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Old 02-20-2014, 06:59 PM   #1
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Do I need carbon?

I have been running my tank (150 gallon FOWLER) for over a year and I have never used activated carbon. I put the corner overflows through filter socks, run bio-pellets, and run a 200 gallon Reef Octopus skimmer. I make my own RO/DI water. Do I NEED to run activated carbon? I am having nitrate issues so I am trying to nail this down.
Today, I bought some filter bags and some loose activated carbon. I put the carbon in two small sacks, rinsed them off, and placed them in my sump (in the bubble barrier chamber).
Is this OK, or will this cause more nitrate issues?
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
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No you don't need it but it does't hurt. Its not going to reduce nitrates, it mostly clears the water and removes some small organics but it's not really a nitrate reducing solution. With a FOWLR tank I'm guessing over stocking and/or over feeding is your issue. Your nitrates are coming from uneaten food or poop. Really other than adding a fuge with macro algea I can just recommend some big water changes and reduced feeding to get those nitrates out...
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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It's not overstocking. I only have 3 fish. A porcupine puffer, Golden Dwarf Eel, and a mombasaa lion. I feed everyday, but most of not all of the food gets eaten.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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3 in a 150 is totally understocked. Are you doing regular weekly water changes? What are your nitrates at?
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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Nitrates are "red" on the API test. I guess that's 80+. I change 15 gallons a week religiously. I DID have an undersized skimmer from my 75 which I just upgraded. I cannot change more than 15 gallons at a time. That's all I can properly heat and produce.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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That's crazy, unless a fish died and is trapped in a rock I can't think of why they'd be that high. API is famous for false results, maybe take you water to the store and have it tested to make sure it's really that high...
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