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Old 04-04-2005, 07:07 PM   #1
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activated carbon / charcoal... is it really needed ?????

Hello All, I was reading a few posts here and stumbled on to a topic that I needed more info on, that is the importance of AC in the filtering process. I was always lead to believe that the holy trinity of filtration was ... mechanical , biological, and chemical (being carbon). I know that carbon is used to pull meds out of water, but is carbon really needed and if not what do you use for chemical filtration? I currently run a Filstar XP3 on a 90 GAL community tank. In place I have 4 sponge blocksin first basket, Bio media in 2nd basket and biozorb/carbon in 3rd basket. I just purchased an Eheim 2229 Wet/dry canister(waiting to receive)and was wondering if I have ample amounts of biological filtration would I have to run carbon inside XP3, or just use it for mechanical filtration? I would really like to not use carbon as it only works for short time. Any information on this subject would greatly be appreciated. Thank you in advance. Rich
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:18 PM   #2
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i regret buying carbon after buying purigen, it's really good and can be recharged. i only use it if something got in the water and not for medicating(yet) since my fish never really got any diseases. right now i just have the blue sponges and loose filter floss in my penguins and my water is clear(plus the biowheels of course). if you dont have real plants it wouldnt hurt to have some AC in the filter.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:19 PM   #3
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you are correct. You only need the carbon if you are trying to remove something from the water like meds. One other thing you might want to try is using filter floss in the top basket of either/both filters. It really helps trap the smaller particles from the water. I have the same filter (xp3) and I have foam in the bottom 3 trays, ceramic rings in the fourth and floss in both top baskets. The foam acts as both mechanical and biological so extra rings or balls aren't needed. Pretty much the whole filter acts as biological filtration. Anywhere bacteria can settle will become part of the bio filter.

Too make my long answer short... ...no you don't "need" carbon.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:50 PM   #4
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i agree here ... get rid of the carbon unless you are trying to get rid of something.i never really use it anymore.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:59 PM   #5
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Ditto - Carbon...useless...unless...really needed...to remove...chemicals like meds.

Additional foam, floss (or peat if needed for ph purposes) is much more beneficial.
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:12 PM   #6
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dont most filters these days run some type of carbon im not sure though i might be making myself look dumb i dont know!!!!!
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:59 PM   #7
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As far as I know, all filters sold come with carbon. When I get a new filter I will use that carbon for a couple of weeks, but other then that I haven't bought carbon in over 5 years. Of course I also have planted tanks and don't want nutrients removed.
There is, of course, no harm in running carbon other then in the wallet. Many people will run it only when removing medications and other people will run it all the time.
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:34 AM   #8
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Short answer - NO.

Sometimes I think they make filter inserts with carbon just so people will go & change it every few weeks .... the lfs & the filter makers will make no money if you just reuse your filters till they fall apart ....
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #9
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I agree..I just switched to an Agua Clear and only use the sponges and the Ceramic Tabs that came with the filter..No problems at all..Tank is so clear..
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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what if you have a filter insert for a hang-on-back filter with carbon inside of a filter floss holder. If you've run the tank for about 2 months without changing the filter, would it be better to just leave the carbon in there for bacteria to grow on? Does carbon make a good biofilter medium?
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillHicks
what if you have a filter insert for a hang-on-back filter with carbon inside of a filter floss holder. If you've run the tank for about 2 months without changing the filter, would it be better to just leave the carbon in there for bacteria to grow on? Does carbon make a good biofilter medium?
Carbon makes an excellent biofilter medium in most cases. So yes, that could work.
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:14 PM   #12
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Thanks all, for the information. I no longer feel that I need to run carbon in my tank. My Eheim 2229 should provid more than ample bio filtration {when it arrives} and XP3 will do the mechanical end. Thanks Mazdaman for the idea,I like the idea of using filter floss in baskets of the Xp.
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