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Old 12-23-2006, 01:48 PM   #1
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How long does activated carbon last?

Quick question...how long before the activated carbon in a small HOB filter is exhausted? I'd like to melafix one of my small tanks, but don't want to lose the culture in the floss.

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Old 12-23-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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I think about 6 months. Unless you're trying to remove medication/colors/tannins from the water, then you don't have to use carbon.
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Old 12-23-2006, 03:56 PM   #3
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I change my AC monthly when I use it.

If the AC is inside the filter cartridge, you can cut it out of the cartridge by making a slit in the material and shaking it out. If you want to treat a tank, remove the carbon.
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Old 12-23-2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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I would not use it for more than just a couple of days. Carbon loses its properties in water. As this happens its adsorption quality is gone which also cuts off the absorption. It will then begin to leach back into the tank.
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:30 PM   #5
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I don't even run carbon because it only lasts for about a week.
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:33 PM   #6
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I agree with FF, AC only last about one week or so. Filter floss is what I use unless removing meds from the tank.
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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I like AC, but like others have said it doesn't last long. My media has AC in it and filter pad on top. I change out my media every 1-2 weeks, I just consider it a cost of the hobby

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Old 12-24-2006, 12:37 AM   #8
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Wow, I was way off. For some reason I thought I heard 6 months haha.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:22 AM   #9
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Tetra claim their AC for the external canister filters lasts around a month. I doubt they'd say as long as that if it werent true, since if it were a week they'd be selling more and making more money.
It depends on the brand, I guess.

I've left my AC running for months and months in two of my tanks without any adverse effect (it's laziness on my part, I can't be bothered changing it out of the canisters). I've read that it's yet another 'aquarium myth' that AC leeches back into the water once it's 'used up'. In fact, it's inert at that point.
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Old 12-24-2006, 01:26 PM   #10
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Thanks for the answers people. You guys are the best.
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