Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-22-2010, 06:01 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 25
How soon to replace activated carbon

Being a relative newbie to the hobby, can some experienced members answer some filtration questions:
1) How soon to replace activated carbon? I have a Aqua Clear 300 on 55 gallon and a Marineland Penguin 150 (with Biowheel) on 30 gallon. How soon I need to replace the activated carbon if my tanks are already cycled and recent water test has no problem?
2) Do I need to rinse the new activated carbon bag? When I put the bag in some water for rinsing, the water can turn black. Is this rinsing necessary? Does the rinsing lose a lot of carbon material being the water all turn black due to carbon particles?
3) For the Aqua Clear, can I use bulk activated carbon instead of its designated bag? I try to cut open an old carbon bag and replace the bag with the bulk carbon, is this ok?
4) The Marineland Penquin biowheel filter does not separate carbon from bio material. If there an alternative instead of using the designated filter cartridge?
5) Do you have to rinse these carbon material during water change? I am now rinsing it in the water I suck out from the tank as suggested. Can you rinse it in tap water?

If I don't have to replace the carbon every month as suggested by the filter manufacturer, then perhaps I don't need to use bulk carbon, otherwise bulk carbon should be cheaper. Is there a good place to buy bulk carbon online?

Thanks for any help.
__________________

__________________
fxbillie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 08:16 AM   #2
Aquarium Free - 2+ Years
 
mfdrookie516's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Winchester, Ky
Posts: 19,410
Carbon lasts anywhere from a week to a month, alot of it depends on where you get your info. That said, IMO, its a waste of money unless you're using it for a certain purpose like removing smells or meds.
__________________

__________________
-Jonathan

"What, exactly, is the internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a 'modem', can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo." - Dave Barry
mfdrookie516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,070
I second that, Jonathan. I do not run AC in any of my tanks. Unless you are removing smells, tannins, or medications it is really not needed.
__________________
meegosh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 10:19 AM   #4
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,244
I usually use it for 1 to 2 weeks and for the reason mentioned above.
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #5
SW 20 & Over Club
 
ccCapt's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 5,362
Send a message via ICQ to ccCapt
For a saltwater reef tank, it should be run all the time to help remove DOC's (dissolved organic compounds). It should be rinsed thoroughly as there is evidence the carbon dust can causes HLLE in some saltwater fish. It should also be changed out monthly.

The best, affordable carbon is ROX 0.8 from BulkReefSupply. A little cheaper, but still very good is there Lignite carbon. I would suggest using either of those 2.
__________________
/Larry
125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
ccCapt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 11:43 AM   #6
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,244
This must be what you are talking about Larry.

HLLE and Activated Carbon: Looking for a Link | Coral Magazine
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
cmor1701d's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
I'm eagerly waiting for the results of that study.

I didn't use to run carbon, but started running carbon and GFO (granulated ferric oxide) in a dual reactor a couple of months ago.

The small amount of carbon in those little filter bags should be replaced every time the filter pad needs to be cleaned (weekly or every other week) as they contain very little carbon. You could slit the bag, remove the carbon, rinse the filter and replace it for another week. That will stretch the use of the filter pad and give you the occasional carbon use.

Carbon is used to get rid of yellow looking water, remove DOC's, and medications, but it can only hold so much. It may then start leaching junk back into the tank, so it needs to be replaced often.
cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 03:31 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 25
No need carbon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meegosh View Post
I second that, Jonathan. I do not run AC in any of my tanks. Unless you are removing smells, tannins, or medications it is really not needed.
So if I get it right from the comments of the pro's (like above quoted) who have gone the distance with maintaing healthy tanks, you are saying if a tank (freshwater) is cycled, with no smell & with clear water, no problem with PH & nitrite, then I don't need to use activated carbon. That means for a filter system, all I need is the dirt filter (like the foam sponge for Aqua Clear) and the bio-material (for the beneficial bacteria). Is this right?

This actually agrees with my thinking all along. I am always under the impression that the activated carbon is there to absorb excess amonia/nitrite or chemicals (as they all say remove the carbon before putting in chemicals). So I always doubted why I need the carbon if my water is tested to be OK for PH & amonia/nitrite level.

I guess I will have to remove the activated carbon or not replacing it once a month as suggested by the suppliers. Thanks.
__________________
fxbillie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 01:01 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Just a comment about your item (4) in your original question...

With the Penguin biowheels, the true biological media is the biowheel itself. While the combined floss/carbon cartridge will end up housing some bacteria if you leave it in long enough, that is not its main purpose. That cartridge is primarily your mechanical and chemical filtration.

If you don't replace that cartridge often, you probably still want to take it out and rinse/scrub it during each water change, to remove the junk collected on it. You could also slit the filter material and shake out the carbon and throw it away so it doesn't leach stuff back in to your water.
__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 07:04 AM   #10
Aquarium Free - 2+ Years
 
mfdrookie516's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Winchester, Ky
Posts: 19,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by fxbillie View Post
This actually agrees with my thinking all along. I am always under the impression that the activated carbon is there to absorb excess amonia/nitrite or chemicals (as they all say remove the carbon before putting in chemicals). So I always doubted why I need the carbon if my water is tested to be OK for PH & amonia/nitrite level.
Carbon isn't really going to help with your pH, nitrite, ammonia, or nitrate. It does remove meds if you ever dose any (almost bet you can get around that if you try hard enough), smells (never had that problem, pwc's help with that), and tannins (if you have driftwood and dont let them leach out first). Thats about all it'll do for you in a FW tank.
__________________

__________________
-Jonathan

"What, exactly, is the internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a 'modem', can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo." - Dave Barry
mfdrookie516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
activated carbon, carbon

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Activated Carbon slickdc5 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 5 11-23-2009 11:09 PM
Activated carbon pat8you Saltwater Reef Aquaria 9 01-31-2008 03:54 PM
Activated carbon rollin_22 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 02-25-2006 02:49 AM
What's the best activated carbon to get? rdefino Saltwater Reef Aquaria 16 11-12-2004 09:49 AM
activated carbon kmlong Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 09-19-2004 11:17 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.