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Old 06-01-2003, 08:31 PM   #1
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Filter Question ~ What to do with old Carbon

I have an Eclipse System Six tank (6gal) which uses carbon filter cartridges.

Unfortuneately all supplies of this type of cartridge are out of stock here in Australia at present.

I am desperate to change my filter and have been advised by 1 store that I can just lay some of their foam on top of my existing cartridge for the time being. Is this ok or should I try to rig up a makeshift filter using carbon granules and the foam or just the foam.

Another option maybe to use the shorter System 3 cartridge and a piece of foam to make up the difference in the length.

Please advise your opinion on the best option.

I have 5 cardinal tetras and 1 clown loach in the tank. The tank is in the 15th day of the cycle.

Thanks,
Louise
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:20 PM   #2
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I have rebuilt many of these type cartridges. I use quilt batting...very similar to the filter floss that came on the cartridge, but much cheaper. Cut a piece that will overlap about 1" on every side. Put your new carbon in the cartridge and lay the floss on top. Secure it with 2-3 rubber bands. Good as new.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:48 PM   #3
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why would you change the filter during the cycle?Wouldn't that slow it down,by removing the beneficial bacteria?
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:30 AM   #4
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Thanks loganj, I'll give it a try. I did go out about 1hr after I posted and bought the System 3 cartridge which is about 1 inch short of the System 6 and hope this will do for now. Your idea sounds like a great one to try. Must remember not to throw out the old cartridge

Thanks mendhigirl, I am in the crucial cycle stage but the filter was not doing its job (the water was running over the top of it) and I have been getting very high ammonia readings and having to change the water all the time. As this tank has a bio-wheel I guess the beneficial bacteria are sufficient on it and changing the filter cartridge shouldn't effect the cycle too badly.

Thanks for the input.
Louise
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Old 06-07-2003, 01:59 AM   #5
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I have made my own filter as per Logan J's suggestion but I would like to know if the old carbon can be used in some way. I have read that some people use it in the gravel/substrate. Is this beneficial

How else can it be used

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Louise
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Old 06-07-2003, 09:49 AM   #6
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well, the carbon is inert (for the most part), so i don't think it would hurt to use as a substrate

after it's expended it's filtering capacity, it still has a lot of surface area on which bacteria can grow

only problem I could see is certain chemicals (several medications have warnings about removing carbon before using) can shock the carbon, causing the chemical bonds it uses to hold toxins to break down, releasing all those toxins into the water!

I think that is because activated carbon never really 'wears out', but instead it just gets 'full' under normal circumstances, but it's always trying to form chemical bonds with new materials ... so if something more reactive comes along to bond with, it will shed it's weaker bonds in favor of stronger ones with the new material, releasing junk into the water, and taking the medication out at the same time.

there was talk about reactivating carbon on the apd, but the temps needed was something like 800 f, which is pretty darn hot
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:26 AM   #7
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I had thought the medications tell you to remove the carbon because the carbon will/can absorb the medication, not actually cause it to "shock" the carbon. I could be wrong as I am not chemistry expert.

If you are worried about de-absorption, don't be. Check out this link http://www.marineland.com/articles/17RevisActCarb.asp. Scroll down about 3/4 of the way.

If you get a chance, I would recommend you read just about every article and tech report Dr. Tim has posted on the Marineland website. It has helped me out a ton and has also quelled a bunch of rumors and myths I had heard about.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:39 AM   #8
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They have filter media/debris that come in a big bulk and you cut it to fit your filter. I don't know if it would be very available if you can't even get a filter cartridge at the moment. Here is a page I found that includes info on it: http://www.hbhnet.com/filter.html
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Old 06-08-2003, 10:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input everyone.

The articles by Dr Tim at Marineland are excellent

Louise
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