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Old 03-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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Hey, I've been hearing some bad things about carbon, but this filter has a carbon insert (and we've already bought replacements). Is it okay to use a carbon insert with the other insert (biological filter) and the sponge?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosenweiss
Hey, I've been hearing some bad things about carbon, but this filter has a carbon insert (and we've already bought replacements). Is it okay to use a carbon insert with the other insert (biological filter) and the sponge?
I di that too and I just saved them for when I wanted get the water crystal clear. Still have one sealed in its box and use the extra space for additional biomedia, or something I want to try out. AC has a ammo remover that works great (I have goldfish) if the ammo gets out of control.

As for bad things, it's that you don't really need it IMO, but some swear by it so it's more a personal preference. The only thing I've heard bad is, if you leave it in too long it'll start to leach whatever it removed back into the tank.

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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Mr. Limpet is correct. It's not necessary and many people won't use it, especially those that maintain planted tanks. It can remove the fertilizers and minerals that the plants are using for food. It's really a matter of personal preference as already mentioned.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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So, basically, it would be fine just to use the basic sponge and the other layer of filter without the carbon at all?
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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Yes.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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So, basically, it would be fine just to use the basic sponge and the other layer of filter without the carbon at all?
You sure can. You can make use of the extra space with additional biomedia (BioMax) too, since that's where the bulk of good bacteria live. I do that so if I need to rinse/replace anything in either filter or need seeded material for another tank, it's ready to go.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanks so much! Is BioMax another piece that I can buy from the same company and shove in (if so where in the lineup does it go), or do I have to get some separately?
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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BioMax is pretty much the same type of stuff that you had to put inside that mesh bag for the top layer. Those pellets / rings. Really doesn't matter which kind you buy, as long as they're the right size to fit nicely in your filter - and remember to buy a filter bag to put them in.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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Okay! So does it matter which layer goes on top?
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Thanks so much! Is BioMax another piece that I can buy from the same company and shove in (if so where in the lineup does it go), or do I have to get some separately?
It's the cylinders that came with the filter that you put in the mesh bag. I use a different brand in addition to the one that came with it, but I like to waste money experimenting lol.

Something else to keep in mind, they tell you to replace the sponge and biomedia (BioMax) every so often (they just want more of your money :P). IMHO, I say don't do it. Just use water from the tank after PWC to rinse/clean them out every so often till they fall apart. But don't rinse in tap water because you'll kill the good bacteria built up in them.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
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Okay. =] Actually, we got the filter without any cartridges second-hand. We only bought the carbon level because we didn't realize til we got it home that we needed two levels of filtration. We're going to be getting the BioMax level in two days from now. Thanks for all your help! We will use it for quite a while!
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Okay. =] Actually, we got the filter without any cartridges second-hand. We only bought the carbon level because we didn't realize til we got it home that we needed two levels of filtration. We're going to be getting the BioMax level in two days from now. Thanks for all your help! We will use it for quite a while!
Gotcha. Sponge goes on bottom (of basket), biomedia above. If you use the carbon or ammo pack it goes in the middle. IMO, AC filters are the best because they're so versatile.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Okay! Thanks! Do you think it would be necessary for the cycle to get more media besides the single biomax cartridge? Or could we use 2 in the same filter and just keep them longer than 1 month? (They are a bit spendy.)
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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Okay! Thanks! Do you think it would be necessary for the cycle to get more media besides the single biomax cartridge? Or could we use 2 in the same filter and just keep them longer than 1 month? (They are a bit spendy.)
One is fine, 2 gives bateria more space to live. My biomedia and sponge are 6 months old and other than a good rinsing separated over a couple weeks or so, I haven't replaced either one.

Like I said, that 1 month replacment rule is to keep their profit margins from dipping lol.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #15
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+1 for Mr. Limpet. Definitely don't throw them out. You'll be throwing out beneficial bacteria that you need. They are indeed just trying to make money.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:14 PM   #16
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Okay! I have a final question (thanks so much for all the quick help). Since we've had the carbon in there a couple weeks, if I take it out and replace it with BioMax, will I lose any good bacteria? Basically i am asking if bacteria can live in the carbon.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #17
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Bacteria can live everywhere, but a lot more live on the BioMax than will live on the carbon. So if you throw out the carbon and replace it with even more biomax, those lost bacteria will be replaced before any significant issues occur with the tank.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #18
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If it were me, since all you have is carbon at the moment (correct?), I would add the BioMax as well and wait for it to accumulate some bacteria and then remove the carbon.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #19
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Is this the case even if I don't have any biomax in right now? I do have a tetra whisper10 running on the size that was from my old tank.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #20
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Interesting question as to whether bacteria live in carbon, I'd say if it does it would be a small colony. Hopefully a resident expert will weight in.

A sponge and biomedia are what you really want to seed it properly, but now that we know you have a seeded 2nd filter, you're in good shape. That filter will help seed the new one quicker. If you have filter floss, or something along those lines already, you could add that to your AC50. It doesn't "have" to be their media (sponge/biomax). That's the versitility of the AC basket design.

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