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Old 10-03-2005, 11:24 PM   #1
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Too much Carbon bad for SW fish?

I have a question. I have an aquaclear 4000 powerhead. It has this cylindrical attachment with a plastic cylinder inside covered with filter element. I am thinking of filling that plastic inside with carbon before covering it with the filter element.

Is too much carbon bad for SW fish?
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Old 10-04-2005, 07:52 PM   #2
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It's not the "bad for the fish" part so much as the wasted money. You don't need nor want to use carbon in that kind of quantity.

As far as the fish, it has been suggested that carbon use may cause HLLE but I have yet to see a study or even possitive anecdotal supportive information.

My suggestion is use only few ounces at a time and change it weekly. Don't leave it in for long periods. It will become a bacterial source as well as trapping organics. It would become a hinderance in that regard rather than the possitive a smaller amount changed regularly would benefit.

Be sure to soak it in RO/DI until it stops fizzing (if at all) and be sure to rinse it liberally once in the mesh holding container to releasde trapped dust.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:49 PM   #3
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i was always taught it released toxic gas(es) into the marine environment!

but here is the funny thing you can use all the chemipure you want!

isnt chemi pure a carbon?
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:41 PM   #4
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Carbon doesn't release gases with the exception of the manufacturing process it can often have trapped CO2. This is why it's best to soak it first. There are two main types of carbon used; Vapor phase (large pellets) and Liquid phase (small beads). It's the small types (liquid phase) that you want to use.

Chemi pure is a carbon but the white stuff in it serves no purpose in marine tanks.

Cheers
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:50 PM   #5
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Media is changed weekly to prevent excess nitrates.

Kim
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:03 PM   #6
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Some HOBS (like the Whisper Powerfilters) have some form of way to let you know when to switch. they have this overflow section right by the inlet tube that brings water back out instead of through the filters when the filter pads get clogged with dirt and sludge. Usually, that happens in 2-3 weeks. Wouldn't changing filters every week be more expensive than buying (or creating) a sump?

There must be an affordability reason that HOB filters are cheaper than the other aquariums. It wouldn't makse sense to spend that much money on filter and carbon every week, would it?

Can 3-4 weeks be a good time period between Filterbags/carbon changes?

PS: I removed the carbon from inside the cylinder attachment of the powerhead. I read this:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=11

And it says carbon should have a steady slow stream of water passing through. A fast current that goes through the carbon would defeat the purpose, and just leaving the carbon in a bag without steady water flow is too slow.

What do you guys think?
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie1709
Wouldn't changing filters every week be more expensive than buying (or creating) a sump?

There must be an affordability reason that HOB filters are cheaper than the other aquariums. It wouldn't makse sense to spend that much money on filter and carbon every week, would it?

Can 3-4 weeks be a good time period between Filterbags/carbon changes?
Carbon is pretty much spent after 2 weeks, each tank being different some shorter. Ideally you want to change it weekly. In terms of cost efficiencey, stop using the insert pads. Just get a reclosable mesh bag and some zip ties.

Quote:
PS: I removed the carbon from inside the cylinder attachment of the powerhead. I read this:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=11

And it says carbon should have a steady slow stream of water passing through. A fast current that goes through the carbon would defeat the purpose, and just leaving the carbon in a bag without steady water flow is too slow.
Passive use of carbon is actually not very effective. Water flow through the carbon should be brisk and constant for best results.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-s
Water flow through the carbon should be brisk and constant for best results.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Activated Carbon Article, AA
The most effective use of carbon in the aquarium is to have it in a mesh bag in a place where it receives a constant slow flow of water. Blasting the carbon with the stream from a high powered pump can wash the contaminants right out of the carbon.
So this article would not necessarily be correct? Instead of slow, it has to be brisk? The article explained the reasoning behind the steady slow water flow. What would make a brisk flow of water give best results? Isn't Carbon about absorption of contaminants? (The contaminants end up in the tiny holes within a single granule of carbon, according to the article?) Wouldn't blowing a brisk flow of water blow all of the contaminants back out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-s
Ideally you want to change it weekly. In terms of cost efficiencey, stop using the insert pads. Just get a reclosable mesh bag and some zip ties.
(Image borrowed from www.arcatapet.com)

This is what I've been using as the filter bag and element in my tank. Is this an insert pad? (Sorry, I am not familiar with insert pads nor mesh bags and how they can be applied to my existing HOBs) Just thought that HOBs normally have these kinds of filter bags, Penguin or Tetra the same. The bags are replaceable, it comes with activated carbon, and even the hard plastic frame inside.

What are mesh bags and are they reusable?
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie1709
So this article would not necessarily be correct? Instead of slow, it has to be brisk? The article explained the reasoning behind the steady slow water flow. What would make a brisk flow of water give best results? Isn't Carbon about absorption of contaminants? (The contaminants end up in the tiny holes within a single granule of carbon, according to the article?) Wouldn't blowing a brisk flow of water blow all of the contaminants back out?
Carbon will not release anything much in the way it's described there. Once the carbon is spent, it simpley doesn't sorb any longer. If flow is slow/passive, the water flows around the outside of the carbon, not through the bulk of it and it's efficiencey is limited to the outer areas. Brisk flow through the carbon allows for better contact and removal of contaminates.

<<Carbon Myths>>.

The inserts you are using are quite expensive really when considering alternatives and the amount of carbon that's actually in them. The mechanical filtration of the pad is not a necessity either. There are several types of <<bag>> products available that can be used alternatively. Check your LFS, I'm sure they have something along those lines. You don't need alot of carbon at each use so space will not be an issue. A couple of shot glass's into the bag will do. It will leave enough room in the HOB for water to flow over/around/through and not cause overflows. I don't trust the drawstring on these things so I would suggest cheap <<zip ties>>.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-09-2005, 07:46 PM   #10
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Thank you for mentioning that, it is costing me money for these Tetra things. I will definitely check my alternatives for this HOB. I appreicate your comments.

I definitely used up too much carbon for the stu-pid powerhead attachment idea that I came up with I spent 4 small bags of it just for that idea and you really don't need that much quantity in there.

Stand is also a big part of my mistake. I went cheap on my fish stand and went to Ikea. I found a coffee table-type stand. I took it since it is less than half the price of a 55G stand. Now, I wanted to venture into the sump-refugium filtration system but I couldn't because of this stand:


I learned a valuable lesson about setting up tanks. Not only should you look for good deals, you have to think long run all the time.

Anyways, thanks again for your advice.
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