 which contain some "alpha grog" (I think my dad called it, looks like white rock pieces), and 1 which has some thick cylindrical media (I compare them to cereal pieces or animal feed) not sure on those technical terms though, lol

You don't have to replace the cylindrical and rock pieces unless they fall apart. Give them a quick rinse in tank water, that's all.

If you want to change your filter media, that can be done. But don't change entire shelves at the same time. Replace small amounts and you probable are fine.

Wat kind of filter are you running?
 

Sharkesse

You don't have to replace the cylindrical and rock pieces unless they fall apart. Give them a quick rinse in tank water, that's all.

If you want to change your filter media, that can be done. But don't change entire shelves at the same time. Replace small amounts and you probable are fine.

Wat kind of filter are you running?

Oh, nice. I did swish them in tank water, good to know!

I'm not too well versed in the technical but it's a Fluval 205, external. Actually nice and easy for me to understand and use, and I'll be upgrading to a 305 so it will probably be similar in layout, just larger.
 

NavyChief20

So you are using a canister filter. The polyfill you want to use is the exact same style I use then. Its actually called batting. It is a rolled sheet for use inside quilts. Look at a sewing or craft store. Works wonders and a bag will last you several months and only cost maybe $10
 

grump299

In a fluvel filter the water comes in and down one side to bottom then up through media so the sponge you have in the top basket should be in the bottom basket to get the best results from it then filter floss and bio rings and bio media in the rest and carbon if you choose to use it can go in the top on.
 

BRP

Oh, nice. I did swish them in tank water, good to know!
Ah swish is the correct word for it, I used rinse. Obviously not a native speaker
 

Samanthaljay

I just changed my carbon yesterday actually. I mistakenly ordered 6 from Amazon when I thought I was ordering 1 replacement (woops) so I have a bit of a stockpile that I am working my way through but once they are done I wasn't planning on incorporating it anymore and just using the extra space for alternate media. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments/opinions on the topic, thanks for the post
 

TheBettaSushi

Not to hijack this thread but since poly-fil has been mentioned, I would like to start using it once my ThriveC arrives so I can ditch the carbon. However, I did some research and found that only a certain type of poly-fil should be used. One that doesn’t contain a fire retardant or isn’t resin treated. The only one should be used is the one labeled “pure” and is free of chemicals. Can anyone chime in on this? Which poly-fil should be used for best results? If you can link the item, that would also be very helpful.
 

grump299

Yes you are right you want poly fill that is pure free of any chemicals I can't say where to pay it cause I only buy mine at big als aquarium it's still pretty cheap.
 

windrunner9189

However, I did some research and found that only a certain type of poly-fil should be used. One that doesn’t contain a fire retardant or isn’t resin treated. The only one should be used is the one labeled “pure” and is free of chemicals. Can anyone chime in on this? Which poly-fil should be used for best results? If you can link the item, that would also be very helpful.
poly-fil premium brand says to be 100% polyester with no additives. found it at walmart.
 

TheBettaSushi

poly-fil premium brand says to be 100% polyester with no additives. found it at walmart.
Can you send me a link or a photo of the one you use? So I know what it looks like when I go to Walmart.
 

NavyChief20

Can you send me a link or a photo of the one you use? So I know what it looks like when I go to Walmart.
So there's two. First one is for HOB or making a water polisher with a powerhead. Second one is for sumps, or canisters. 20190304_164946.jpg20190304_164928.jpg

So there's two. First one is for HOB or making a water polisher with a powerhead. Second one is for sumps, or canisters.20190304_164946.jpg20190304_164928.jpg
Correction...other way round.
 
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Islandvic


That is the pic for loose fill version.

The bags that have the flame retardant treating are marked explicitly and you will see it on the front of the packing if marked as such.
 

windrunner9189

Can you send me a link or a photo of the one you use? So I know what it looks like when I go to Walmart.
not exactly using it yet, but found it online and it states it has no additives.
 

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TheBettaSushi

So there's two. First one is for HOB or making a water polisher with a powerhead. Second one is for sumps, or canisters.View attachment 534293View attachment 534294
Awesome so I’ll need the quilt batting since my filter is a Fluval (aquaclear 20) correct? And I just cut a piece and put it under my ceramic media to replace the carbon? My sponge is on the bottom, carbon in the middle and bio rings on top. The rings are the first thing you see when looking at the filter (this is what fluval suggests with their tanks). How much poly can I use? Thin peice, thick pieces? Sorry for all the questions as I’ve never used this before lol
 

NavyChief20

Awesome so I’ll need the quilt batting since my filter is a Fluval (aquaclear 20) correct? And I just cut a piece and put it under my ceramic media to replace the carbon? My sponge is on the bottom, carbon in the middle and bio rings on top. The rings are the first thing you see when looking at the filter (this is what fluval suggests with their tanks). How much poly can I use? Thin peice, thick pieces? Sorry for all the questions as I’ve never used this before lol
So for a canister you want the water to hit the polyfill first. I don't do canisters but I am well versed in their operation. The polyfill is the first layer so it grabs all the heavy chunks. A thin layer is sufficient.
 

aae0130

Carbon will not leech anything back into your tank. It just plugs and stops chemically filtering.

I do frequent large water changes but I still use carbon. Call me old fashioned but I just feel more comfortable with it in there.
 

grump299

Yes that is order to place then in and if you need to add carbon later it can be placed on top of the biorings so it is easy to replace without taking everything out of the filter

So for a canister you want the water to hit the polyfill first. I don't do canisters but I am well versed in their operation. The polyfill is the first layer so it grabs all the heavy chunks. A thin layer is sufficient.
No the poly should be after the sponges of and befor the biological media it will stop the fine stuff that got through the sponges.
 
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TheBettaSushi

Correction...other way round.

I have a hang on back. The one that creates a waterfall. So id use regular loose poly fill and place that between my sponge and bio rings, correct? Bio rings should be the first thing I see when opening the filter lid, then poly fill in the middle then the sponge at the bottom of the filter... just making sure I have this correct. I don’t like disturbing the filter unless I’m doing maintenance.
 

grump299

I have a hang on back. The one that creates a waterfall. So id use regular loose poly fill and place that between my sponge and bio rings, correct? Bio rings should be the first thing I see when opening the filter lid, the poly fill then the sponge at the bottom of the filter... just making sure I have this correct. I don’t like disturbing the filter unless I’m doing maintenance.
That is the right order to place to in
 

ystrout

I used to use carbon but then realized when I ran out of carbon that I couldn't tell a difference in the water smell (or lack of smell), clarity, or fish health/behavior.
Since then, I haven't been using it.
 

NavyChief20

I have a hang on back. The one that creates a waterfall. So id use regular loose poly fill and place that between my sponge and bio rings, correct? Bio rings should be the first thing I see when opening the filter lid, the poly fill then the sponge at the bottom of the filter... just making sure I have this correct. I don’t like disturbing the filter unless I’m doing maintenance.
Ahh thought you had a canister. Yeah biorings on top, floss underneath. You can honestly ditch the sponge and go with more biorings if you want. Some people swear by sponge, I am not one of them.
 

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