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Old 09-25-2003, 12:25 AM   #1
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Carbon and cycling

Im using a small penguin filter on my tank im cycling. Just wonder if using carbon during cycling is bad for the tank. I read that activated carbon shouldnt be used but id like more opinions on it. TIA
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:40 AM   #2
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carbon is fine to cycle with, but most people will tell you to take it out when you start building your reef cuzz it holds excess nitrates which are bad for the corals.
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:43 AM   #3
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well right now im probably just going fish only. Ill do a full blown reef when i have more experience and more $$
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:01 AM   #4
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saw this on a site about carbon and reefs just need confirmation or opinions on it:

1. MAKE SURE IT IS ACTIVATED CARBON. Many types of carbon are sold in pet stores. For a reef aquarium you need carbon that has been activated--a process that substantially increases the porosity of the carbon, and as a result greatly increases the total active surface area, allowing it to be much more effective at absorbing compounds that need to be removed from the tank's water.
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:06 AM   #5
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yep, if using carbon you want GAC and you want to make sure it doesn't leach phosphates. Also replace GAC weekly or only run it a few days per month.
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
but most people will tell you to take it out when you start building your reef cuzz it holds excess nitrates which are bad for the corals
From what I have researched on carbon when I was messing around with FW, it does not remove (i.e. hold) nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia from water. Carbon primarily removes DOC's. It also removes some of the minor trace elements from water including copper, iodine, iron, & molybdenum.

However, according to Dr. Tim at Marineland, because this elements are not soluble in water, carbon alone cannot remove them.

I run carbon in both my FW and SW tanks. It makes them look so much clearer and removes that "fishy" smell as well.
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:26 PM   #7
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Very interesting about not running carbon for the health of the corals, and the fact that carbon can leach phosphates and nitrates. I have been wondering where the slight hint of phosphates and nitrates have been coming from.

I have a 55g, 3"DSB with about 50lbs LR and 50lbs Lace rock. I run 3 PH and a skimmer along with 2 Whisper back filters each with carbon filters. I have several veriety of corals and 5 small fish. Running 240w PC.

Looking at this set-up would it be posible to stop running the backfilters and still maintain good water quality? I love my corals but they don't seem to be doing as well as I think they could.

Howard
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
carbon can leach phosphates

If it is bituminous coal based carbon (i.e. Marineland's Black Diamond), than it will be phosphorous free. That is the only brand of carbon I run.
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Old 09-25-2003, 02:52 PM   #9
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Carbon does not leach nitrate. It produces nitrate, nitrifying bacteria will colonize all surfaces in the tank, they will be in the heaviest population where there is good water flow and oxygen rich water (like a filter). Carbon is an excellent surface for nitrification and after a few days to a week your carbon becomes a biological filter producing nitrates. Carbon filters als act as mechanical filters trapping detritus which rots and produces nitrates.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:11 PM   #10
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so my next question would be, when is a good time to replace the carbon filters if they do more when they get older?
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